I was planing some southern yellow pine that used to be stair treads. It was
in a house for 75 years. I get terrible tear out, sometimes big chips ripped
out. I've had similar problems with other woods from the same house. I'm
going to try sanding, I expect no problems.The wood is sound, there is no
rot, can wood just get too dry to run thru a planer?
I would think that 75 year old southern yellow pine would be just about
bullet proof - a real planing challenge.
Years ago I had to build a room into a basement of a house that had 50 year
old southern yellow pine joists. I had to drill pilot holes for the nails
(pre-nailer years). Otherwise the nails just bent. I was told back then when
I asked an expert friend that over time southern yellow pine resin sets up
like iron. The joists had become super hard.
How deep were the planer passes?
Were these well worn stair treads - worn low spots in the area where
Where the treads quarter sawn, plane sawn or thru and thru sawn?
Was the wood located in a part of the country where humidity is
high - ie - southeast?
Was the tear out in the first couple of passes - before the surface
had been mostly flattened?
Once the surface was flat - excluding the low spots from the tear
out - did you continue to get tear out with very light finishing
It's not uncommon to have the depth of cut of the first pass
thru the planer to be a little deeper than intended. So when
you run a worn stair tread through the planer you will have
the knives cutting "uphill" in same areas - which can cause tear
out - the amount of tear out related to the depth of cut. Deeper
cuts producing more tear out than shallow depths of cut.
Regarding working old, really "dry" wood - I've planed 50+ year
old redwood fence boards which had been out of the weather
for 35 years that I know of. Even fence boards back then were
straight grained and almost exclusively heart wood. Planed
without tear out. Have turned old pine porch posts and beams
and found them prone to tear out - even with very sharp tools
using a shearing cut. Haven't tried planing them since the pieces
have been cut to 12" lengths because that's the between centers
capacity of the JET mini-midi.
More info please.
I'm working on a cabinet for my wife's ebroidery stuff made freom reclaimed
speuce from a neighbors' razed barn. The wood is about 140 years old. I
believe that it is spruce. The wood is sound but very brittle. Yes it tends
to splinter and tear out considerblay more than "new" wood.
This may or may not be applicable to you situation.
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I would guess that the stair treads have a lot of ingrained grit and your
knives must be severely blunted by the first pass - but you would know that.
pre-used timber is very hard on blades of all kinds.
Thanks for all your insights, yes it does seem brittle when you try to plane
it, but it is sound. I was using very light passes. I saw the same thing
with other wood I used in the same situation. I wondered what the term case
hardened meant? Does that apply?
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