Well, my original workbench top was pock marked by tearout from planing.
I did not want to ruin a plane iron by putting a back bevel on one. It
would be difficult bringing it back to normal.
Well I have a Veritas Bevel up plane and this past winter I sprung for a
50 degree O1.. it did not work well at 50... so I brought the final
angle up to 70.. Still had to work it, but I was able to remove most
all the previous tearout. I still has some tearout that I had to use a
scraper on, but really the high angle was much better. I had to grind
off some metal my eclipse style blade holder to get the angle...
So I probably lost 1/32 off the top to get down below the tearout...
Some of the wood is punky, and it is naturally voided..
The top looks much better, and the last time I put tried and true over
it, as I wanted a rougher finish so things wouldn't slide to easily. But
this made glue cleanup and cleanup in general a pain.. This time I went
with BLO... I didn't want my favorite shellac or my least favorite
choice poly .. I have to say right now it is flatter (no tearout), and
feels good. I might want to get a scraper plane if I can find one at a
garage sale for highly figured woods. I have a number 80 or 81, but it
was not the solution. I am talking about a real cabinet makers scraper
plane, or adjustable scraper plane. Even using a scraper in hand, I had
to vary the angle and skew many times to get clean cuts. I find maple to
be a real pain when it comes to tearout. It changes grain direction too
frequently and tears out to easily. I find Beech to be the easiest..
probably should include Bass too, but I don't build with Bass.. Walnut
is easy too.
One thing I noticed was that the blade would collect lots of pitch
and/or wood on the bottom. I guess from the heat of the high angle...
When I finished the bench the first time, I was frustrated by the
tearout.. This time when it started tearing out, I did the standard
switch direction, and if that didn't work, I went cross, and if that
didn't work, I wound up pulling the plane , instead of pushing it. That
surprisingly worked well at times. Other times, I just loosened up the
grip quite a bit.. All this only took a few hours last night and a few
early this morning.
Hopefully this will hold up for a few years.. and I'll be able to
re-surface it again easily. It was more satisfactory this time..