Fine set block plane and scraper will *almost* prevent
tearout. Will a couple of coats of shellac applied before
smoothing fill in and strengthen tearout-prone grain?
Orange or garnet shellac would have the additional
advantage of showing which areas have and haven't
been planed / scraped.
Hmm, that's an interesting question; I've never heard of anyone trying that
before. I'd almost have to think it would have *some* positive effect.
Certainly seems worth running some experiments to see what happens.
Free bad advice available here.
To reply, eat the taco.
Answer a few questions.
1. How deep do you expect the shellac to penetrate? Most varnishes don't,
would shellac, especially in a dense hard wood like maple?
2. If it is simply on the surface like most varnishes, what protection will
it provide against tear out if you have to scrape the shellac off to get to
the actual board area that needs scraping?
Solutions I have heard about that have been reported to work.
1. Sand the surface vs. scrape or plane.
2. If planing spray a mist of water on the surface just prior to planing to
soften the wood, to "help prevent" tear out.
On Thu, 13 Jan 2011 21:24:55 -0800 (PST), Ferd Farkel
Like the others, I've not heard of this before. I suspect a more
dilute concentration might work better than a thicker solution (say,
1lb cut or less). And perhaps a slower drying solution would allow the
shellac to penetrate more. You could try dissolving in isopropyl
alcohol for that.
Is your block plane a low angle? Have you tried a higher angle plane
or a higher angle bevel on your block plane blade? A bevel up smooth
plane is a handy thing to have in your arsenal.
LN low angle block, iron set light, mouth almost completely
closed. If that tears (and it didn't on unshellacked BE -- yet),
go to the scraper. If I do another project in bird's eye, I'll make
or buy a scraper plane. A 24" sole scraper would make a nice
addition to my tool set.
Very interesting idea. I think you've volunteered to run some tests
and see. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd think that if the tearout
was only a coat of shellac deep, you don't need the shellac to prevent
tearout, but it's certainly cheap and easy enough to test.
The spit coat of shellac suggestion someone else mentioned makes
sense, but what I'd really like to see is if you could figure out how
to start with the French Polish and end with it, too. ;)
Results -- waste of time. Keeping edges **sharp** and
set light -- plane taking fluff instead of shavings, light
burr on the scraper -- did the job beautifully. Shellac
(applied one side) did nothing but make the 3/8" maple
curl up like a Frito.
After failing to achieve the desired results with a sharp York pitch L-N No
4 and scraper alone I've used shellac for this purpose... You need to
scrape, reapply the shellac, scrape, reapply the shellac, and repeat as
needed until the surface is uniformly smoothed. The shellac doesn't soak
into hard dense woods very deep so reapplications are needed. The
alternative is sandpaper and a sanding block... ;~)
I've been using heavily diluted Hydrocote sealer to do the same thing.
It usually works pretty well. I apply at least 2 coats to the tearout
I brush on one coat on whole board then check the tearout areas to see
its soaked in (it usually has) then reapply only to the tearout area
won't take any more (stops absorbing). It looks like a thin puddle on
area, wait about an hour, apply a second coat to the whole board and
The thicker the board the longer the wait (dry) time.
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