Hand Tools Archive

Re: Plane recommendation??
Response To:
Plane recommendation?? ()

GolfSteve in Calgary
Hi Tom, a couple suggestions

1. Some curly maple exhibits terrible tearout. Some doesn't. If the power planer didn't take big chunks out of your board you may be in luck.

2. Wetting the wood slightly will reduce tearout. Water works fine, but you have to dry your plane afterwards to avoid rust. I like using low odour paint thinner - just enough to wet the surface while working on it. It makes the fibres softer and less prone to tearout. Commercial formulations like Supersoft also help, but I wouldn't buy it unless you need it for veneer softening or other uses.

3. The right plane is the sharpest plane. I use a 4-1/2 with a high angle frog (Lie-Nielsen). The high angle does help a bit. I'll also skew the plane across the direction of travel.

3a. Keep the mouth opening as low as possible, take very light shavings.

4. Pay careful attention to grain direction. The grain direction may be different on different parts of the board.

5. Don't get too carried away with obtaining a perfect surface from the plane. You may want to sand the board before finishing in order to get more even finish or dye absorption. The grain may raise when applying your first coat of finish and you need to use sandpaper then anyway.

6. Sharp, sharp, sharp beats fancy planes.

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