Hand Tools Archive

planing failure

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
I was planing a walnut top for one of the dressers. On one side there was a "hump" in the grain so each direction involved modestly upsloping grain. But the upsloping was not particularly steep......as best I could measure about 10 degrees. Actually it was hard to see the grain orientation on the board edge. Tearout! Simply rough surface one way, that I could feel and hear when planing. The other direction(other side of the humped grain) there was tearout that ran almost parallel to the surface. When I turned around and focused on this area the tearout was easier to observe and it ran along the surface more than diving into the depth. Maybe this observation is simply reflecting the grain is only sloping 10 degrees (approx)

By humped grain I mean the grain rises and falls when looking at the edge of the board.

I have done a lot of planing building these two dressers, but little planing over the span of building stuff. I have become complacent that I will ever get tearout, so this result came as an unpleasant surprise.

Is some grain just inherently weak and more prone to tearout? I have too little experience over a wide range of lumber to know.

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