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Surprise planing
Posted By Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
Date Saturday, 5 February 2022, at 2:06 p.m.

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
I sold someone some cedar a while back and offered some woodworking lessons to be collected in the future. Bruce showed up this AM to make a quilt ladder. I thought we were going to make it from cherry. Nope, he showed up with cedar rails and rungs, to be mortised and tenoned. To my amazement the mortises for the rungs could be located where knots were not. Rungs had teeth marks from ripping, ditto rails. Power jointed short rungs. No hope of jointing rails on my long bed jointer because each had a bow.

There were knot-free places on the sawed edges. I offered to try to hand plane some between the knots. In a moment of experimentation, I planed into one of the cedar knots (#4, close set cap iron). The plane breezed through the knot, tear-out free on both sides. That was a surprise. I handed off the plane and he was able to smooth the edges of the rails with as little tear-out around the knots as I would be able to accomplish on the jointer with a very slow fee.

I have not yet examined the blade but I suspect after mowing through something as hard as cedar knots I will need to do some sharpening.


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  • Surprise planing -- Bill Tindall, E.Tn. -- Saturday, 5 February 2022, at 2:06 p.m.

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