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Tear out problems in white oak

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Forum topic by Thomas Keefe posted 09-06-2009 09:09 AM 3659 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Thomas Keefe

131 posts in 2155 days


09-06-2009 09:09 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question oak planer plane sander milling

I am building a night stand from white oak. The top is made from several quarter sawn boards.
A couple of the boards had some minor tear out after thickness planing. I went ahead and
glued them together. I have tried sanding out the tear out but it is too deep for my ROS. I
have tried cleaning it up with a hand plane (Bailey block plane – sharp and tuned up). I don’t
think I made it any worse but it didn’t get any better.

In about two weeks I will have access to a belt sander that will handle the 15” top. However,
I would like to finish the top. I would also like to be a little more self sufficient.

I am looking for suggestions about how to deal with this problem. I would appreciate any suggestions.

Tom


16 replies so far

View woodisit's profile

woodisit

61 posts in 1988 days


#1 posted 09-06-2009 10:24 AM

The first question is how deep is the tear out? Have you tried a hand scraper, not sure what kind of belt sander you have access too, I have have used hand held belt sander for removing material but you have to be careful.I also have a drum sander which keeps it flat.

-- Woodisit

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Tim Pursell

494 posts in 2528 days


#2 posted 09-06-2009 12:50 PM

One other thing you could try is make up a surface planer using a router and sled that runs on raised ledges on either side of the workpiece. I know there are posts about this type of home made surface planner here on LJ’s It may be a little involved, bur you will find a ton of uses for the rig. I’ll search the site & post back any links I can find.
Tim

-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/tpursell?ref=si_shop

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Tim Pursell

494 posts in 2528 days


#3 posted 09-06-2009 01:02 PM

View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 2641 days


#4 posted 09-06-2009 03:15 PM

I second the hand scraper approach; more control, and when you’re done, you won’t have to go back over it. You’ll get a better surface with the scraper than you will with sandpaper.

-- Sam

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Chris Wright

536 posts in 2227 days


#5 posted 09-06-2009 03:28 PM

If the tear out isn’t really deep, try wetting the surface you’re about to plane with some water, let it sit for about a minute then run it back through your planer taking a very light cut. The water will swell the softer fibers and they’ll act as a cushion and help eliminate tear out. I’ve had rather good success with this technique with figured cherry and maple.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

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Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 2641 days


#6 posted 09-06-2009 09:32 PM

Great idea Chris

-- Sam

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

536 posts in 2227 days


#7 posted 09-07-2009 03:58 AM

Thanks Sam, I read about that trick in a Fine Woodworking a few years ago.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View jsheaney's profile

jsheaney

141 posts in 2734 days


#8 posted 09-07-2009 05:04 AM

A night stand isn’t all that big, so I would go with a card scraper and some sanding by hand with the grain. Something larger and I would consider getting a scraper plane. The are rather finicky to get them working properly, but the do as good a job as a card scraper and are more practical for a large surface.

I’m in the middle of a bookcase project with QSWO and have had the exact same problem. I don’t have a jointer or planer, though, so it’s all hand work for me. After flattening, I use a #7 bevel up plane with a high angle blade. I use a 50 deg angle straight on or a 62 deg and skew the plane a bit. I still find some scraping and hand sanding is necessary, though.

Keep in mind that all that flecking that is the hallmark of QSWO is really the grain (of the medullary rays) going sideways. And they tend to be quite thin. It’s easy and quite maddening to tear out a little piece.

-- Disappointment is an empty box full of expectation.

View Thomas Keefe's profile

Thomas Keefe

131 posts in 2155 days


#9 posted 09-07-2009 08:46 AM

Thanks very much for the suggestions. The worst tear depth is between 1/32 and 1/16”. There are one
or two spots like this. There is one other patch that is all under 1/32”. It is a bit difficult to estimate this
depth.

The belt sander I referred to is actually a drum sander. I have used it once before.

The glued up table top is too big to fit in my jointer/planer so I won’t be able to use the wet wood approach.
Can the same technique be used with a hand plane?

The router sled sounds interesting but I have a serious space shortage. My whole workshop is only 10’ x 10’.

I guess I will give the card scraper another try. I just wonder if I will be able to take off that much material
before my arms fall off.

Thanks very much for all your thoughtful comments.

Tom

View woodisit's profile

woodisit

61 posts in 1988 days


#10 posted 09-07-2009 10:34 AM

The wet wood technique that Chris talked about will work even with sanding, even when the water drys the wood fibers are raised.
Sounds like your hand scraper needs sharping, there was a blog on recently on sharping I thought was great it’s
lumberjocks.com/toddc/blog/6855.
The drum sander will work too.

-- Woodisit

View Thomas Keefe's profile

Thomas Keefe

131 posts in 2155 days


#11 posted 09-09-2009 04:21 AM

Woodisit: I was able to remove all of the tear out using the hand scraper. I used the sharpening method
you referred me to and the work went fast. Thanks again.

Tom

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5601 posts in 2122 days


#12 posted 09-09-2009 10:59 AM

QSWO can be tough for tearout. Keep the plane blades extremely sharp, take light passes, moisten the top as suggested, and try feeding it at an angle thru the planer…even then a prayer or two won’t hurt! That’s about all you can do that I know of.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Doug's profile

Doug

43 posts in 2055 days


#13 posted 09-09-2009 12:31 PM

Hi Tom
i know it’s to late now, but in the future what can do, and what i have done with white oak is, before you glue up your slab, is run your boards over a good sharp jointer ( along the grain ) set your jointer for about a 64th of an inch and keep running them through until you have what your looking for, then plane them parrell on the other side

-- Use your imagination ! you'll be suprised

View woodisit's profile

woodisit

61 posts in 1988 days


#14 posted 09-09-2009 04:45 PM

Hi Tom
That’s what I do, also I joint the edge and square the other edge on the table saw. I agree with knotscott on the planer, you might also check your in and out feed table for alignment.

-- Woodisit

View Thomas Keefe's profile

Thomas Keefe

131 posts in 2155 days


#15 posted 09-09-2009 07:30 PM

I wasn’t aware that QSWO was more sensitive to this than other woods.
Next time I will try moistening the top. Also, I like the idea of feeding the
boards through at an angle.

Doug: I have been alternating sides during planing to balance the stress on
the wood. However, the planing is where I seem to have most of the problem.
Your suggestion of jointing one side and then planing the other seems like it
would help. Do you see any problems from planing more material off of one
side than the other?

Woodisit: I know that improper alignment of planer infeed and outfeed can
lead to snipe. What is the connection to tear out?

Thanks again for all of your help.

Tom

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

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