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Gnarly Cherry

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Forum topic by builtinbkyn posted 04-26-2016 09:00 PM 598 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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builtinbkyn

651 posts in 402 days


04-26-2016 09:00 PM

I picked up some cherry to make a step stool and have been working it by hand. Is cherry always so gnarly to work by hand? Seems the grain runs both directions so I get tear-out no matter which direction I work it. I guess it could be my wood selection and where it was cut from the tree, but it does seem particularly uncooperative. Some areas are more dense than others even though it doesn’t appear to be sapwood vs heartwood. But maybe I’m just not seeing it. Not sure how long these boards sat at the yard. They’ve been in my shop about three weeks.

I’m now working it with a 12 1/2 scraper plane and a card scraper to see if I can polish out some of the small tears.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)


8 replies so far

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2190 posts in 942 days


#1 posted 04-26-2016 10:05 PM

What’s the setup on your your plane? Surgically sharp blade + close chip breaker + closed mouth + skewed attack on board will give the best chance of no tear out. You can also use a bevel up plane with a high beveled iron to give an effective higher pitch than a bevel down plane.

I would stick the the scraper.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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bearkatwood

1196 posts in 473 days


#2 posted 04-26-2016 10:10 PM

I just love to see those shavings on the bench, that means someone is having fun… I mean working of course, someone is working hard ;) Nice stuff, Thanks.

-- Brian Noel

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builtinbkyn

651 posts in 402 days


#3 posted 04-26-2016 10:49 PM


What s the setup on your your plane? Surgically sharp blade + close chip breaker + closed mouth + skewed attack on board will give the best chance of no tear out. You can also use a bevel up plane with a high beveled iron to give an effective higher pitch than a bevel down plane.

I would stick the the scraper.

- rwe2156

Well I’ve worked all of my plane blades to get them as sharp as I can. I’m sure they need some improvement, but have worked some maple, walnut and mahogany with no issues to speak of. Yes used skewed attack and close chip breaker on the smoothing plane after they were leveled with a jack plane. I will llook into a steeper pitch plane like a LN #4 1/2 though, but to answer my question, is cherry generally tougher to work than the stock I mentioned or was it my selection?


I just love to see those shavings on the bench, that means someone is having fun… I mean working of course, someone is working hard ;) Nice stuff, Thanks.

- bearkatwood

Thanks Brian. I was more taking my frustrations out today than having fun. Lost my little buddy Junior last night. He had a rough couple of months, so it’s for the best I guess. But I do miss him and it’s certainly odd being home and he’s not here looking for breakfast or dinner.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

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HokieKen

1742 posts in 600 days


#4 posted 04-27-2016 07:32 PM

I’ve had limited experience with cherry, but I did just square up a board with hand planes to cut up into turning blanks. I had exactly the opposite experience, it planed like a dream! Of course I work with a lot of oak so most anything planes like a dream by comparison. I squared up a walnut board at the same time though, and the cherry required much less time and effort. Not that there was anything wrong with the walnut other than a knot in one face.

I guess either you got an unusually bad piece of cherry or I got an unusually good piece ;P FWIW, mine is black cherry. Not sure if different species have different grain characteristics.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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MikeyLikesIt

17 posts in 1472 days


#5 posted 04-27-2016 08:05 PM

Cherry is usually really nice for me. Hard maple is always the one I seem to battle.

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chrisstef

15659 posts in 2467 days


#6 posted 04-27-2016 08:13 PM

The cherry I’m currently working with is doing the same thing. Typically it planes like butter but this piece has some bark inclusions and flip flopping grain on it too. Id say its just the piece you happened to get. We cant all score the straight grained stuff all the time. If ya want a real PITA bookmatch some curly material and try and plane that. lol.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

651 posts in 402 days


#7 posted 05-04-2016 12:23 AM


What s the setup on your your plane? Surgically sharp blade + close chip breaker + closed mouth + skewed attack on board will give the best chance of no tear out. You can also use a bevel up plane with a high beveled iron to give an effective higher pitch than a bevel down plane.

I would stick the the scraper.

- rwe2156

I want to thank you for causing me to take another look at the setup of my planes. Close chip breaker – check. Closed mouth – check. Surgically sharp iron – whoa, not so fast.

I had been using the scary sharp system and believing everything was sharp. I had no issues with mahogany and even maple. However, after reading your post and then looking at what others had to say about sharp and sharpening, I purchased a full set of Sharpton Pro stones. I gave all of my plane irons the once over and man, I can see I was no where near this sort of sharp with sandpaper on plate glass.

Well I am already done with the step stool made from this cherry that was giving me fits, but I have some left which I think I’ll use to make a moxon vise. I’m curious to see how different it will be to work with it using my newly sharpened irons.

Oh here’s the step stool. Not my finest work and it’s fraught with errors, but the wife likes it, so the world is still a wonderful place ;)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View jonmakesthings's profile

jonmakesthings

68 posts in 279 days


#8 posted 05-04-2016 01:22 AM

All the cherry I’ve ever used has always worked nicely, whether I’m planing, carving, chiseling, whatever. You must’ve just got some finicky wood.
The stool looks nice, cherry is a beautiful wood

-- How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

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