Avoid tear out when planing

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Forum topic by Josh posted 05-18-2010 09:39 PM 2693 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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102 posts in 2445 days

05-18-2010 09:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question plane pine

I recently found a block plane at an antique shop that I’ve tried to cleanup a little bit. Yesterday I decided to use it on a bookcase that I’m building right now. I was using it to flush the ‘moulding’ piece on the bottom with the sides of the bookcase. It worked great but on one pass instead of cutting the wood it tore a corner of the molding. So the question is how do you avoid that?

I assume you probably need to support the outside edge so that its reinforced but how do you do that for molding type profiles? Or is there some other technique that I need to pick up?

-- Josh, South Jordan Utah

7 replies so far

View chewbuddy13's profile


150 posts in 2708 days

#1 posted 05-18-2010 10:01 PM

Generally you do not want to plane end-grain with anything other than a low angle block plane. Otherwise you will get tearout, like you did. I would either sand it or use a file to flush up the moulding to the sides.

View Josh's profile


102 posts in 2445 days

#2 posted 05-18-2010 10:37 PM

so a regular block plane is a no no on end grain?

-- Josh, South Jordan Utah

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 2363 days

#3 posted 05-18-2010 11:04 PM

If your blade is sharp enough, you can plane endgrain with almost any plane. What you have to do though is plane endgrain from the corner towards the middle and NOT past the opposite corner, if you know what I mean?

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View Josh's profile


102 posts in 2445 days

#4 posted 05-18-2010 11:18 PM

Div, I understand what you mean but being new everything I read says when you try and ‘flush’ something you start the plane on the low side and go towards the high side. If you start on the high side do you have to set the blade deeper to cut? I guess I’m just lost on this planing stuff.

-- Josh, South Jordan Utah

View miserybob's profile


88 posts in 2468 days

#5 posted 05-19-2010 12:17 AM

You can use the block plane to first cut a little chamfer on the outside edge, so that when you plane past it, there’s nothing to catch the blade and tear out.

View AaronK's profile


1438 posts in 2888 days

#6 posted 05-19-2010 12:27 AM

1. you can always go from the high side to low side, it doesnt really matter
2. sharp sharp sharp :-)

View davcefai's profile


37 posts in 2820 days

#7 posted 05-23-2010 08:55 AM

No matter how sharp the plane is, you’re asking for tearout if you plane past an end grain edge.
Best thing to do is use a shooting board. I have a No 4 tuned for this.

If you have to freehand the job you can start by cutting a chamfer on the exit edge but when that’s gone finish up by planing inwards from both edges.

Hint: If you wet the end grain with alcohol the job becomes a lot easier (but it takes the wax off the sole of the plane)

-- David

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