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Having a tough time with white oak grain tearout

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Forum topic by blueridge posted 03-01-2018 02:52 PM 1787 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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blueridge

21 posts in 208 days


03-01-2018 02:52 PM

Hello, I have been slowly picking up on joinery and I know some basics, but I am by no means a pro. Right now I am having a hard time determining if I might be setting up my planes wrong or if I am simply using the wrong tool for the job.

I have some large 6×8 white oak beams that I reclaimed from a house built in 1890. I am not sure if the beams are actually that old because they have saw marks in them so it may be from a later addition. I have been planing down these pieces with a harbor freight no33 plane and a 2” Kana finish plane that i ordered from japan woodworker a few years ago. I have noticed that the Kanna has started to get clogged really bad even after a fresh sharpening, the hf33 plane does fine, I keep it sharp as well, though of course it is cheap and needs to be constantly adjusted.

The white oak has some areas where a branch once was and that of course is where I get really bad tearout. I have gotten a decently smooth surface, far smoother than I could with sandpaper. I would really like to just touch up the spots with tearout. Is there another type of plane or tool that would be suitable for cleaning up these tearout spots?


18 replies so far

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1662 posts in 1918 days


#1 posted 03-01-2018 03:32 PM

Card scraper. Once you go to sand paper you will have a difficult time with planes the grit from the paper will drop down in the pores. This will dull your edges very quickly so try a card scraper and throw the harbor freight plane over the fence and far away as possible. :)

-- Aj

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5741 posts in 2933 days


#2 posted 03-01-2018 03:47 PM

White oak is prone to tearout, especially if it’s figured oak. Areas with changing grain direction are also problematic.

Sure a card scraper will solve the tearout issue because of the nearly vertical angle of attack. However, card scrapers are the slowest possible method and white oak is a dense hardwood.

The only thing that has solved my tearout issues, and maintained a decent production speed is a planer with a helical cutterhead. Since each blade is skewed slightly, it makes a shearing cut and avoids tearout entirely.

In the meantime, try holding your hand plane at an angle to the workpiece. Sometimes it makes a difference.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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blueridge

21 posts in 208 days


#3 posted 03-01-2018 04:30 PM



Card scraper. Once you go to sand paper you will have a difficult time with planes the grit from the paper will drop down in the pores. This will dull your edges very quickly so try a card scraper and throw the harbor freight plane over the fence and far away as possible. :)

- Aj2

Im about ready to throw it over the fence, but Id be afraid someone would find it and try to use it! LOL

I really need to make a card scraper, that has been on my to do list. Sounds like the missing link

View blueridge's profile

blueridge

21 posts in 208 days


#4 posted 03-01-2018 04:31 PM



White oak is prone to tearout, especially if it s figured oak. Areas with changing grain direction are also problematic.

Sure a card scraper will solve the tearout issue because of the nearly vertical angle of attack. However, card scrapers are the slowest possible method and white oak is a dense hardwood.

The only thing that has solved my tearout issues, and maintained a decent production speed is a planer with a helical cutterhead. Since each blade is skewed slightly, it makes a shearing cut and avoids tearout entirely.

In the meantime, try holding your hand plane at an angle to the workpiece. Sometimes it makes a difference.

- pintodeluxe

What kind of plane has a spherical head? Also what type of bevel does the spherical head use?

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 3768 days


#5 posted 03-01-2018 04:34 PM

Back beveling – https://youtu.be/WO_M95qDdAQ

There are other approaches as well -
https://blog.lostartpress.com/2007/12/15/perfect-pitch-the-no-4-way-to-reduce-tear-out/

Also if you look at this traditional German wood plane
you’ll see what looks like a 50 degree blade
angle. I can’t guarantee that they are all like
that or even that my eye is accurate in judging
the angle of the one in the listing, but I did
read the 50 degree bed is common on these
planes.

Some success in working reversed grain may
be had by tuning the mouth and chipbreaker
of a Bailey pattern plane as well. When set
very close to the edge the chipbreaker can
make a regular Stanley plane perform like one
with a higher bevel. Back beveling the iron
may be more reliable though, but you’ll need
another iron for regular work too.

No. 80 cabinet scrapers are useful as well.

View corelz125's profile

corelz125

512 posts in 1096 days


#6 posted 03-02-2018 01:25 AM

or if you can find a stanley #12 scraper where you can adjust the angle of the cutter and it is bigger so can cover more ground faster

View blueridge's profile

blueridge

21 posts in 208 days


#7 posted 03-02-2018 02:28 PM



Back beveling – https://youtu.be/WO_M95qDdAQ

There are other approaches as well -
https://blog.lostartpress.com/2007/12/15/perfect-pitch-the-no-4-way-to-reduce-tear-out/

Also if you look at this traditional German wood plane
you ll see what looks like a 50 degree blade
angle. I can t guarantee that they are all like
that or even that my eye is accurate in judging
the angle of the one in the listing, but I did
read the 50 degree bed is common on these
planes.

Some success in working reversed grain may
be had by tuning the mouth and chipbreaker
of a Bailey pattern plane as well. When set
very close to the edge the chipbreaker can
make a regular Stanley plane perform like one
with a higher bevel. Back beveling the iron
may be more reliable though, but you ll need
another iron for regular work too.

No. 80 cabinet scrapers are useful as well.

- Loren

I saw the wood plane while looking for scrapers on ebay. Im giving that some thought. Im not sure which one would be more useful for me. The back beveling trick is something I have come across, but using the honing angle and tracing the bevel onto a piece of wood template is genius. Im definitely going to do this tonight. Thanks for the link

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blueridge

21 posts in 208 days


#8 posted 03-02-2018 02:30 PM



or if you can find a stanley #12 scraper where you can adjust the angle of the cutter and it is bigger so can cover more ground faster

- corelz125

I found a few of these on ebay, they are not terribly expensive either. They are similar to the German scrapers mentioned by Loren right? Are there pros and cons between the two?

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corelz125

512 posts in 1096 days


#9 posted 03-02-2018 08:25 PM

Loren knows more about that german scraper i dont know anything about them but with the #12 you can adjust the angle of the blade.

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 3768 days


#10 posted 03-02-2018 08:32 PM

I’ve never used a no. 12. Just a no. 80.

The German planes I mentioned are not scrapers.

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corelz125

512 posts in 1096 days


#11 posted 03-02-2018 11:43 PM

I didn’t look at the link you posted before just looked at it now yea that’s not a s scraper

View BlasterStumps's profile

BlasterStumps

863 posts in 560 days


#12 posted 03-03-2018 03:07 AM

What about using a toothing plane before using a smoother?

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

View BoardButcherer's profile

BoardButcherer

144 posts in 215 days


#13 posted 03-07-2018 04:00 PM

I seem to remember seeing an old VHS video of japanese woodworkers using a plane with the steel angled to the side and they were pulling it at a 45 degree angle to the grain.

Not having used it myself I can’t say whether it helps tear-out on white oak specifically or not, but the nature of the process seems like it’d help with tear-out on pretty much anything since you’re not pulling on the grain in a parallel angle of attack.

If you have a spare steel laying around that you don’t mind experimenting with it and putting an angle on it, you could fashion a wood block plane and give it a shot. I can’t google up a plan for building a japanese plane that’s on an angle at the moment, but you may be able to look up instructions on how to make a straight japanese plane and figure it out from there with a little experimentation (starting with a shallow angle, and cutting it deeper depending on results?)

View blueridge's profile

blueridge

21 posts in 208 days


#14 posted 03-07-2018 05:16 PM

So far the scraper I made form an old saw blade is doing a good job

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

3073 posts in 1601 days


#15 posted 03-07-2018 06:46 PM

You’re experiencing what every one of us does when dealing with WO.

Don’t throw the HF over the fence, turn it into a scrub plane.

Next, go get you a decent smoothing plane. Basically, I think you have 3 routes to go here: vintage Stanley, WoodRiver, Lie Neilsen/Veritas (in ascending order of quality and expense).

That being said, swirly grain around a knot is going to challenge the best, most finely tuned plane, sharpest iron out there.

I can be done, but you need a high angle approach which is a whole nother rabbit hole to venture in.

Bottom line these cases are what card scrapers and sand paper is for, IMO.

What you’ve already found out…..don’t let cheap tools cause you more trouble than you’ve already got!!

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

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