Maple Tearout

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Forum topic by Kevin posted 07-07-2011 02:29 AM 2156 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Kevin's profile


462 posts in 2248 days

07-07-2011 02:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: maple wood joint plane


Just wondering if my knives on my jointer and planer need sharpened or not. I am getting some slight grain tearout looks like when jointing the maple. First time i’ve used rough cut maple. I bought somewhere between 40-45 BF of maple over the weekend. I got to pick out what I wanted, 6 boards for $20 bucks so they were all 5/4×8” wide and 9-11 feet long.

Even going at a slower feed I still get some very little knicks in it. The tearout isn’t huge or anything, but it’s the size of a beebee or similar. It’s just annoying to know it’s not smooth :)



-- Williamsburg, KY

12 replies so far

View Loren's profile


7967 posts in 2691 days

#1 posted 07-07-2011 02:43 AM

Maple does that. You can try dampening the surfaces with water
immediately before running through the planer – sometimes that
helps control tearout as it makes the surface fibers more flexible
or something.

The really committed solution is to put a 5 degree back-bevel on your
planer knives. It’s called double-bevel sharpening.


View Kevin's profile


462 posts in 2248 days

#2 posted 07-07-2011 02:52 AM

Thanks Loren,

Like I said it’s not really that big of tearouts, but being so darn picky like I am it’s annoying to say the least. I will try the dampening you suggested first as I mainly mill walnut and cherry right now. Not getting that silky smooth effect after jointing or planing was a little depressing, lol.


-- Williamsburg, KY

View MedicKen's profile


1607 posts in 2505 days

#3 posted 07-07-2011 03:53 AM

Loren is right…..Maple is notorious for tearing. Another trick, very light cuts and be sure of the grain direction. Also, you might try running the board at a slight angle through the planer, it is kinda like canting a hand plane to make it cut easier

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View Kevin's profile


462 posts in 2248 days

#4 posted 07-07-2011 04:02 AM

I think i’ve got my jointer at 1/32” right now, but my planer takes off more though, probably 1/16 on each pass. I’ve looked at the grain direction, but from what I can see it’s pretty much going down the middle, at least on the boards i’ve done so far. There isn’t any sloping from one end to the other.



-- Williamsburg, KY

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 2935 days

#5 posted 07-07-2011 05:13 AM

Try turning the board around. You may be running the wrong grain direction.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 2094 days

#6 posted 07-09-2011 05:43 AM

As Loren says, wet the boards and take LIGHT cuts. Also, is your planer hooked up to a dc? I found that sometimes chips not evacuated could cause slight tearout or divots. Mostly went away when I turned on the dc. Maple is a wooley-booger, but it’s worth it.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View Kevin's profile


462 posts in 2248 days

#7 posted 07-09-2011 08:12 PM


I tried turning the board around, but didn’t really make a difference. The planer isn’t hooked up to a DC, but after cleaning the planer and jointer free from chips and wetting the boards slightly the problems are gone.

Thanks to everyone !


PS: Just noticed Steve you are only about 60 north of me.

-- Williamsburg, KY

View NBeener's profile


4808 posts in 2217 days

#8 posted 07-09-2011 08:24 PM

Yup. Loren’s right.

Aside from being SURE your blades are sharp … that’s one reason people change out the knives for helical cutter heads


-- -- Neil

View Kevin's profile


462 posts in 2248 days

#9 posted 07-10-2011 11:14 PM

Yep Neil,

If I had the funds I would opt for those. Right now i’m making 30k less than I did a couple of years ago so the money is a little tighter these days :(

Next on my list is a DC, man I gotta get one of those soon :) Gonna have to find a good one that will be good for a Jointer, planer and TS. I will prob have blast gates and only use one machine with the DC at a time since it’s just me in my shop.



-- Williamsburg, KY

View blackcherry's profile


3231 posts in 2866 days

#10 posted 07-11-2011 01:09 AM

Loren recommended water the surface slightly, I use denature alcohol it work wonder on tiger maple and birdseye maple as well…hope this helps…Blkcherry

View rwachtell's profile


6 posts in 1524 days

#11 posted 08-13-2011 05:49 AM

I have planed a lot of curly maple both hard and soft. Curl rips easily especially the hard. The water trick works well for me and I use it often. However this summer I planed some wood on a very very humid day without wetting the wood and I had very little rip out in that batch. Now I’m curious about whether wood will plane with less rip out in humid weather. If anyone has any thoughts or experience with this situation please tell me about it.

Robert Wachtell

Weston CT

View Kevin's profile


462 posts in 2248 days

#12 posted 08-14-2011 04:23 AM

I used some more of my maple yesterday and used the water technique. Came out extremely smooth. It’s been really hot the past two months here in KY that it’s pretty much unbearable to try and do anything outside.

On another side note I found at the local flea market today a guy selling A LOT of different sizes raised panel doors that are solid maple for 4-8 bucks per door. They are unfinished, but hey I can’t even build them for that. He gets them from a cabinet shop so my guess is they are seconds or something else, but they are nice to say the least.


-- Williamsburg, KY

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