Need Help With Qtr Sawn White Oak Smoothing

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Forum topic by Kv0nT posted 10-07-2012 10:33 PM 3532 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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84 posts in 2329 days

10-07-2012 10:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: oak hand plane white oak quarter sawn smoothing planing bed question

I am making a bed out of quarter-sawn white oak with big 1.25×3.75 side and head/foot beams.

The flake is pretty radical on parts of the board and I am having difficulty hand planing them to their final smoothness. I’ll list my hand planes here:

Veritas 4 1/2 smoother
Vintage Stanley #5
Vintage Stanley #7
Vintage Stanley 60 1/2 block
Vintage Stanley 110 block

I am at the point where I am using my 4 1/2 which generally works great. However, the wood around really concentrated flake tends to pull up leaving me with voids. I have my plane set to take a very very fine shaving.

What can I do to reduce this kind of tear-out?

9 replies so far

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3154 days

#1 posted 10-07-2012 10:43 PM

kv0nt, if you must stay with hand power, you can try using a toothing plane which does a good job of dealing with radical grain that is hard to smooth. Additionally, have you tried using a cabinet scraper or card scraper? If you are dealing with tearout in a localized area, they might be the better alternative.

Good Luck.

-- Mike

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 3038 days

#2 posted 10-07-2012 10:50 PM

If you’re down to just sanding then card scraper or a stanley 112 is the best way to go.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2312 days

#3 posted 10-07-2012 11:33 PM

I prefer high angle (55-62+ degree) planes on QSWO, and stuff like tiger and birdseye maple. They handle grain reversals nicely. I touch up with 320 grit under a hard felt block or sharp scraper.

You could try adding a 5 degree back bevel to the #4 1/2.

For a proof of concept, you could resharpen the bevel 60 1/2 to a 55 degree effective cutting angle and test on scrap. It’s easy to put a bevel up back to the stock bevel, so you don’t have much to lose.

View chrisstef's profile (online now)


17762 posts in 3208 days

#4 posted 10-08-2012 12:33 AM

I went to a #80 on some semi curly maple and it really helped but i dunno if id wanna scrape an entire bed. CPB has the ticket …. higher angle.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Kv0nT's profile


84 posts in 2329 days

#5 posted 10-08-2012 12:59 AM

I don’t really want to put a back bevel on my 4 1/2 so I think I’m going to get a scraping insert for my #5.

Other than that, any suggestions for securely shimming up the iron on my 4 1/2 to achieve a higher angle without making it completely useless?

View BobLang's profile


160 posts in 3602 days

#6 posted 10-08-2012 10:26 AM

Before you back bevel or shim, try this. Get the iron on the 4 1/2 or the 5 as sharp as you possibly can. Set the cap iron as close to the edge as you can. Look at the edge of the board (90 degrees to the surface you want to plane) for rising grain. Plane uphill. If the grain reverses, you may need to take short strokes in both directions, or approach at an angle.

-- Bob Lang,

View AandCstyle's profile


3179 posts in 2459 days

#7 posted 10-08-2012 02:42 PM

I’d use one of these, but I’m guessing that isn’t your style. :D

-- Art

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4095 days

#8 posted 10-08-2012 03:27 PM

If you are bent on using hand planes …. I sometimes plane (razor sharp )the boards almost perpendicular to the grain and finish with a hand scraper.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4095 days

#9 posted 10-08-2012 03:29 PM

I might add, that when tear out occurs, I put a pencil circle around it, thus letting me know that I have to approach that area from a different perspective before so much damage occurs that fixing it is not possible. Sneak up on it so to speak.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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