Need Help With Qtr Sawn White Oak Smoothing

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Forum topic by Kv0nT posted 683 days ago 1193 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Kv0nT's profile


82 posts in 753 days

683 days ago

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


760 posts in 1578 days

#1 posted 683 days ago

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


1533 posts in 1461 days

#2 posted 683 days ago

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 CessnaPilotBarry's profile


885 posts in 736 days

#3 posted 683 days ago

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.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View chrisstef's profile


10641 posts in 1632 days

#4 posted 683 days ago

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.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Kv0nT's profile


82 posts in 753 days

#5 posted 683 days ago

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


98 posts in 2026 days

#6 posted 682 days ago

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


1286 posts in 883 days

#7 posted 682 days ago

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

-- Art

View Moron's profile


4666 posts in 2519 days

#8 posted 682 days ago

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


4666 posts in 2519 days

#9 posted 682 days ago

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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