Stubborn gray marks left on maple

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Forum topic by hiswillus posted 01-25-2013 09:36 AM 1129 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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70 posts in 1945 days

01-25-2013 09:36 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Have a question that if anybody could help me out with I’d be eternally grateful. I’m a noob hand tool woodworker working on my first project. Got this cutting board sanded down to 80 grit and have been sanding this surface all day trying to bring this board to perfection. As I got closer and closer I noticed these vague grey diagonal markings that are obviously from my plane iron. At first I chalked it up to sanding always seems like it takes forever but after a full days sanding I’m beginning to wonder if these things will ever disappear. I’m not so concerned with the marks as they are, but that they will be amplified once I apply my finish.

I used a 30 year old wood plane with it’s original blade. I’m wondering what I should do. I have no qualms about working hard and long to achieve a quality result, I’m just wondering if when I get it there that the board will be ridiculously thin.

Two thoughts I had were that I oil my blade with WD-40 after sharpening and that possibly the oil got into the wood but every rectangle on the board has this marking and that seems like more oil than I put on my blade (wiped with a cotton cloth). Only other thought is the marking is from the iron itself. When I found the plane it was neglected so I sanded her off, ground it down, and sharpened it up.

Any help would be great, Thanks,


7 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10479 posts in 3425 days

#1 posted 01-25-2013 12:51 PM

Try some Acetone, Lacquer thinner or denatured alcohol. If the stain (?) is petroleum based, one of those should get it off. Neither raises the grain.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3458 days

#2 posted 01-25-2013 01:04 PM

First of all, what size plane and how was the blade sharpened? It looks like marks left behind from an improperly sharpened plane iron. If it is a smoothing plane, i.e. #4, 4 1/2, 5 etc the iron should have a slight camber to eliminate the ridges seen and felt.

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

View Arminius's profile


304 posts in 3800 days

#3 posted 01-25-2013 01:08 PM

It is probably a mix of the WD-40 and small fragments from the blade. WD-40 is not great to use on a plane blade for exactly this reason, a little bit can stain a lot of surface area. Any sort of plant-based oil will be much better, I use jojoba or camelia.

When you sand, you are grinding the particles back in, though probably getting rid of the oil. The best way I can think of would be to remove that layer with a clean and sharp plane. Gene’s suggestion is probably the best alternative, you should be able to lift any slurry.

View lwllms's profile


555 posts in 3278 days

#4 posted 01-25-2013 01:36 PM

It actually looks and is located, running with the rays, like fungal stain which is a drying defect. Is it in other pieces cut from the same stock or even the other side of your cutting board? If it’s fungal stain, it can run pretty deep into the end grain of stock. You can lighten it with oxalic acid if it’s fungal stain. I doubt you’ll sand it out without removing

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2283 days

#5 posted 01-25-2013 02:05 PM

WD40 penetrates and removes any oxidation lifting it to the surface. Try some denatured alcohol in a tub and soak that stuff off and then wax the plane with a good paste wax.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View hiswillus's profile


70 posts in 1945 days

#6 posted 01-25-2013 02:30 PM

Thanks guys! It seems along with other advise from other sources that there is some fungi in there as it is semetrical in each and every piece. Thank you also all for the recommendations for caring for my plane blade. I’ll defiantly engage the practices ;)

View tamboti's profile


207 posts in 3138 days

#7 posted 01-25-2013 02:33 PM

Hi What you have is sap stain and not from WD 40.the bases of WD 40 is fish oil. To remove the sap stain get oxalic acid
from your local pharmacy. Mix a past and apply to the marks, leave on for a few minutes 3-5 and wipe of with water.
this should remove the stain down to a millimeter or two.May need a few applications suggest trying on a piece of scrape with the same stains. Hope this helps Tamboti

-- Africa is not for sissies

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