Planing quest.

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Forum topic by Mark posted 06-06-2013 09:05 PM 826 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mark's profile


919 posts in 2004 days

06-06-2013 09:05 PM

Afternoon all. I’m attempting to plane a Cherry table top I glued up. 3- 4/4 X 5 X54” long, total width= 15”.
I’m using a #5 Stanley and a 7” Footloose finishing plane. I believe both planes are sharp as I can shave the arm hair. I’m getting a large amount of tear out. I think I screwed up and didn’t orientate the grain flow when I did the glue up. The bottom cleaned up not to bad but the top looks ugly (with the tear outs). The bottom has a few knots etc…that’s why it’s the bottom. Any thoughts and or advise would be great and much appreciated. Thanks
PS. I’m getting tear out no matter if I go with the grain or against it. If I raise the blade any more I won’t cut.

-- Mark

6 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3677 days

#1 posted 06-06-2013 09:11 PM

one word – scraping!

use the #5 to take off the high spots
use the #7 to get the tap fairly flat and straight

obviously for above steps , since your boards are oriented in reverse you will have to attache the grain from both directions – depending on which board you are working on . you can try to attack the grain at 45 degree angle to minimize tear out . also extend blade as little as possible to avoid deep gauges.

once flat – move to scraper to clean up all those tornout areas, and smooth out the scraping action to blend those with the rest of the table and smooth the entire top out evenly.

sounds more laborious than it really is

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View shampeon's profile


1775 posts in 2212 days

#2 posted 06-06-2013 09:14 PM

+1 on using a scraper, and PurpLev’s advice generally.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2067 days

#3 posted 06-06-2013 09:19 PM

When you say “with the grain” do you mean “with the grain” or just parallel to the grain? If the grain is running north-south it might also be running up/down a bit. You want to plane so the “up” part is away from you. It’s harder to describe than to do so I’m sure someonelse can point to a picture online.

Also try skewing the plane as you go – cut with the grain but hold the plane at an angle so insteadof having the entire 2-3/8” of blade trying to cut at once you get a slicing motion.

And then when it’s flat enough to see the finish-line pull out the scraper.

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View bandit571's profile


20268 posts in 2712 days

#4 posted 06-06-2013 09:41 PM

Move the frogs forward a bit, to close up the mouths, way less tear out that way. Just barely enough room for the shaving to come through, is all you need.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Mark's profile


919 posts in 2004 days

#5 posted 06-07-2013 02:53 AM

Thank you all for the input gents. I’ve tried all your suggestions and it’s working out quite well, ‘cept fer the divot that I can damn near hide in. The scraper is working well so I think I can fix that one as well. Starting with the 4/4 was a bonus as opposed to 3/4” dimension lumber. Thanks again.

-- Mark

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15369 posts in 2647 days

#6 posted 06-07-2013 04:00 AM

^ That is good news!!!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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