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Forum topic by Kiwi2 posted 06-12-2009 06:41 PM 1655 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Kiwi2's profile


2 posts in 3235 days

06-12-2009 06:41 PM

My problem is with tearout (TO) on a board I am preparing for glue to make a mission table top. The tearout is situated all around a knot, this in it’s self I understand is not unusual, but I have run out of solutions for this board.

I am using Doug Fir and have jointed and planed this board which came out with the tear out around the knot ( newly sharpened blades in the jointer and planer). The TO is too deep to sand or scrape at this point. So I took the approach that I would hand plane out the TO with my Bailey #7. It has a brand new Hock blade, lapped flat and is taking whisper thin transparent curly shavings. No matter what angle I attack it from, I still get TO, both on the board and in my hair. (can’t afford to loose anymore of that !)

Since I am relatively new to wood working, do I have anymore options with this? Am I using the wrong techniques for hand planing or should I be using a different technique/tool for the job? Is this one of those woods and situations that could only be fixed by a drum sander, as this wood and knot cannot be planed due to the grain around the knot? Should I just be looking at repairing the TO by filling?

Appreciate any input I can get. Thanks.

10 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4183 days

#1 posted 06-12-2009 07:10 PM

In my experience it’s not uncommon to run across a knot that you just can’t get really smooth. I would fill it if I were you. A grain filler will work for minor imperfections. If the tearout is deep, I’d go with clear epoxy or fiberglass.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3613 days

#2 posted 06-12-2009 07:32 PM

what angle is the blade on your #7 (higher angle workd better for knoty/difficult grain)? also , try not to plane through the entire knot with it – only plane to the middle of the knot from each direction – so that you do not plane the grain on the ‘other’ side of the knot (which is flowing in the opposite directiob == tear out)

Welcome to Lumberjocks!

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

View gbvinc's profile


628 posts in 3911 days

#3 posted 06-12-2009 07:56 PM

You could fill the deep tearout with epoxy as Charles said. As far as avoiding it, I use a scraper and drum sander to skip that problem, when I think it is going to occur.

View a1Jim's profile


117062 posts in 3541 days

#4 posted 06-13-2009 07:11 AM

Hey Kiwi2
Epoxy is one choice another fix is to route out and inlay design to cover the defect.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3555 days

#5 posted 06-13-2009 08:15 AM

If you can stand to loose some more material and you don’t have a drum sander you could use a belt sander. I think scraping and planing will still present a problem, so sanding is probably the best alternative at this point. Otherwise I like the routing out and inlay idea or the epoxy

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3406 days

#6 posted 06-13-2009 09:59 AM

I find douglas fir tears out anyway. you could fill it with superglue mixed with sawdust for a invisible solution to the problem.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View Kiwi2's profile


2 posts in 3235 days

#7 posted 06-13-2009 05:06 PM

Thanks for all your ideas, great to know I can get such valuable input at moments notice! Now I just have to go and decide on which one to us, decisions decisions.

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

943 posts in 3358 days

#8 posted 06-13-2009 05:38 PM

I prepared a buch of 14’ long shelves for a client, Douglas fir, same issues.
Big problem with that wood is, dark grain is very hard, but bright grain is very soft, PLUS the difficult grain at knobs sections. Let me tell you, I tried all kind of handplanes on that, even a Veritas Bevel up with a 50 degrees bevel that I reserve for “better” woods….

I would suggest three things:
1. Grab a long piece of “roll” sand paper, 2’ ~ 3’ long and glue it on a piece of MDF, and just use it to sand downd the top.
2. The router Sledge.
3. Take the top with a local Millwork ~Doors shop, so they will put it through a Drum sander.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3251 days

#9 posted 06-13-2009 07:24 PM

From a production standpoint, I would always use my widebelt sander for any difficult grain instead of my planer. A belt sander would do as well. (As Moai said, you could take it to a commercial shop.)
For someone sold on doing things strictly with hand tools, there is not a good way to totally prevent tearout, especially around a knot. The solutions already suggested, to fill with something might be the best option then.


View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3523 days

#10 posted 06-13-2009 07:34 PM

I have used CA glue for tearout and have had no problems. That is what we use on a daily basis at work when we have some tearout. It will also take stain or paint.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

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