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Posted on How does one tell 'grain direction' for planing...

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3436 posts in 1902 days

#1 posted 12-19-2018 02:45 PM

Yes it definitely does Jim!! Reading grain direction is not always a straightforward thing.

I usually look at the edge of the board and follow the grain. The direction the grain is rising to the top is the grain direction. The other side of the board will be the opposite direction—usually ;-) ;-).

If the board had a cathedral pattern on the face, then look at the end of the board. On the outside of the board (rings curving up/top of tree up) plane into the points, inside of tree plane with the points (check me on this LJ’s)

On some species of wood such as mahogany or walnut, or figured wood it can be very difficult to read the grain. Also, on any particular board the grain can be indeterminate, it can even go one way, then reverse. If there is a knot in the board you will have an issue, too.

Bottom line I find it easier to read the edge of the board, then look at the face and evaluate for swirls or knots. On highly figured boards, I don’t even run them through a planer, I do it by hand. That is where a spiral head planer helps.

There are many good article on reading grain.

Hope this has helped you.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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