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working with bubinga (surfacing)

by NoSpace
posted 10-22-2018 03:37 AM


27 replies so far

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2528 posts in 2332 days


#1 posted 10-22-2018 03:57 AM

I think your one the right track. A card scraper is always a good try.
I’ve never used a scraper plane heard they can be tricky to set up right.
I’m very Allergic to bubinga so I haven’t used it in years. But I remember not being able to handplane it so I sanded.
Boy did I pay a price
Good luck

-- Aj

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10859 posts in 2020 days


#2 posted 10-22-2018 05:25 AM

I’d try to find a drum or wide belt sander

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5414 posts in 2843 days


#3 posted 10-22-2018 07:46 AM

Setting up a LN Scraper plane, covers your’s along with a couple others

https://youtu.be/tpgnS_zgE6Y

https://youtu.be/bHcgZiEOWPU

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2436 posts in 2524 days


#4 posted 10-22-2018 12:03 PM

You dont say what bevel angle is on the #62 iron. I have 1 iron for an LV BU smoother at 50 for working swirly grain. The 62 angle will prevent tear out in just about anything. A scraper plane is an excellent choice also – I have the LV. Wont tear out, but it takes some practice to set up and use. It can leave some little “cut” marks or blade stutter marks. A scraper plane is intended to take very light whisper thin cuts, and the amount of downward pressure can effect the cut. The fixed frog on that LN makes for a more finicky setup but it will do the job well. I dont think it flexes the iron, so the corners will need to be relieved slightly so no tracks are left. You may want to consider swapping the LN-85 for the LN -112 which has frog angle adjustment unless you have a specific need for the rabbit style. Here is my review of the LV scraper plane.

View NoSpace's profile

NoSpace

170 posts in 1775 days


#5 posted 10-22-2018 02:46 PM

Thanks all.

OSU—If trying another iron will help I’m game. it looks like this one is 25 degrees. It says “A2 12-142 25 (degrees)”

so I need to get an iron that’s 50 degrees? Do those other numbers I listed tell me anything i need to know to make sure the iron is the right size?

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2436 posts in 2524 days


#6 posted 10-22-2018 03:52 PM

Dont get too caught up in exact angles. Typical bd bench plane is 45° cut angle, and as you know steeper angles reduce tear out (and increase push force). You want to be in the 55-62° range, so if the bed angle for a LA plane is 12°, that would be 43-50° bevel or so. At times a 50° cut angle will do). You dont have to buy one you can regrind to the higher bevel, tho I will say it takes a while to do by hand, better to have a bench grinder. Find the highest bevel iron for your plane you can and grind it to where you want. Not sure hi angle irons are available for that plane. Getting another iron is best – wastes a lot of steel and time switching the same iron.

Edit: some searching turned up that the 25° bevel, Stanley p/n 12-142-1, is the only replacement available, and not that easy to come by. Link to stanley/bostitch parts https://servicenet.bostitch.com/Parts/Search?searchedNumber=12-142-1&searchType=1. ~$35 + shipping. I noticed Grizzly had them in stock for $55. Hock may make a blade for it.

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NoSpace

170 posts in 1775 days


#7 posted 10-23-2018 02:16 AM

thanks, yeah that’s a strike against the SW. Hock doesn’t and seems to have a low view of the SW. So, OSU, if you had to pick any plane by vendor (something currently available not made 200 years ago!) with iron to flatten crazy grain african woods, what would it be?

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NoSpace

170 posts in 1775 days


#8 posted 10-23-2018 03:55 AM

might have a limp-along solution for now. I also have a SW #4. Of course I’d tried it and the chatter was awful wheras the 62 no chatter but tearing out (lighting was bad and didn’t realize how severe the tear-out was as I was doing it).

but after the comments about a higher angle (btw, no i didn’t know that steeper angle reduces tear out!) I’ve given it another try backing the blade off to about nothing and gradually increasing. the shavings are stringy, but no tearout or chatter, looks like the part I’m working is clearing up. it might barely win the race against a 220 block sander but material is definitely getting removed.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2528 posts in 2332 days


#9 posted 10-23-2018 04:00 AM

If I remember correctly bubinga I had was high in slica. And unplaneable.
So I would be very surprised if you found a way but I’m rooting for you.
Good luck.

-- Aj

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2436 posts in 2524 days


#10 posted 10-23-2018 11:54 AM



thanks, yeah that s a strike against the SW. Hock doesn t and seems to have a low view of the SW. So, OSU, if you had to pick any plane by vendor (something currently available not made 200 years ago!) with iron to flatten crazy grain african woods, what would it be?

- NoSpace


A Veritas 4-1/2 custom plane with pm-v11 iron, 40 for end grain and 55 for swirly grain frogs. The only hesitation for me is which frog angles. Would also get the #7 custom for jointing. Another option is the Veritas large scraping plane, and the Mujingfang woody smoother 2” wide blade set at 62 about 8-9” long – only paid about $65 for it several yrs ago. It does require some tuning but works very well.

View Blindhog's profile

Blindhog

135 posts in 1583 days


#11 posted 10-23-2018 01:48 PM

I can only share what I learned working with bubinga for panels on a bed frame I recently completed. Resawed using 17” BS (no real problems) and then planed to 1/4” using shelix head on 735 DW planer. Planing went well with virtually no tear out. I tried scraping but that was pretty unsuccessful (or at least I gave up) and then used ROS to take down to 320 grit. I followed this up with Aqua Coat grain filler (that made a huge difference for the finish I wanted to use); GF Arm-R-Seal gloss.
Very pleased with the results, but as mentioned by others, the dust is very irritating and needs to be minimized with dust collection every step of the way.

Good luck with your project!

-- Don't let perfection get in the way of plenty good enough

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

973 posts in 1753 days


#12 posted 10-23-2018 04:33 PM



I’d try to find a drum or wide belt sander

- TheFridge

dang,fridge- you ok??? i thought ya woulda said,”id try to find alder.”

View NoSpace's profile

NoSpace

170 posts in 1775 days


#13 posted 10-24-2018 04:09 AM

to both comments so far about the dust—yeah, i think it’s making me sick. i’m pretty careful with dust (even have a laser counter) but even with a face mask on I’ll have sneezing bouts. well, i’m definitely not feeling right the last few monrings. I’m not prone to conspiracies, but i’d been thinking this dust is special somehow.

the #4 is getting material off, but it’s also making a glass-like surface – go figure—some parts went pretty fast but overall this is going to be many days of slow effort. stopping for today so i don’t do something stupid.

Aj, you probably had a much worse piece of wood than I do, I don’t think foreign materials are a problem here. ‘hog’s pictures there have far crazier grain than mine. lack of experience probably explains a lot for my issue. As I’ve selected the grain that appears “straight”, I imagine the waterfall stuff is much worse. Strangely though, on boards with the grain seeming to flow in one direction, the first 3 inches of board (width-wise) must be planed in one direction and the other 3 in the opposite direction even though it looks like the same pattern on both sides.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2528 posts in 2332 days


#14 posted 10-24-2018 04:22 AM

That’s sounds great, I’m glad the grain is mostly in your favor. Bubinga dust is my kryptonite :(
Good luck

-- Aj

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NoSpace

170 posts in 1775 days


#15 posted 11-17-2018 09:17 PM

Part of my problem is this is the desk i use for work so i can’t just work on it here and there, i have to clear things off and move it to do just about anything, so it’s really slow going.

Of course, the biggest problem is the Bubinga itself. My LN 85 scraper plane came in. It’s a fascinating tool, but not nearly aggressive enough to get material down, and so I figured if OSU55’s super no. 4 was the ultimate tool, i should at least get my SW no.4 passable, and with some more tuning it worked pretty well getting material down. didn’t tear out too much, but leaves nasty nicks. I’m finding that Bubinga is incredibly unforgiving, and the slightest nicks are highly visible.

The LN scraper is pretty incredible in its own right, it’s easy to set up and except for some highly aggressive cross-grain flattening i did, pretty much can’t tear out. It can leave mild cuts which are difficult to fix. Oh, and the blade has to be sharpened about every 10 to 20 minutes of use. Most of that need appears to be the “brandishing”. This wood gets glass-like, and flipping the blade over and gently running it over my sharpening diamond to curl the edge back on itself slightly is the difference between doing nothing and producing modest dust and proto-shavings.
(when “dull” enough to do nothing to the Bubinga, it still works fine for the walnut trim.)

For nicks the LN isn’t fixing, hand sanding does okay with lots of patience. Anything coarser than 120 grit appears pointless, I guess like trying to cut glass with a brick. The RO included: I bought 60 grit for it and does about nothing. So at this point its a circle; finger pressure with 120 to get nicks out, then some scraping, then the RO, and a small portion is clearing up. I’m actually considering the original belt sander suggestion, with 120 or even 220, they aren’t that expensive. power sanding has been the death of more than one project though so I don’t really want to go there.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2528 posts in 2332 days


#16 posted 11-17-2018 10:36 PM

Are you using sandpaper to sharpen ? Tell me your not using sandpaper.
Bulbinga is wood from hell.

-- Aj

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NoSpace

170 posts in 1775 days


#17 posted 11-18-2018 01:51 AM

lol, no, not using sandpaper. Nothing fancy, two basic dmt diamond whetstones. the sharpening process is about 2 minutes for the LN 85 because very easy to set.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2528 posts in 2332 days


#18 posted 11-18-2018 03:59 AM

I was reading your last paragraph trying to picture what your doing. I would like to try to help
So anyways I’m thinking your mixing handsanding with hand planing.
I apologize in advance for being so forward. But if you are the two then your really fighting a losing battle. Once sandpaper is introduced to wood handplanes should be put away.
The grit from the paper will drop into the pores and make it impossible to keep a proper edge on the blade.
Nothing wrong handsanding some woods are just impossible.
Be careful with bulbinga dust its the devils dandruff
Good Luck

-- Aj

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10859 posts in 2020 days


#19 posted 11-18-2018 04:18 AM

If I had to pick a plane. LN 4 w 55 degree frog. I have a 4-1/2 that’ll plane a burl so I believe in it.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2436 posts in 2524 days


#20 posted 11-18-2018 04:50 PM

It sounds like both the plane and scraper irons need to have the corners relieved so they dont leave tracks or marks. Scraper planes need careful set up – easy to take too much of a cut, a little offcenter, the plane goes sideways and leaves a cut. Its tempting to use them more like a plane but you end up working against yourself. Agree with others that you dont use sandpaper until all planing and scraping are complete. The LN85 does not bow the iron so its important to relieve corners.

View NoSpace's profile

NoSpace

170 posts in 1775 days


#21 posted 11-18-2018 10:24 PM

I wasn’t aware of the rule about not planing after sanding, but I am in a bit of a bind, this morning being a great example. A 13×20 inch section and I can’t get a scraping no matter what direction I move the plane in. Resharpened and set up twice and nothing. Finally got some scuff at one corner and was able to work that for a while. But a really bad patch I wanted to fix wouldn’t catch the blade at all. So I hand sanded it for 20 minutes, and after that, I could make modest progress with the 85. I could go all sanding maybe, but even finger pressure leaves little valleys and the scraper fixes those.

as for the cuts, yeah, some of it may be the blade off center but I do check for that and camber the edges when I sharpen and watch for where the shavings are coming from. the cuts happen once in maybe 100+ plane pushes, but one time on this wood is enough to ruin that section. The way the bad lines happen is when I’m lucky to get a shaving by pushing the plane nearly sideways along the grain and the blade gets into a “groove”, but don’t follow through hard enough with the push.

using the scraper like a plane is probably a fair criticism though.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2528 posts in 2332 days


#22 posted 11-18-2018 10:42 PM

Do you check your progress with a short and long straight edge. It’s good to keep track of the dips and hills. They can form over night . When this happens to be I will sometimes stick something underneath to push up a low spot.
The shape of your bench can influence the flatness. Esp if there’s a dip right where you dont want one.

-- Aj

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2436 posts in 2524 days


#23 posted 11-18-2018 11:43 PM

No frog tilt or blade bow make the ln85 much more tidious to get set just right, and really hard wood needs to have a just right set up. It sounds like it needs just a bit less depth, maybe only 1/2 thousandth. Try using a piece of clean glass with thin shims under the toe to set blade depth. May only take a piece of paper or masking tape. No blade hook is recommended for the 85, and with wood that hard you may mainly get dust. You could try it with a hook – blade depth will be more critical. If you have to skew more then 30deg, the blade is too deep. It will not cut everywhere – means you have hi spots that need worked down, not more blade depth. Best not to skew the scraper much at all. It takes some experience to use a scraper plane, they are a bit unique, but work well once figured out.

View NoSpace's profile

NoSpace

170 posts in 1775 days


#24 posted 11-29-2018 04:29 AM

I do have a straight edge i use to keep it “more or less” flat. unfortunately, i went into battle too quickly and didn’t have enough stock to make sure all my veneers were thick enough. I would have continued with the planer on the Bubinga veneers with extra light passes (the knotty part breaking up got cut off anyway).

I do set up my 85 on glass using it’s own prop 65 warning as the shim. It worked great for certain portions of the job up to a point. On the side that wasn’t working maybe i was impatient or something, i ended up getting some use out of it.

well, there was trim and one more construction part to do and now everything is done except surfacing. I discovered yesterday that while the RO with 60 grit doesn’t do much, I bought a pack of regular 60 as I’ve been out of it, and that is getting me some results. I feel like some perseverance with the 60 grit and a small wood block is going to get me through this before xmas.

(again, i work at this desk everyday all day and so i can’t work on it like i would a normal project)

thanks guys.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10859 posts in 2020 days


#25 posted 11-29-2018 07:01 AM

For a bench plane I relieve the edges as well so they don’t track or leave harsh lines.

For a vintage plane I’ll hone the face of the chipbreaker 80deg and set it so you only see the tiniest sliver of the iron.

As far as scraping goes. I have had great luck scraping cocobolo and some other species in that neighborhood of hardness with a card scraper. I’d lean toward something not quite right with your sharpening regimen but I’m not usin the tools so it’s hard to judge. A slightly coarse edge will cut but it will be brittle and dull faster. I could be way off.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View NoSpace's profile

NoSpace

170 posts in 1775 days


#26 posted 12-03-2018 04:50 AM

well you win fridge, my makita 9903 arrived today. there were a few sections beyond my ability to take down any other way. between that and 60 grit on block making good progress.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10859 posts in 2020 days


#27 posted 12-03-2018 06:28 AM

Progress is progress :)

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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