dull planer blades and water based stain

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Forum topic by skidiot posted 10-05-2018 03:41 AM 500 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View skidiot's profile


85 posts in 4720 days

10-05-2018 03:41 AM

Hi all,

I have just discovered that dull planer blades will cause water based stains/finishes to raise the grain more than if the blades are sharp. I have been working on a project and the first part I used dull blades. The 2nd part I changed to brand new blades. Even after sanding all parts to the same smoothness the parts made with the dull blades come out very rough after staining with water based stain. The parts made with the new blades stay smooth. All parts were made form the same wood. The only thing I can think the cause would be is the dull blades pull the wood fibers up. Way down into the board. Even after sanding the fibers are looser and the stain can penetrate and cause the grain to rise up. Any thoughts?

Thanks Skidiot

-- skidiot northern illinois

3 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


3816 posts in 2873 days

#1 posted 10-05-2018 04:00 AM

This is what I’m think purely speculation. The dull blade compresses the wood fiber more before they are cut or severed. One example would be a wet kitchen sponge. And super sharp knife will start separating the sponge with a lot less force then a dull knife.
Very interesting topic to me. my favorite part of woodworking is milling or cutting wood.

-- Aj

View OSU55's profile


2792 posts in 3064 days

#2 posted 10-05-2018 12:36 PM

Its possible you didnt sand the dull blade surface enough, ie the dull blades left deeper marks. While the surface feels smooth there are still marks. Research trace coating. Did you prewet the surface to raise grain and light sand before staining? Agree the dull blades could compress fibers more, but with preraising the grain it wouldnt matter. I prefer hand planes to sanding – I get a more perfect surface for finishing.

View theart's profile


233 posts in 1629 days

#3 posted 10-05-2018 12:49 PM

Another possibility is that the dull blades are pulling at the wood fibers more as they’re being cut. Like shaving with a dull razor. That would leave a surface with a lot of splintery little hairs that are going to swell when they get wet.

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