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Surface planing black walnut by hand without tearout?

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Forum topic by SMP posted 03-20-2019 06:18 PM 204 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SMP

629 posts in 238 days


03-20-2019 06:18 PM

Wasn’t sure whether to post this here or in another section. I am fairly new to hand tools. I have various planes that I have tuned up. In this case I have an old Stanley #4 that I tuned up and sharpened the iron, etc to use as a smoother. It works great on everything I have tried it on to this point, alder, maple, cherry, oak, etc. Now I am building a small item from black walnut, and using this #4 on the edges and even end grain is fine. I can tell right away when going against the grain, and when I reverse its nice and smooth. But surface planning is another story. I set the iron to not cut at all, then very slowly dial down the iron and just when its barely cutting I hear the dreaded sound like skiing on ice and it tears out patches. I then reverse direction and it tears out that way as well. Am I doing something wrong? Is it something inherent in walnut or maybe the type of cut? Now I am scared to use the plane anymore on this particular plank. Should I just sand? Or try a different technique?


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bondogaposis

5326 posts in 2684 days


#1 posted 03-20-2019 07:44 PM

No, you are not doing anything wrong and no, walnut isn’t any worse than the other woods you mentioned. What you probably have is some figured wood where the grain gets squirrelly and runs in a couple of different directions. It is common problem with figured woods or in the area around knots. When this happens that is when I reach for my card scraper first and then if that doesn’t work I resort to sanding.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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SMP

629 posts in 238 days


#2 posted 03-20-2019 07:50 PM



No, you are not doing anything wrong and no, walnut isn t any worse than the other woods you mentioned. What you probably have is some figured wood where the grain gets squirrelly and runs in a couple of different directions. It is common problem with figured woods or in the area around knots. When this happens that is when I reach for my card scraper first and then if that doesn t work I resort to sanding.

- bondogaposis

I learned the hard way around knots :) . THis particular area is knot free, and at first glance it looks pretty straight in this area. I’ll try to take some pictures later and post them. I’m still learning to read grain for this type of thing. Also, I tried using my card scraper, but still learning how to sharpen that thing. I am getting kind of short “shavings” and dust vs fine shavings.

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