Hand plane leaving marks on pine

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Forum topic by jtruc34 posted 09-08-2019 08:29 PM 754 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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32 posts in 819 days

09-08-2019 08:29 PM


I’m new to woodworking, so please excuse my ignorance. Two days ago, I was playing with my new no. 4 Clifton plane on a junk pine board, and was amazed of being able to let so easily a glass smooth surface.

When I played again the next day, it worked a lot less well. I know I changed some things but no matter what I adjusted, I couldn’t avoid leaving mark on the wood. Here they are:

I thought it could be the iron that I scratched accidentally, but it doesn’t seem to be that bad:

I thought it could be the sole, but when I rubbed the plane one the wood with the blade off, it didn’t leave any scratches.

Plus, I also had a lot more tear out than the day before. I tried with the cap iron extremely close to the edge and with a really tight mouth, but I still had tear out when I hadn’t any the day before: It isn’t awfully bad from my perspective but still less good than one day before.

What could have happened?

Thank you.

6 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5361 posts in 5247 days

#1 posted 09-08-2019 09:16 PM

Just a guess, but are you planning AGAINST the grain direction?
Is there a slight camber on the iron? The camber will help prevent plane “tracks”.
Taking fine shavings?

-- [email protected]

View jtruc34's profile


32 posts in 819 days

#2 posted 09-08-2019 09:25 PM

I’m taking really fine shaving. It isn’t plane tracks because the board is narrow and I’m only planning in the middle of the blade.

I’m going with the grain, I was very careful!

Actually, I’ve experienced a bit more (for a complete newbie, 4 days is a lot!), and I noticed those marks are present everywhere in the wood, they are probably cracks in a bad quality wood (it is just an old piece of junk that was laying by there).

I think I should try a little bit more by myself before asking. I’m answering many of my questions by experiencing with the wood. Time let me think about things, and often I find the solution before sleeping, haha.

Thank you.

View Eric's profile


216 posts in 1525 days

#3 posted 09-08-2019 10:03 PM

Welcome! Stupid question, did you sharpen the blade or are you running the factory edge? Ive found that a fresh edge done properly is critical for good results with my hand planes. No matter how good the plane is and a Clifton is a nice one!

-- Eric

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32 posts in 819 days

#4 posted 09-08-2019 10:53 PM


No I sharpen the edge and go as high as I could even if Paul Seller said it wasn’t necessary at all. It really isn’t much more work and a razor sharp blade is always fun to play with.

View OleGrump's profile


581 posts in 1632 days

#5 posted 09-10-2019 10:42 PM

Plus one on the “Welcome Aboard”. OK, The plane is leaving tracks in your pine. Usually, there are three main causes for this problem: 1. The blade is not cambered at the edges. (Yours has a nice camber) 2. The lateral adjustment for the blade is not set correctly, causing one side of the blade to sit lower than the other. 3. The sole of the plane is not square to the blade. These are the first three conditions one should check.
You should check the lateral adjustment lever to make sure your blade is sitting correctly. How is your chip breaker set? It should be just about 1/8” back from the edge of the blade. (Even though you sometimes hear “experts” offer unsolicited highly theoretical advise based on geometric probabilities, rather than actual plane use) Just to be safe, check and make sure there is nothing that has gotten stuck between the blade and the chip breaker or even the behind the blade. Even “old junk wood” (and we ALL have it!) should plane up nicely.
Be careful, hand planing is known to be addictive………. 8^)

-- OleGrump

View bandit571's profile (online now)


30073 posts in 3970 days

#6 posted 09-10-2019 11:06 PM

The edges of the plane’s body can also mark the surface of the wood…..IF the corner where the sole meets the sides of the base are a sharp 90 degrees….ease that corner just a bit. and see what happens to the marks.

There may also be a burr in the mouth opening…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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