Author Topic: Hand planing curly maple - minimizing tear out  (Read 7367 times)

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Offline mattcville

  • Posts: 12
Hand planing curly maple - minimizing tear out
« on: January 01, 2013, 11:19 AM »
I am working with curly maple for the first time and am having trouble with tear out on some
picture frames I am making. My L-N 4 1/2 smoother with a 50 degree frog which works so well on cherry and fairly well on figured
walnut is not achieving the same results with curly maple. I'm not sure what to try next. Choices are a 55 degree frog, putting
a small back bevel on the plane blade, increasing the bevel angle on a #62 bevel up low angle block plane, getting a scraper plane, or throwing in the towel
and going straight to my random orbital disc sander.

Does dampening the wood with water help? I don't like the idea of putting nice tools at risk for
getting rust, but have heard of some people suggest trying this. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has experience working with curly maple
as to which techniques work the best with this type of wood.

 

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Offline pugilato

  • Posts: 579
  • Pugilato is not really my name... Andy
Re: Hand planing curly maple - minimizing tear out
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2013, 03:03 PM »
An RO90 should do you well, with the hard pad. I used curly maple once to build a couple of boxes and had the same problem.

Offline woodguy7

  • Posts: 2727
Re: Hand planing curly maple - minimizing tear out
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2013, 04:45 PM »
This might sound strange but have you tried a low angle smoother ?  I have heard that dampening the surface with a damp sponge works but never tried it.

If its made of wood, i can make it smaller.
Shirt size medium
p.s- ive started reading these too

Offline RL

  • Posts: 3039
Re: Hand planing curly maple - minimizing tear out
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2013, 05:22 PM »
I recently had great success planing birds eye maple with a 5 1/2 LN plane, with a 55 degree frog. No back bevel. It was a really sharp blade and I sharpened it quite frequently.

No sanding was necessary. straight to shellac.



Offline Nick C

  • Posts: 158
Re: Hand planing curly maple - minimizing tear out
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2013, 05:32 PM »
Misting the surface from a spray bottle should help. Let the water soak in for a few seconds, then wipe off any that might have pooled on the surface. The high angle should help, too, but the blade has to be very sharp. A scraper plane is an excellent idea. LN makes very nice ones. I have the small one, which might be suficient for picture frames. I also have a cabinet scraper (Lee Valley/Veritas) that I sometimes use in this situation. Also very nice.

Offline downtheroad

  • Posts: 126
Re: Hand planing curly maple - minimizing tear out
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 06:47 AM »
Another thing that may help is moving the chipbreaker closer to the cutting edge. This works well for me using my japanese planes on difficult woods.
Tony

Offline waho6o9

  • Posts: 1402
    • Garage Door Handyman.com
Re: Hand planing curly maple - minimizing tear out
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2013, 08:51 AM »
http://www.rpwoodwork.com/blog/

Here's some info for ya

Offline mattcville

  • Posts: 12
Re: Hand planing curly maple - minimizing tear out
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2013, 03:08 PM »
Thanks for all the tips. The common theme seems to be a higher angle of attack (> 50 degrees),
very sharp blade and extremely thin cuts.

Matt


Offline Nick C

  • Posts: 158
Re: Hand planing curly maple - minimizing tear out
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2013, 11:44 PM »
I just had the opportunity to audition some Lee Valley hand planes at the Baltimore woodworking show. I found what might be the perfect solution for figured woods like this--the Veritas bevel-up smoothing plane. The combination of the the bedding angle and the blade bevel give the "angle of attack," which can be modified simply by changing the grind angle. Lee Valley actually sells blades with a variety of grind angles just for this purpose. A lot easier to change out the blade rather than the frog, as would be required on a traditional bevel-down plane. In spite of this advantage, I had been reluctant to try a bevel-up smoother, due to its one weakness--there is no chip breaker, and even if there were, it could not be close enough to the cutting edge to do much good. But it seems that for certain figured woods--curly maple, bird's-eye maple, etc.--conventional chips are not the problem. Rather, the little "defects" that give the wood its special appeal are susceptible to being lifted and torn from the wood. Since no splinter is formed, there is nothing to "break," so the shearing action of the blade is sufficient to provide a smooth finish. I tried the (full size) bevel-up smoother on some curly maple at the Lee Valley booth, and it did a great job. I have used a bevel-down #4-1/2 smoother, with a 50deg pitch, for 40 years, but I'm going to add the bevel-up version to my arsenal!

Offline woodguy7

  • Posts: 2727
Re: Hand planing curly maple - minimizing tear out
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2013, 03:15 AM »
Did try to tell ya  [poke]
If its made of wood, i can make it smaller.
Shirt size medium
p.s- ive started reading these too