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Plane on a top headache

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by KWhatley, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. KWhatley

    KWhatley Tele-Holic

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    I'm having a dumb moment here as I can't understand why when I use a plane on a bookmatched top one side of the face (call it the left side) planes smooth but tears out on the other (right side) in the same direction. My brains telling me that that if I allow for the fact the left side grain direction is sloping off to say the left then the right side should be opposite and just require a slight direction shift while planing, not a complete opposite?

    The wood in question has been sliced lengthways and opened like a book and joined. Which to my understanding is what book matching is?

    Someone wanna take a min to explain this to me before my brain melts, poors out of my ear and gets soaked up by sawdust and plane curls? Pretty please?
     
  2. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

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    Pictures might help, and close ups of the grains and tear outs.
     
  3. KWhatley

    KWhatley Tele-Holic

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  5. wmprivett

    wmprivett Tele-Meister

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    Have you tried rotating the wood 180 degrees counter clockwise and then plane the problem side? Just thinking that the plane is cutting the top of the easy side but since it's book matched, it's cutting underneath that good side. Rotating it might give you the same grain direction. In other words, plane your blank on the left side of the glue joint by rotating it counter clockwise. For complete disclosure, I'm not a professional woodworker but I try to play one on the weekends when I can. That's what I'd experiment with first.
     
  6. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity

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    Bookmatching would cause grain to change directions. What would be planing in the direction of the grain on one side could be planing into the grain on the other side. I'd say you have to read the grain from the edges too. Maybe you've got curl in there too where it would be better to use a drum sander.
     
  7. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    that is because of the grain direction being reversed on one side.... a panel sander is the solution... Planing isn;t gonna do it... unless you have an extremely sharp spiral headed planer... then . . you only take off microns at a time...

    Ron Kirn
     
  8. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Tele-Afflicted

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    -KMW-
    All the guys are right. The slope of the grain will reverse on the "other" side of a bookmatched panel. The best smooth plane out there would have to be set up extremely fine to get away with this situation with curly maple and also have a steeper than standard pitch (plane geeks call this a "York" pitch). You can drum sand it or hand sand it as an alternative, or if you really dig shavings, a cabinet scraper (or even better a scraper plane like an old Stanley #12 or #112) will make it baby-butt smooth with no tearout.

    I'm an "old tools" guy so guess what I vote for? But do whatever works for you. If you reverse the direction of your plane strokes to match the grain of each side it'll work but you'll have to avoid the glue line area, maybe just sand that part.

    Best of luck,
    Rex
     
  9. richinva

    richinva Tele-Meister

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    Maybe it's just the pic, but that doesn't look bookmatched to me.......
     
  10. piece of ash

    piece of ash Friend of Leo's

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    A hard flat sanding block and 80 grit is your friend here. A plane is a classic tool... learning how to sharpen one and how to use it is long process.
     
  11. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Tele-Afflicted

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    Good point. I see what you mean there in the pic, but regardless the physics of the grain orientation on a bookmatched panel are as described by the (wiser than me) former respondents. Too, the panel pictured is responding to the plane consistent with how a bookmatched panel would.

    Peace,
    Rex
     
  12. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    +1. If it's a handplane you're using, you're best off planing the halves of the top from opposite directions after it's glued. This is why I do most of my smoothing before I glue up a top panel.

    I've had luck on some woods taking really, really fine cuts diagonally with a block plane after bookmatching, but I was surprised that it worked.
     
  13. '59_Standard

    '59_Standard Tele-Holic

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    You might find #7 by Chris Swartz and interesting read on skewing.
     
  14. richinva

    richinva Tele-Meister

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  15. KWhatley

    KWhatley Tele-Holic

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    Wow, thank you to everyone that responded. My poor brain is still trying to get around the whole reversing of the grain. I could grasp it easy enough if the panel were sawn in half then flipped lengthways but makes no sense to me when just opening sideways booklike. But I'll read the link provided and poar through all these replies in detail until it does :grin:

    The planing is fine if I go in opposite directs on each side as people mentioned but leaves the glue line area as an issue.

    To explain how my noggin is working on this :- put your hands together, thumbs up like for prayer and open them with each thumb folding to its respective side. That's how my board is. Now planing from thumb to thumb would be across the grain in this case but up and down on both hands your fingers are still up and wrists down and this was how i imagined grain would work. I guess not though :oops:

    With regards to the image not looking bookmatched. It's down to a few things at the moment.
    1/ lots of tear out hiding the grain.
    2/ this board started 48mm thick, sawn down its length and planned by the seller for me until 20mm thick. I'm levelling it out both sides still as its continued to cup and bow over time since being sawn, so the grain will change unevenly to an extent I expect. (not to mention I have to get this to 1/4" for a thinline unless I do something different)

    3/ I just realized that image is probably off the back of top so opposite sides before it was even split down the middle

    Here's and image from my PBucket before it was even glued
    [​IMG]

    I've only got a Veritas Bevel Up jointer I've been using up to this point with a fairly low angle blade in it. Great for smoothing big area's and leveling sides but its no scrub/fore/jack plane. Other that I have a No 4 and a small low angle block plane so it looks like I'm in for the long haul. No fancy electric gadgetry here just the jointer and sandpaper and a load of patience :twisted:
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  16. KWhatley

    KWhatley Tele-Holic

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  17. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    I made my own scrub plane by taking a cheap Craftsman with a REALLY wide throat, then cambering the iron. Works like a champ, and for only about $15 or so.

    Bookmatched grain flip happens like this: to extend your analogy about the hands, put them together in "prayer mode" and draw an imaginary line from the left thumbnail across to the right wrist. This simulates the grain on the edge of the board before you resaw it. It might even help to draw the line with a ballpoint pen.

    Now, open your hands to do your bookmatch. The edge you drew the line on (which are now at opposite ends of the panel) will show you why you've now got grain running in opposite directions. Bottom line: unless that edge grain is 100% straight and even before you resaw, and you then resaw directly on that grain line, you'll have planing problems afterward.

    My simplest fix, over and above that blockplane trick for initial thicknessing, is to just smooth-plane in opposite directions, then finish the seam area with a scraper afterward.
     
  18. henderson is go

    henderson is go Tele-Holic

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    The grain runs in opposite directions when book matching, but the problem you're experiencing only occurs when there is significant runout in the wood (something your photo supports).

    Here's a little something on runout

    http://www.lutherie.net/frankford.runout.html

    BTW, adjust the mouth of your plane so there is a very small gap between the blade and the edge of the mouth, sharpen the blade, and take very light passes; tear out will become a non issue if you do this.
     
  19. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Tele-Afflicted

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    Just remember a scrub plane is for very heavy stock removal to initially dimension boards to rough size (it comes even before the "fore" plane). I might have missed the evolution of this "want" but I don't think it belongs in the guitar making process unless your stock is WAY oversized.

    Your LV bevel up jointer should do fine for this job if you equip it with a fairly steep angled iron. You want something like a 50 degree total cutting angle (York pitch). Do you have an extra iron for it? Get one for York pitch, and set it with a fine mouth and you should see improvement. Might be your cheapest route.

    Good luck,
    Rex
     
  20. wmprivett

    wmprivett Tele-Meister

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    I knew there were folks here who could more eloquently explain what I saw in my head.
     
  21. KWhatley

    KWhatley Tele-Holic

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    Hi Rex, The "want" came from the scrub sounding like an ideal solution to thicknessing by hand. Just over half inch of stock needs to come off the board we've been discussing. Maybe slightly overkill you think then? Seems to be taking ages with the fine setting on the bevel up jointer. Though I guess that's more a lack of patience from me. The other reason was the run out would only need addressing as I neared intended thickness since it would required flattening again as I got to the dimensions required. Traversing between now and then would make the surface a mess either way until that point? Would the higher angle blade allow me to take thicker slices at all, I know they do a range of angled blades for this jointer for exactly this reason I guess.

    Now that makes perfect sense! Because of the runout, once the book is opened I'm effectively coming at the grain from above up one length but from beneath on the other when plane is used the same direction. Thank you. It's the light passes that are the secondary issue for me as I need to bring it down in size by around 1/2".

    Thanks Picton, it's all starting to make sense now.

    You were on the right track though :) thanks for replying and setting me on the right path.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
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