Limiting Tear-Out when Planing Curly Maple

      Advice on dealing with the various grain directions in "curly," "birdseye," or "tiger" Maple. July 16, 2009

Question
Whatís the best way to plane tiger map without getting tearout?

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor J:
Wide belt sander.



From contributor R:
Thatís how I'd advise doing it, unless you have a lot to remove, then plane at an angle, leaving enough behind to accommodate the tearout, and then wide belt.


From contributor A:
We plane curly hard and soft maple as well as birdseye all the time with a great finish. We use a helical insert head that came on our Northtech 24" 15hp planer. We do slow down to 7-12 meters a minute depending on how sharp the knives are. We will go right to 150 on the widebelt after that will perfect results. Our old straight knife planer would ruin the stuff.


From contributor G:
Wet the surface with a damp cloth.


From contributor H:
I modified the feed mechanism on my Powermatic 100 12" planer so that it would slow down to 1 to 2 feet per minute while the cutter head speed remained constant. This slow feed rate made planing curly and birdseye a breeze.


From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
I agree with contributor H and contributor D. Appreciate that with curly or birdseye, you are planing against the grain in spots, which results in tearout. Less stock removal per cut (or per knife) is desired. Slow feed or shallow cuts both help. Also, avoid lower than normal MCís - make sure that the wood is not dried too dry (under 6.5% MC) or dried over 160 F. (Over-drying is a common event when curly is mixed with regular maple in the kiln, as curly dries faster. A kiln operation must use longer equalization to avoid over-drying.) If you do your own knives, you might also consider dropping a few degrees from the rake angle.


From contributor U:
Before we went to Shelix heads in the jointer and planer, I used to have my sharpener grind a slight back bevel on the face of the planer knives. It reduced tearout quite a bit.


From contributor Z:
The last curly maple I planed I wet the surface and ran it slow and at a slight angle. I had very little tearout.



Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?


Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Solid Wood Machining

  • KnowledgeBase: Solid Wood Machining: General


    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.



    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB











  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers


      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article