Chip-out in certain species

Some woods are tougher to surface cleanly than others. August 10, 2000

Sometimes when milling yellow birch, ash, and soft maple, I run into some chipping around knots, and even in seemingly "clean" areas of the board. Is it because of the grain pattern, improper kiln drying, lower-grade wood, or what? I do not have this problem with other species.

Do you mill hard maple too?

Several species have small pockets of swirly grain that result in chip-out now and then. This is probably what you are experiencing. The problem is exacerbated (I've always wanted to use that word) by moisture content (MC) of under 6 percent.
Gene Wengert, forum moderator

This is where I think an abrasive sufacer would be nice. I've tried swapping ends of board while sufacing to get the least amount of chip out, but some grain is so swirly that you can't win for losing.