Tooling tips for African wawa

More important than knife angles to obtaining a smooth machined finish is feed speed. 1998.

by Professor Gene Wengert

One of my customers is using the species called Wawa from Africa. He is having a problem with the finishing. The surface is very rough and has lots of chipping. The timber is KD to 10/12% MC.

What is the recommended cutting and clearance angle for this species? What is the best feeding speed you would recommend to achieve a very smooth surface?

Perhaps more important than knife angles is the feed speed. We look for more than 12 knife marks per inch if we want a good surface and over 20 if we want the best. Otherwise, the rake angle is best about 25 degrees, similar to American oak.

Are you certain about 10% MC? It sounds much drier.

Professor Gene Wengert is Extension Specialist in Wood Processing at the Department of Forestry, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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