I'm new to working with hickory and finding it difficult to shape. If I plane it, route it or shape it, it wants to chip out. The only success that I have had at dimensioning has been with my drum sander, but I have had terrible luck routing. Can anyone share some experience that might help me?
Welcome to the world of working with hickory. You may check with your tooling supplier. They can do some things with various cutters regarding hook angle, shear angle, etc. Hickory is a wildcard--you can be running along fine and suddenly a great big chunk goes flying.
I've found the only way to get decent results is to always climb cut when routing or machining. A word of caution, though: never attempt to climb cut anything without automatic machines. Always use a power feeder on the table saw, shaper, etc. Never ever attempt this by hand.
Shagbark hickory characteristics
Dave Rankin, forum technical advisor
Comment from contributor A:
I am building cabinets with hickory now. I have had a lot of the same problems. I started on the router table cutting rabit joints, with pieces being trashed. Then went to a planer jointer, which does fine till blades start to dull, and this doesn't take long. My best luck has been with a dado blade doing the end grain first. When routing, doing the ends first has improved the quality, with an occassional blowout. Sharp tools are a must.