Tips and Techniques for Taming Tearout
Don't let gnarly grain stand in your way. Gary Rogowski outlines his strategies for handplaning woods that are prone to tearout.
Synopsis: There’s often a price to be paid when you choose wood with beautiful, swirling grain for your projects. Tearout. But with a few clever handplaning strategies, you can keep tearout from ruining your day. Gary Rogowski outlines his strategies for handplaning woods that are prone to tearout, from taking a thinner cut to modifying the chipbreaker or blade to increase the cutting angle.
It feels like the universe is punishing me when a board tears out while I’m handplaning, as if something I did as a kid is coming back to haunt me. After all, I select boards in part for their looks and grain, so when those work against me, fixing tearout seems like penance. Sometimes avoiding tearout is easy: Choose well-behaved wood. Take alder: When I want ease, I go with that. But I don’t want to build every thing out of alder. In fact, for…