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Paul is spot on when describing how bias of a plane to the left/right/centre of your work positively affects the way you can control the resultant surfaces.
Tearout can be minimised by reducing blade protrusion and therefore the amount of material removed with each stroke, but tear out related to changes in grain direction (Reversed grain) can also be reduced if you employ stopped shavings (Stopping when you reach the point where grain changes direction) and reversing your planing action, as well as by skewing your plane when approaching and/or working through the problem areas.
I’ve never been one to measure shaving thickness, but normally gauge plane settings by how easily the plane shaves the timber I’m working on. If I’ve a lot of material to remove, the blade setting will be for heavy shavings until I’m within reasonable reach of my intended finish surface.
Sharp tools/blades are a must when aiming for accuracy and fine finish work.
Once you’ve trued both face side and edge, it’s normal to gauge from each face before reducing stock to final dimensions. Stock reduction can be by sawing, chopping (Hatchet) or using a heavy setting on your plane to bring you within reach of finish size via smoothing plane. 🙂
I tend to stick to one angle setting when prepping my plane irons. Nominally working with 25 deg grind and 30 deg hone/whetting angles for all but the most argumentative timbers.