Planing Oak

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    I was given a pice of oak today about 20 mm thick, I have never worked with oak before.
    First I had to rip about 60 mm off one side, well from sawing pine I could really tell the difference.

    Planing the sawn edge went much better than I thought it would. So that was my first try with a hardwood, I really enjoyed my self 🙂 and will be saving my pennies me thinks.

    Cheers 😉


    Ken, thanks for sharing your feelings.

    Related to this, I have a block of reclaimed wood, I think it’s oak, very old and seasoned (I think perhaps it takes more one hundred years since it was cutting of), with very tight grain and really very hard and heavy.

    The issue is the hand plane slicks over it like if I try to plane a piece of glass. Hardly I can take some shavings. My iron is sharp (using the wonderful Mr. Paul Sellers technique) and cuts beatyful curling shavings on pine. The bevel angle is 25 degrees aproximately (no micro bevels, only the slim curved bevel).

    Can anybody help me with this issue?


    PD. I apologize for my poor English


    With love, best regards from Catalonia.


    Hi Oscar,
    I hope some of our more knowledgeable members will take the time to help with this.

    Your English is fine buddy. 😉

    Mark Armstrong

    Ken different kettle of fish hardwoods. They give bit more satisfaction especially when planned from sawn to reveal beauty.
    I love the smell of the tanning of Oak.
    Dose come up like glass.
    The hardness will have an effect on your plane iron may have to hone more frequently to touch the edge up. Saws also be affected.

    Dagenham, Essex, England


    The issue is the hand plane slicks over it like if I try to plane a piece of glass … @humanic

    I am no help here. I have only ever planed pine and fir.

    Robin ... Richmond, Virginia, USA


    Wax the sole of your plane to help it glide more smoothly. Oak planes very nicely if the blade is sharp but you will find out very quickly if you are planing against the grain.

    You mentioned that your bevel angle is 25 degrees but what is your frog angle? If you are using a bench plane then you should be fine. If it is a bevel-up plane, then you need a higher angle on your blade, perhaps 35 degrees or so.

    Oak is not a difficult wood to plane so you should not need a 50 degree or 55 degree pitch as if you are planing birds eye maple or a tough exotic that tears out easily.

    Hope this helps.

    P.S. Ease the edges- oak splinters are painful!


    I have a piece of walnut that has been drying for at least 90 years, I have not yet tried to plane it, but I fear I will have the same troubles you are having. Have you tried using a scraper plane on it? I think once you get the outer crusty layer of it will start to plane easier.


    @Ken: Thanks for your kind indulgence with my English

    : Thanks for your help. My plane is a regular bench Stanley 4 1/2 bevel-down iron with a 45 degree froe, I think. The wax sole tip helps me a litle. Thanks for the splinter warning.

    With love, best regards from Catalonia.


    @robinhc: Thanks for your interest


    With love, best regards from Catalonia.

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