Dear fellow woodworkers,
I have encountered a strange problem while planing a piece of figured maple with any of my Lie Nielsen handplanes. After 3-4 strokes the planes iron has dulled, gets serrated and has to be sharpened again. I have tried different sharpening angles and 3 different handplanes. I had no such problems on the neighboring part of that piece or on 2 other sides of that piece of wood. Furthermore I have never had any problems with my handplaning in the last 2 years.
I would be very grateful for any explanation or advice. Thank You!
It’s possible for some timbers grown in the vicinity of minerals to get some of this stuff in the grain. Certain west-African Mahogany-look-alikes such as Meranti can have Silicates in the grain and be notorious for dulling blade-edges.
However, if it is confined to that area of scarring on your photo, it may be that the tree had an injury or has incorporated some metal work long ago that has rusted away.
I’d suggest that the area needs a very close look…… other than curiosity, personally I’d ditch that piece once I found out what it was that caused the damage to your planes.
Previously I have found at least two lead bullets, deformed, but complete in some French Oak and in the London area, saw mills are reluctant to take trees over about 80 years old from the capital because of the likelihood of shrapnel pieces embedded from the Blitz.
In the field behind my house, a farmer left a complete harrow leaning against an ash tree many years ago……..
…..it’s amazing what you can find in a tree.