Router base compressing the surface fibers

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Joe Steck 5 months, 1 week ago.

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    Finally I got a new veritas router plane (had to wait a month, not too bad). I never used a “real” router plane before, so this could be due to lack of experience, but I find the base compresses the surface fibres leaving shiny patches on the surface of even oak and maple, not to speak of pine.

    Wonder whether I’m I putting too much pressure or this normal. Would a wooden base make a big difference? Any advice will be much appreciated. Thanks.



    Larry Geib

    If you are comperssing oak and maple, yeah, you are pressing too hard.

    But I doubt you are, you are probably lightly burnishing a surface that isn’t particularly smooth to begin with.


    Jim Thornton

    I’ve got the same router plane and have used it on Pine and Cherry so far. No problem. I don’t recall needing to use much downward pressure. I did discover that it works best for me to take a fairly thin shaving each pass.

    If you can't afford to do big small things in a big way!



    Thanks for the comments.

    @lorenzojose is spot on.. in my excitement I was trying out on some offcuts causing burnishing of high spots. On a smooth piece the marks are much less visible and mostly due to operator error. It seems I sometimes fail to keep the base flat causing too much pressure on the edge of the wood, for example..

    @flyboyjim Yes, I’m sure it has to be me, as this tool is much loved and I’ve only heard good things about it.




    Check the edges of the router base-plate; hard corners can sometimes bruise softer woods.

    It used to be normal for users to lightly file the edges of the bases of new planes and the like – shouldn’t be necessary with Veritas, given what they cost but worth looking at.

    A wooden sole is often worth considering, too. It burnisher the surfaces as it passes and extends the line of the base.

    Finally, if there are any remaining slight bruises on wood, you can easily get them out by steaming with a wet cloth and an electric iron.

    Good luck


    Joe Steck

    I think @lorenzojose hit the nail of the head with his “lightly burnishing” comment. As long as you are doing your router work before final smoothing, or scraping you should not have any lasting issues with the slight burnishing.

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