Trouble planing long boards

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  • #6823
    sailforfun15
    Participant

    I am trying to understand why I ran into a spot on a long board where my plane would not cut. I am making an 8′ long shaker peg rail using a 4x8x3/4 length of oak and need to smooth the show face. My bench is only 4.5 feet long, so I put the board against a stop to the left side of the bench and clamped the right side to the bench. To smooth the face I started at the stop end and started working backwards. This went well until I got about 2 feet back and the plane stopped cutting. So if I started at around 2 feet back it would not cut until I moved it forward where it would catch and cut again. I tried starting further back and it still didn’t cut. I reversed the plane and tried to plane away from the stop toward the problem spot and it still didn’t cut. After that I tried moving the board and starting the plane at various places, but still no go. Planing at a 45 degree angle across the face did cut some. A straight edge on the board didn’t really show much. I could see that at that point the board bowed up somewhat from the bench, but whether I pushed down to flatten it or used a gentle touch still did no good. As I moved the plane in away from my stop and toward the problem spot I could feel a change, as if the board got thicker, but the plane still didn’t cut. It was also odd that the spot that wouldn’t cut was longer than the plane. I tried extending the blade more and could get a cut, but then it would reach another spot and just dig in. Finally, I got out my scraper card, established new burrs on it, and smoothed the face that way. But I’m still puzzled over how to figure out what is going on when something like this happens and how to correct. I assume the board  is hollowed at that point, but even starting well away from the spot I couldn’t get the plane to cut.

    Todd

    #6846

    Could the board be twisted?

    #6896
    sailforfun15
    Participant

    No twist or cup. I don’t have a known straight edge long enough, but I suspect that my bench may have a slight dip across its length. It is so slight that it wouldn’t affect shorter boards, but since this board goes across the entire length of the bench top, planing near the center of the bench causes the board to dip down, creating the problem. I’s still not sure this is it though because the dip really is quite small.

     

    Todd

    #6901
    Dave
    Participant

    Make a shim/wedge and place it under the board to counter its tendancy to dip when you plane it.  I’ve seen this described as a way to deal with twisted boards when planing them on a benchtop.

    -Canada

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