1. I am having a really tough time with some quarter-sawn red oak and tearout. The tearout is deep and happens very fast, and all my adjusting and sharpening aren’t getting me much of anywhere. Is this just a tough type of wood to plane, or am I missing something obvious? I am using a Stanley 4 1/2 sharpened just like Paul says. I have no problem planing pine or cherry to a mirror finish. I noticed some wood stuck between my blade and chip breaker and am working to fix that. Depth of cut is as small as possible (I sneak up on it is 1/8th turn increments). Is there anything else I can check? My 1″ panels (14″ by 26″) are turning into 3/4″ panels…



    1. close up the mouth to about 2-3x the thickness of a shaving. Take as thin a shaving as you can. Getting that chip breaker to 1 shaving thickness away from the edge, and meeting all the way across is key when dealing with PITA grain.

    1. Thanks Dean,

      I am working on perfecting the card scrapper sharpening, and I have been using that to get a better finish on these problem areas. My bigger question is “Did I try hard enough to make the planing work, or is this wood just not going to cooperate no matter what I do?”

      1. Hello Justin,
        If you’ve tried planing in both directions and you are still getting tearout, you can plane across the board at 45-90 degrees to get it close, before moving onto the cabinet scraper for the final finish.
        Hope that helps

        1. Thanks Philip,

          I have had decent success doing that. After fitting my iron cap better, I have seen much improved results. I try to minimize the amount of scraping I have to do as the feel of a fine planed finish feels much better than a scraped finish to me. Although, I am sure it all gets roughed up equally during my light sanding before my stain.

          I also didn’t plan well enough ahead of time with the direction of grain of the two boards I joined. The grain of both boards ideally would run in the same direction to avoid tearout near the seam. Lesson learned…

  2. Paul – I should like to pay you a compliment and say thank you, if modesty permits. A while back, the store was short of a needed plane blade. So; I purchased a ‘plane’ for 20 odd dollars, thinking I could always use the steel. The ‘plane’ itself was a cripple, I shelved it for a long while as it simply would not ‘take’ a shaving. Then I watched your scrub plane conversion – and I wondered. It was a job to get the plane body to working condition (don’t ask) but I managed. Then I followed you guidelines and turned the cripple into a scrub plane. It now sings as it works, every bit as effective as a friends purpose bought job, matched stroke for stroke against a hollow ground, thick blade tool of a serious professional. The ‘how to’ video was a gift; but the insight into ‘how’ a plane should work – priceless. I did not mention to my mate the figure of eight sharpening method – let him keep to his grindstone. That’s it, thank you for my scrub plane – dubbed Gunga –Dunnit, oiled, sharp, clean and residing in the ‘working’ tool box. Cheers.

  3. At the time I started my hand tool woodworking, this seem to be a fairly complicated video to replicate, but the way master Sellers keeps his explanations makes it a breeze. Now, just a couple of years have passed and I still look up for this videos to see if I can learn new things or even re-learn things I’ve forgotten.
    Brilliant work as usual!

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