Thursday, 12 June 2014

End grain with a record No 4 smoothing plane

You may have thought that from the last post that I turn my nose up at No4 and 5 planes. This is not the case and I have tuned and got to know intimately my jack and smoothing Record planes. A well tuned and sharpened plane is a joy to use, no more so than getting a perfect finish on end grain. In the past I would go for electric sanders, these days by default I pick up hand tools. In fact I think it is quicker to plane the end grain to clean the saw marks up, and then to give it a final fine sanding, rather than to try and sand the 2 end grain ends. It also gives a better flatter finish.

The wood is Douglas fir, English grown, 8 x 6 inches. Unfortunately English grown Douglas grows way too fast. I have used American stuff before which usually is very slow grown with up to 30+ rings per inch. Slow grown Douglas is a very different wood to fast grown stuff and is certainly a better quality wood. I prefer working with slow grown softwoods any day.

I used my Record smoothing plane at a skew across the grain after planing a fine bevel around the edge to stop wood splitting out. I also tend to  work from the edge into the middle and stop short of the far edge.
Skewing gives a far better finish, rather than pushing the plane inline.