I have met the Devil Wood - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-12-2009, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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I have met the Devil Wood

I am building these bookcases for my boy, and he is helping me which is really cool. Well I didn't have enough maple so I went to a cabinet shop buddy of mine and bought some hard maple. I would say that it is not heavily figured but the grain isn't strait either. I have been milling this stuff for 3 days now. I have switched the blades on my planer (Dewalt 735) and still can't take more than a 1/32 off a board at a time if that. I have never been so frustrated in my life. I have worked maple before but do not remember it being this difficult and hard on my machines. Any body else had this issue with off grain maple and any advice. I am at my wits end and would like to start building the face frames in 2009.
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-12-2009, 09:20 AM
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How thick a board are you trying to get down to what final dimension? 1/32" bite at one time is respectable. In 4 passes you have taken of 1/8" which is quite a lot.

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post #3 of 11 Old 03-12-2009, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Man I got the wood skip planed at a little under 4/4, trying to get it down to 3/4 for face frames. It must be going less then 1/32 then cause it has been through the planer a bunch. I even ripped the boards in half to put less stress on the machine but it has not increased the planing. I know its not the machine cause my jointer is having a hard time with it as well.
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-12-2009, 10:25 AM
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maple can be funny i think it can depend on the tree or what part of the tree maybe? I rip maple down almost on a daily basis and sometimes it cuts like butter and sometimes the strip (inch and a quarter) i cut lifts off the outfeed table and bends over my offcut was kinda scary the first time i saw it but im pretty used to it now. still havent figured out how to read the grain though two identicle boards will act totaly different
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-12-2009, 10:26 AM
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If it was kiln dried, it might be case hardened. Any sign of that when you ripped? And, you might need sharper blades. Try a good sharp hand plane, just to see what happens.
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post #6 of 11 Old 03-12-2009, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Its air dried wood, I know cause it is milled on site then stored in a barn. I think he said it was close to 5 years dried. The planer blades were brand new and it definitely improved the quality of the cut, but it still would not handle any real depth. After ripping the pieces were talking 6" wide max. I will get the hand planes out this evening and see how that works. I swear I have never had wood behave like this before. It is beautiful wood as there is some ambrosia going on along with some quilt and Birdseye in some locations.
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-12-2009, 01:34 PM
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Well, it's a mystery for sure. I've planed lots of hard maple and never had the problem at 1/32 +or-. Never tried any curly, though.

One more suggestion: try running it an an angle. It'll want to straighten out as it feeds through, just try to keep it going through at the angle. Might help????

Do you think your buddy could run it for you?
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-12-2009, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene Howe View Post

Do you think your buddy could run it for you?


Funny you mention this, I started milling this stuff on Sat, then I was headed back out to his shop for some trap shooting the same day. At that point I had not realized the difficulty and wish I had. His shop is about 40 minutes from mine, and I only have about an 1/8" to go. The man definitely has the equipment though, talk about drule. In hind sight and when i go back out there I am taking the remainder of the rough stock and have him take it down to 3/4".
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-12-2009, 02:23 PM
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It could be the alternating grain patterns but that usually gives tearout. Flame birch is another devil wood, beautiful but really needs a gentle hand on the planer or just run it on a drum sander.
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-29-2009, 12:49 AM
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when I am doing a job with figured hard maple, I just assume 4-6 hours planing. I take off just a hair at a time to avoid tear out. It's the only way I can plane the stuff. Although I have, when possible, taken it all to another shop with a wide belt sander and had them sand it to thickness. Way faster, but I have to shell out $70 minimum. Works out to about the same cost for me, given the time I spend loading, unloading, etc.. But no tear out is nice.
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post #11 of 11 Old 03-29-2009, 10:09 AM
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Out of all of the maple I have worked with, most of it has been figured. I also have the 735 and it can be a bear to plane. Sometimes no matter how shallow of a pass I make it will cause tear out. For these pieces I just use my drum sander with 60 grit to get it to final thickness.
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