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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sawed out probably 400 bf of soft maple a couple years ago. Used some for a table top for a dining set that I stripped and refinished and it turned out ok. Nt happy with the finish, seems to be a major PITA to finish. It tears out horribly on the planer and produces a rough finish. Any ideas on how to improve this?

I want to use the wood. I am using it gradually for drawer boxes and stuff that doesn't need to be really nice but I am pretty picky and it almost has an ugly grain to it too.
 

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Sawed out probably 400 bf of soft maple a couple years ago. Used some for a table top for a dining set that I stripped and refinished and it turned out ok. Nt happy with the finish, seems to be a major PITA to finish. It tears out horribly on the planer and produces a rough finish. Any ideas on how to improve this?

I want to use the wood. I am using it gradually for drawer boxes and stuff that doesn't need to be really nice but I am pretty picky and it almost has an ugly grain to it too.
I've planed a bunch of soft maple for cabinet faces and custom cabinet parts and I always have a smooth as silk finish after planing. I use a Delta 2 speed 13". But, my blades have always been very sharp, so, as Ryan says, that could be one of or the only issue.

Paul
 

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Because its soft, when the grain changes direction it will tear out something fierce. A Byrd shelix cutter head for your planer is a solution, but an expensive one.
Another is to watch for grain run-out & change the feed direction as Ryan said above.
Take light cuts with sharp knives.
If your planer has a 2 speed gearbox, use the slower feed rate (higher CPI).
Plane to within 1/8" and finish with a thickness sander.
Plane it by hand. This way you can change direction around areas of grain run-out.
It can be tough to work with. Good luck man.
 

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Run boards at as much angle as you can through the planer. Figured big leaf is terrible to plane even in a spiral. Run at an angle gives best results.
 

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finding grain direction

It is often difficult to determine the correct grain direction sometimes. A neaat trick is to use some old nylons and rub down the board. If the nylon is rubbing with the grain it will not catch on anything. If the nylon is rubbed against grain the nylon will snag. Of course, this metod is for previously planed boards and then feed into planer accordng to manufacter's recommendations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Problem with this stuff is it changes grain so much evennkn a short board I am still getting tear out. I am going to try to sharpen my knives and see if this helps. I would love a new planer but just spent 1500 on a new ts. Looking at the grizzly planers....like to get a 240 volt.
 
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