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5302Scrapers, planes and endgrain

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  • michael_recchione
    Nov 10, 2005
      Scrapers don't work particularly well on endgrain, and have issues with
      softer woods in general. In more recent times, bevel-up low angle
      planes have been touted as the thing to use on end-grain, and they
      certainly work well (e.g. a Stanley 65 or 61 1/2 or any of a number of
      the new offerings from Lee Valley). But they're almost equally
      certainly not period in the sense that bedding and supporting an iron
      at a very low angle is very difficult to do with a wooden plane body
      and the resulting plane is extremely fragile. The good news is, as
      someone else pointed out, any plane with a sharp iron and set for a
      fine cut handles end-grain just fine. Again, as was pointed out,
      skewing the plane as you approach the wood lowers the effective cutting
      angle and was almost certainly a period technique (it would be hard to
      imagine that it wasn't - it just amounts to holding the plane at a
      different angle with your hands as you push it).

      So, if you're determined to do this in a period way, use a wooden
      bodied smoother set for a fine cut (size of mouth opening is irrelevant
      for endgrain), and skew it relative to the work. To prevent break out,
      either use a backing block, a chamfer or work towards the middle from
      either side.

      - Mike
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