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devonwoody

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When you pick up a piece of timber how can you tell which way the grain is running and be 100% accurate everytime? Is there a way?

Trying to avoid putting the plane to the wrong end :oops:
 

Taffy Turner

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DW,

You can alway use the method I use. Have a good look at at from all sides. If you still aren't sure, try hand planing it one way. If the finish is cr*p, turn it around and plane the other way. :D

If the finish is still poor, re-sharpen your plane iron and repeat until satisfied! :?

Regards

Gary
 

devonwoody

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Oddly enough Gary that's the way I have always done it.

But you never know there might be another way like dropping it in water and seeing which end is lower or something. :x
 

Taffy Turner

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devonwoody":qsscev1h said:
But you never know there might be another way like dropping it in water and seeing which end is lower or something. :x
:D :D :D :D :D

I was recently turning an elm burl, and that had grain running in every direction conceivable. I wouldn't have fancied planing it, but it turned like butter fortunately! :D It was only part seasoned when I turned it, and now it has been inside for a couple of months, and has dried out, the top has distorted around the "pips" so much that it looks like leather! :shock:
 

Alf

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This comes up periodically, so:


A. The theoretical board with the grain running absolutely parallel to the face of the board - which doesn't exist.

B. The grain is more like real life with the grain running "up hill". Plane in the direction of the arrow and all will be well.

C. But try to plane "downhill" and all will be misery. Don't do it, unless...

D. You find a board like this, which you will, when you have to plane "the wrong way" for part of its length. This is when you need your plane well tuned, and expect to have to plane is all directions when you reach the smoothing stage.

Don't laugh, but it also often helps to stroke the board; it'll feel smoother in one direction, and that's the way to plane.

Cheers, Alf
 

Chris Knight

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It can sometimes be hard to see this on the side of a board. In such cases, look at the end grain on a clean sawn surface.

If the rings dip towards the floor (think "syncline" - a geologist's term) where "syn" approximately means "with" - then plane in the direction of the cathedral arches on the face. If the rings arch towards the ceiling (think "anticline" - another geologist's term) where anti approximately means "against" - then plane in the direction opposing the cathedral arches on the face.

Syncline = plane with the arches: Anticline = plane against the arches.

If this is as clear as mud, I shall try to find a picture.
 

Manny

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As Alf suggests I run a finger lightly along the surface first one direction then the other, the smoothest direction is with the grain.
 

Shady

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Go on then Chris - give us a picture... I satisfy myself with respect to grain direction by looking at the alternating bands and 'feel', which works for me.

That said, I have read the 'cathedral arches' line many times - but I've never been able to visualise what the hell this actually means... Pure intellectual laziness on my part, but a simple explanation would be much appreciated...

(edit - and yes, synclines and anticlines are clear as mud to this simple ex-soldier... I like 'up' and 'down', meself...)
 

Chris Knight

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Shady,

Herewith an unauthorised but fully attributed picture. It's from Fine Woodworking No. 146 page 26.

My point about syns and antis was simply to help one remember the "with" and the "against" - being with or against the direction in which the arches are pointing.

 

Shady

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Aha! That's one of those pieces of advice for me... :roll: The only way I'll remember that is by printing it off, and pinning it to the wall in the shop.

Thanks though - I see the concept. I'd hate to get you arrested for breach of copyright... :wink:
 

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