End Grain? Pshaw, Nothing a Sharp Blade Can’t Handle!

rabbet block plane shavings

I mentioned on Twitter yesterday that I have been working in Ash for a year now as I slowly build my workbench. Rob Bois, @theboisshop, commented that I must be really good at sharpening after working with such a hard wood for so long. You know I hadn’t really thought about it, but I do seem to be taking a few extra trips to the sharpening bench lately and maybe this bench build has made me a better woodworker in the sharpening department as well.

The proof as they say is in the pudding…or the end grain. Last night I was squaring up the end of a board with my block plane. I wasn’t even thinking about it when I realized that the plane was gliding across the end grain and producing shavings.

“Hey, whaddaya know, maybe I have gotten good at this sharpening thing!”, I quietly congratulated myself. I then moved on to planing the 1 inch chamfer for clearance on the top of the vise chop I was working on. After sawing most of the bulk away, I turned to my low angle jack (with freshly sharpened blade) to refine the chamfer to my marking lines. Long beautiful end grain (ish) shavings peeled off the wood.

jack plane bevel

So let this post be my penance for yesterday’s power tool transgression. I do what I have to do to get the job done, but it sure is fun when you realize you may have actually done it right!

4 Responses to “End Grain? Pshaw, Nothing a Sharp Blade Can’t Handle!”

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  1. …I guess you can retain your galoot license. I concluded that I’d learned to sharpen when I noticed that I didn’t think much about sharpening. I just do it and the tools work.

    For me this didn’t happen all of a sudden and I suspect you’re right; it’s simply a function of doing it a lot.

    Cheers — Larry

  2. kosta says:

    I can never get a good cut with a block plane on end grain it just turns to big chunks and sawdust.

    • Shannon says:

      That is definitely a sign that you blade needs to be sharpened. You also may be taking to heavy a cut. Once you have sharpened the blade sufficiently, back the blade out of the cut and slowly advance it taking test passes until it starts to cut. Skew the plane and slice your way across. For this type of stuff I believe that it is 90% about the sharpness of your blade.

  3. Glad you were able to sort out your issue. I have been in the same boat before. Nothing worse than a bad blade nearly wrecking a project… I guess a wrecked project would be worse.

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