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Working With Quilted Maple


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I'm having serious issues with planing a straight edge on a bookmatched quilt top. I'm guessing that it's because of the way the wood has grown but I can't seem to get a good clean cut with it...it seems like the grain is going in all directions & the plane is either digging in or skipping across the surface.

are there any tips or techniques that I should be using, I'm using a long jack plane about 12" long (maybe longer)

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I'm having serious issues with planing a straight edge on a bookmatched quilt top. I'm guessing that it's because of the way the wood has grown but I can't seem to get a good clean cut with it...it seems like the grain is going in all directions & the plane is either digging in or skipping across the surface.

are there any tips or techniques that I should be using, I'm using a long jack plane about 12" long (maybe longer)

If you plaining, use the longest plain you can find. But if the wood is getting chewed up and the plain keeps sticking, i would go for the sanding block. Also try sharpening you plain blade.

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Figured woods are much harder to work than straight-grained, and you won't get much funkier stuff than quilt. What I reccomend: very sharp blade, high cutting angle (google York Pitch and similar), and a very fine cut. Alternately jig up a router with a sharp bit to join the pieces (straighedge and shoot).

Also, 12" Jack ain't that long. #5's are 14-15", IIRC, and more or less the shortest thing I like to join with. Medium length plane and all that. Mostly, you really need to make sure the sole's clean, flat, the blade fit is good, and that the blade is freshly sharpened. Google 'tuning hand planes' or similar for websites on basic handplane setup.

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I use looong, perfectly flat aluminum sanding blocks with Stick-It style sanding paper for figured maple.

Clamp the block to the edge of your work bench (with the paper attached) at a 90 degrees angle. Lay the top flat at your bench and slide it against the sanding block. Sand one side with the front up and the other with the top down. This is to ensure that the parts match if there is a slightest error in the angle between the bench and the sanding block.

This method should give you a perfect joint.

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I use looong, perfectly flat aluminum sanding blocks with Stick-It style sanding paper for figured maple.

Clamp the block to the edge of your work bench (with the paper attached) at a 90 degrees angle. Lay the top flat at your bench and slide it against the sanding block. Sand one side with the front up and the other with the top down. This is to ensure that the parts match if there is a slightest error in the angle between the bench and the sanding block.

This method should give you a perfect joint.

Thats Great advice and how ill do my joints when ready

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Sharp blade and fine cut (w/hand plane or jointer- I use both). Then I place(light spring clamps hold them still) the set on a flat table with a sheet of venner under them to raise then slightly off the table. I have a large plane that I picked up at a yard sale that I converted into a long block(keeps a nice true 90 deg to the table- a square block of wood is just as good). It only take a few steady passes(I only sand in one direction to avoid rocking), and nice clean joint.

Peace,Rich

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