Troubleshooting & Techniques
Here are some suggestions for solving the most common issues, as well as for looking after your plane properly so that it performs well for years to come.
Pushing the plane to prevent tear-out.
Why Am I Getting Tear-Out, And How Can I Prevent It?
Tear-out is not usually a problem with router planes because the cutting angle is low, making it easier to achieve a smooth finish. Also, the surface being cut is not typically seen in the finished work. Nevertheless, there are a couple of things you can do to minimize gouging. Tear-out prevention starts with a sharp blade. If your blade is sharp, try lightening the cut or skewing the tool. It is also very easy to turn a router plane around to take advantage of the prevailing grain direction. Experimentation and experience are the best teachers.
What Ongoing Maintenance Should I Plan For?
Apart from sharpening the blade, rust prevention is the single biggest maintenance issue. Avoid planing wet wood, especially those with a high tannin content (e.g. oak). After a working session, take out the blade and use a soft brush to remove lingering shavings and dust. Periodically apply a silicone-free wax to the body to seal out moisture. Boeshield T-9 and Veritas Tool Wax both work well. Every so often, strip the plane down completely to give it a thorough cleaning and lubrication of the moving parts.
If storage conditions are damp, or there is a risk of the tool being jostled about in a toolbox or vehicle, storing it in a plane sack or wrapping in an old towel provides additional protection.