How Do You Plane End Grain?

In creating wood construction, there are many factors for your job to be done nicely; if you have ever worked with wood, you would know.

When making medium-sized structures such as home furniture or even a shed, the wood you are using must have clear and grained ends because; it makes it look neat and prevents the wood from pealing that easily.

But how can we do this task? Yes, with planes. Planes are tools explicitly made for smoothing out wood.

But what type of wood should you use, and do planes work on all kinds of wood?

Let’s read this article to go through some methods and basics of planning the end grain.

This is about:

  • What is a plane?
  • How can you plane the end grain?
  • Methods of the plane.
  • Which woods are better?
  • Lastly

We shall begin the learning on how do you plane end grain?


What is the plane?

Sometimes we don’t have access to power tools to help us shape wood; in these scenarios, the hand tools come in.

As the name says, the hand tools are powered by hand and muscles, and you have to use force to use the tools for shaping the wood; a plane is one of these tools.

They’re come times when we encounter the need to thin pieces of wood or shape them; the primary use of a plane is these two we mentioned.

There are different plane types for each wood type; the reason behind this variety is how the woods have been built up. The interior structure of the woods differs from each other.

So, eventually, there would be different types of planes.

Typically, the planes are made of metal and used to face the surface of the wood and take a thin layer away; this process gets repeated until the result in mind is accomplished.

Of course, if you have access to the necessary sources, you can use electric-powered planes, which are more efficient and easier to use, but otherwise, hand planes are an option.

Usually, planes have iron bodies and a blade in the middle, but there are some wooden body planes as well, but obviously, the iron kind is heavy and dependable under pressure.

But how can we plane end grain? And what are the correct ways of doing it?

Let’s see.

How can you plane the end grain?

After knowing all about the plane and its sorts, now it’s time to see how we can use it to end grain.

This is a simple 8-step process that you have to do this task repeatedly:

Step 1

The first and most extensive step is to mark the wood at the depth you desire to thin the wood or grain case sides of the wood.

Step 2

The second step is as important. You have to check your plane and essentials like the proper placement and the blade degree because, contrarily, the cut will be uneven and even lead to cracking the wood up.

Step 3

This step is not essential if the end grain is small. But if there is considerable length or width, you have to apply some candles to have less friction.

Step 4

Make sure that your plane is square on the wood, then grab the handle on the plane and try applying pressure to make the first cut forward.

And another tip is to go all the way when you start planning; otherwise, it can cause the wood to tear out on edge.

Step 5

Check your plane dust; when you start to plane, the cuts must first give out dust rather than long curly pieces of wood. If your blade adjustments are correct, the wood sand must be even throughout the cut.

Step 6

Raise your plane slightly and move it to the first point you started shaving.

Step 7

Repeat steps 4 to 6 until getting the desirable conditions.

We should warn you. If you use wet or fresh wood to plane end grain, it may peel off and ruin your whole work; therefore, it’s best to let the wood dry and then attempt to plane it.

Now that we exactly know how to plane end grain, it’s time to read some tips and methods that will make this experience easy as possible.


Methods of the plane

We know the basics of how to plane end grain, but a little more help can’t hurt.

There are some methods and things that you can do to reduce the job’s complexity; let’s go through them together.

Method 1

If you are using a woodworker’s vice, it’s better to use a piece of sacrificial wood; this way, if things get to a tight spot, these pieces of wood take the hit, not your vice.

Method 2

It is so much better for your work that you make a shooting board at home with 90 to 45 degrees. This way, the pressure you will apply to the plane will decrease, and your job will be easier.

Method 3

Always cut the edge first and then the length; you don’t have to worry about splitting the wood.

Combine these methods with the instructions that we mentioned earlier to do the best possible job.

And now, let’s see what type of woods are better candidates to plane end grains?

Which woods are better?

Naturally, you want a wood that doesn’t break easily.

There is no specific answer when it comes to which wood is better.

Almost every dry wood that exists is suitable for this job, but you have to consider that when the timber gets thinner, you have to use something that doesn’t break effortlessly.

For this matter, walnut and pine are the best options to work on but keep in mind that other types of wood can work as well, but you have to declare what you are making with the wood on your hands.

With all this being said, the conclude the end of this article.



In the end, the question stands: “how to plane end grain?”

It’s a mix of skill and instructions; follow the directions that we gave you step by step, and you will be able to plane end grain the perfect way.

But it’s paramount to pay attention to every single step. It’s crucial.

We hope that this article helps you to plane your wood the best way, and if you have any questions regarding the plane end grain, ask us in the comment section, and we will answer them as soon as possible.

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