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- Reading Grain Direction
- Getting a good surface finish on wood depends on grain direction. To minimize tearout, feed lumber into the jointer or planer with the grain angling away from the cutterhead. Determining grain direction can be tricky and the linked Popular Woodworking article covers the topic in depth.
Wood is a bit like fur, run wood into a cutterhead against the grain and the knives will try to lift the grain. Not being able to lift the grain, the knives will have a tendency to grab and tear out bits of wood (tearout).