Scarfing 101

Ok, so I come back from Okoumefest the eager little beaver and start gnawing on wood. Well, not exactly gnawing but close to it.

I took the two sheets, marked 2" back for the scarf, stepped them together so I could plane them at the same time, clamped them to a table and started whittling away.

I now have corners that are approaching paper thin, but still need to take a little off of the middle. I’m starting to lose some material at the corners – see photos.

How can I do this better on the next pair if sheets? I few things I think I have done incorrectly:

  1. In my haste I started w/ the new plane without sharpening it. I now have an official CLC stone to hone on.
  2. I had the edges overhanging the table – I may wish to put them on the table edge or on a sacrificial plank to keep things stiffer.
  3. Not every swipe with the plane goes the full width of the board, should I be trying for this?

 Thanks for any advice.


Click here for photos


2 replies:

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RE: Scarfing 101

Hi John,

Yes, sharp plane blade. Yes, support the edge.  Even pressure with long strokes of the plane, going all the way to the end.  See my blog here...

 Hope this helps - Ron Paro

RE: Scarfing 101

What you are doing is highly worthwhile. Practice scarfing to get your skill level up before you are required to do one for a project.   Scarfing is a skill that has a thousand uses. I even scarfed stringer scrap into tomato stakes just to keep my hand in. 

Any edged woodworking tool has to be resharpened often to get good results. I found that my plane irons lost their edge quickly when planing plywood scarfs from scratch. I'm not sure why but I think it's the glue.

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