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- For stability in use, always work wood with a maximum moisture content of 8 percent.
- Feed straight-grained wood into planer knives at a 90° angle. To avoid tearing, feed figured wood or twisted grain at a slight angle (about 15°), and take shallow cuts of about 1/32".
- For clean cuts, rip with a rip-profile blade that has 24-32 teeth. Smooth crosscutting requires at least a 40-tooth blade.
- Avoid using twist drills. They tend to wander and cause breakout. Use brad-point bits and a backing board under the workpiece to reduce tearout.
- Drill pilot holes for screws.
- Rout with sharp, preferably carbide-tipped, bits and take shallow passes to avoid burning.
- Carving softwoods, and a soft hardwood like basswood, means fairly steep gouge bevels-greater than 20°
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