MORE ENDGRAIN TIPS (continued)
Next, lightly wet the surface and wait a few seconds for absorption. Wood with water in it becomes dense. [Swiss cooper Ruedi Kohler also did this before planning the endgrain rims of a bucket.] Endgrain may now be cut and the fibers shear easily. Violinmakers will often lick the endgrain of a sound post and shear it with a chisel or double-bevel knife.
The nastiest endgrain can be sheared with a skewed chisel instead of a straight chisel. [This accomplishes the same result as slicing or skewing the tool, as explained last month. But now you can move the chisel forwards.]
Endgrain is best worked on small pieces (those under 5 mm) by filing rather than cutting. A relief cut is made on a fingerboard nut. Pushing a large flat mill file in one direction only will make a flat surface. Each push must be controlled and you must check for square on each end. It takes a while but you are assured accuracy.
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