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I work with walnut and poplar mainly sometimes mahogany.
But I have a hard time figuring out which direction the wood gain is running.
I’ve tried the brush trick and any thing I could find on the net. With these woods it’s like impossible to tell. The only clue I have is after my router tears out a chunk and then it’s too late. I just screwed up two long boards. After finally getting it right, I ended up loosing about ¼” on each board.
Poplar is the worst even more so than walnut.
Is there some sort of digital device that I can use to get this right?
Thanks.
 

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I have no idea where to get a device such as that. I know one problem is that these species are really tight grained wood. Popular usually has the green tint to it unless it is the shaken ash varitey. Go with the green that usaully tells you which way the grain is flowing. Black walnut I use quite often it is hard to tell unless it has the white veins through it. I had a piece like a burl look and had no problem with it. The only other thing I can think of is that is that you are taking to much material or your bit isn't sharp enough so that it is ripping and tearing.
 

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This is what I do when I can't besure of the gain direction.
I sand the ends and look at the rings on both ends and put a bit of water on the ends this will give me a hint.
Then I mark it with a arrow and a X for top side.

Hope this helps

Bj :)
 
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