I have a rough-sawn plank of ash that I'm trying to finish using only hand tools (and no abrasives if possible).
I think the board is flat-sawn, and you can see where the heartwood begins - the heartwood is tearing out really easily, leaving the gouges you see here: I think my hand plane is fettled OK - it's taking full-width, thin shavings - but those shavings are just "missing" the areas that have tearout For what it's worth, it feels clear to me from hand-feel which way is with, and which way is against the grain, and going with the grain seems to yield less tearout..
I can't tell if the tearout is just lower into the surface than I've been planing, or if I'm continuing to cause tearout with each pass. If it's the former, I think I should just keep planing until it evens out; if it's the latter, I don't know what to do.
I don't have a power sander, planer, or basically any power tools; I have sandpaper blocks but would like to understand what's going on before I give in and use them: is this just a characteristic of ash heartwood, that it has these weak areas? Or is there another technique I should be using?