The versatile block plane is indispensable for smoothing rough board edges and chamfering corners. The tool iron (blade) is set at a low angle, which helps it slice through the toughest end grain. However, as the plane slides off the rear edge of the board, it has a tendency to catch and splinter the wood. One way to avoid this problem is to plane in from both edges toward the center of the board. Here’s a better approach:
Take a scrap of wood that’s the same thickness as the workpiece and clamp it to the board. Be sure that the ends of the two pieces are flush. Then plane across the end grain. Any splintering will occur in the scrap piece, not in the board.