Is There a Difference Between Planed Cane and Narrowed Cane?
When gouging with any machine, it is important to have the cane prepared properly. The diameter as well as the width of the cane needs to be within the specifications of the gouger. The Opus1 gouging machine is designed to use cane that is no wider than 8.0mm across the flat surface. One thing I have found is that the cane needs to be planed to this width. Simply taking a planer or a reed knife and narrowing the cane will not have the same effect on the cane.
If you look at the illustration to the right, you will notice the end view of two pieces of cane. The top one is narrowed from the sides to be 8.0mm wide. Notice that the sides of the cane (in the blue circles) are vertical. The bottom one is planed to be 8.0mm wide. Notice that the vertical sides are not present here. This is an important observation. The material present in the blue circles is actually additional cane that will be touching beyond the point that the blade vanishes behind the guide. This will cause undue rubbing and often make it hard to finish gouging the cane.
If you don't use the FILLOTINE, make sure that your planing board or filliere prepares your cane as discussed here. It is often possible to add tape or some other very thin layering substance into the bed of these devices to help cut the cane to the proper width if the cane is currently coming out too wide.