If you are getting tare out you may be going the wrong direction on the board. When I started I got the same plane and after using something better that cheap beast sat on the shelf. I recently turned it into a roughing fore plane. but with tuning and sharpening I could get it to make a good curl. The two big pieces of advice I would give is 1. Sharp blade. can you shave with it. (give it a try and cut some, just not skin!) 2. set the blade as shallow as it can go try and make the finest shaving you can.
To me it sounds like sharpness or grain direction. do you have pictures of the tare out and or iron?