Workbench #4: New found respect

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Blog entry by KellyS posted 08-30-2009 02:02 AM 1647 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Pictures from the hunt - spoils of battle Part 4 of Workbench series Part 5: Planning for the Big Day »

Since I posted last, I’ve been busy working on my bench. I power planed all my reclaimed Poplar and while my wife was out of town this week, I starting laminating my bench top. Good thing she was out of town. The weather was bad and I don’t have enough room in the shop, so I glued everything up in our living room floor….l was careful to put down paper to keep from getting glue all over the carpet. Glad to have her back though, she helped me this morning with the final glue up., plenty of clamps, a lot of glue and 3 or 4 hours later, Shazaam! I’ve got a bench top and it looks pretty decent! Not at good as what you could buy, but plenty good for me and I’m definitely proud of what I’ve accomplished so far.
I started later this afternoon trying to flatten it a little before I do anything else. I must say, after an hour or so of pushing a No. 7 Jointer plane across this thing I have new found respect for anyone who could do that all day. I’d say it takes much of a man…or woman to push one of those things for any amount of time. I think when I’m done with this; I’m going to look like Popeye. At least it’s Poplar, so it’s shaving pretty easy. I’m done for the day, I think the top won this round; I’ll go in and pop my blisters lick my wounds and have a cold drink. I’ll add a band-aid to my pinky finger tomorrow where the jointer rubbed a blister and go back for round two.
After I’m done with the preliminary flattening I need to get down to some serious planning and sketching. So far I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants on making my top. I’m too far into this to screw it up, so I think I’ll slow down and do a little planning.
More to come later.

-- He who dies with the most tools wins!.....Just wait, I'm going to win!..ERR my wife will at least.

5 comments so far

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 4165 days

#1 posted 08-30-2009 02:46 AM

I must say: It’s looking good. Too bad you couldn’t have glued it up in halves, ran both halves thru the planer and then glued the two halves together. Would have saved a lot of planing by hand. And the blisters.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View PurpLev's profile


8554 posts in 4255 days

#2 posted 08-30-2009 03:22 AM

looking good so far.

hand planing does build up some muscle – which is good.

tip – if you have noticeable high spots, it might be easier for you to take those down with a #5, or a scrub plane rather than the #7. then, once the surface is somewhat even – use the #7 to flatten it.

also – it looks like you’re planing this monster on the floor/deck? this would seriously make things hard for you since your body position makes it almost impossible to use your hips and body position to properly and efficiently control the plane – which would result in some SERIOUS over excessive transfer of power to your arms. if possible – try raising that top to your hip height which will make things easier on you – YES – I know this would be hard to do unless you have another bench, or some good heavy duty sawhorses – but something to consider.

looking forward to see more progress :)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View a1Jim's profile


117908 posts in 4183 days

#3 posted 08-30-2009 04:01 AM

I like Sharon’s(purplev) suggestions too late for jerry’s unless you saw it in half and re-glue after running it through the planner. I’m not sure how much hand planning you’ve done but using a #% or scrub plane like Sharron said will help also planning from each side to from kind of a”V” and then planning straight may make it go faster. and of course a Sharp plane helps too.


View IkeandBerry's profile


45 posts in 3871 days

#4 posted 08-31-2009 03:27 AM

I am in process of planing my new bench top flat as well. My top is already attached to the base to it is a lot easier to plane it with it at the correct height. Pine is southern yellow pine which is also very easy to plane. Good luck its looking great.

-- There is nothing like the sound of a hand plane passing across a board in an otherwise quiet shop.

View Cantputjamontoast's profile


416 posts in 4039 days

#5 posted 08-31-2009 02:08 PM

This is a great series!!!!!
Keep up the good work.
You’re gonna get there!!!!!!!!!

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

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