10,000 Hours #2: Workbench Planing

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Blog entry by LucasWoods posted 03-09-2015 12:22 AM 1670 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The Beggining Part 2 of 10,000 Hours series Part 3: More Work Needs to be Done »

So today was a learning experience for sure. I spent 3 hours planning my workbench top. Furthermore, my bench was slopped together literally 2 weeks before I moved across the country. I hope when I get more skills and more understanding the wifey will allot me some money to make a better bench in a year or so.

The Mistake

So I thought I knew how to flatten my workbench top and boy was I wrong. I began by planning lengthwise on my bench (which has a major cup running through the entire length). I tried to plane the edges of the cup down which was working. At least I thought it was. After planning one of the corners I get out my winding stick, which is a 48” long piece of steel (yes it is square), and what do I find out? I planned one corner WAY too far down.. so now the opposite corner is high the middle still has a cup and the edge I just planned is now lower than the cup! So, I thought to myself I have to be doing this wrong. Went to the web looked up some videos and found that I indeed was going about it the wrong way. Flash forward to the end of my 3 hours I have gone width wise across my top until I was getting consistent shavings and now the rest of the top has kind of come down to the level of my low corner. I took out my winding stick and I still have a cup! on one end it isn’t much of a cup maybe 1/8” (due to me working only one end of the bench earlier). The other end of the bench has I would say a little over 1/4”. I am using a Stanley No. 5 Jack plane. I am not sure why I still have a cup I suspect it is because my jack plane is just riding the cup because it is taking shavings out of the middle and the sides. For anyone who is reading this my bench top is 30”W X 60”L it is made out of construction grade 2×4 Whitewood.

I will be doing some more researching on this and how to correct that dang cup! Hopefully someone will grace my Blog and give me some pointers!

00,003/10,000 Hours

-- Colorado Springs, CO - USAF

3 comments so far

View Mykos's profile


103 posts in 3082 days

#1 posted 03-09-2015 02:46 AM

It looks good so far. That’ll be a sturdy bench when you’re done. I’ve found it really helps to use a pencil and outline then hash mark the high spots. Hand planing lets you focus on specific areas and unless you’re using a very long plane you really need to be targeting the high spots specifically. A 30” jointer will do a lot of the guess work for you, but a 15” jack requires you to steer it.

Kudos to you for sticking to it though. You’ll learn lots about hand planing doing it. And beef up your arm muscles. You have a good pile of shavings to show for it too. Fun times.

View Tugboater78's profile


2796 posts in 3479 days

#2 posted 03-09-2015 02:47 AM

Are you marking the top with pencil or chalk to signify the high spots, and just working them down till to come close to the cup or low spots? This may help you keep track of where you have planed or jot and keep yah from chasing that runaway dog.

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View LucasWoods's profile


448 posts in 2620 days

#3 posted 03-09-2015 03:48 AM

honestly for awhile I was not marking anything. I was thinking that the jack plane was long enough not to ride the trough but I was wrong after going at it for a bit! but hey you make mistakes and you learn. Thank you for the input I will hopefully pick this up tomorrow and get my straight edge and mark the high spots and focus on them. I don’t know maybe I was a little worried to focus on a certain high spot or section due to my earlier mistake. We will see tomorrow!

-- Colorado Springs, CO - USAF

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