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Help me fix gouges in a pine workbench top

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Forum topic by sfmaker posted 01-28-2019 08:00 AM 1657 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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sfmaker

3 posts in 809 days


01-28-2019 08:00 AM

I laminated Doug Fir 2×4’s to form an end grain workbench top. Used hand planers (my first time and it’s probably part of the problem) and sanders to finish the work bench top and it now has lots of gouges or tear outs with the grain. Should I sand more with a belt sander or fill the gouges/tear out?

If filling is the option what should I use?

See pics.


19 replies so far

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

1224 posts in 3555 days


#1 posted 01-28-2019 09:16 AM

I understand your desire to have the nicest possible workbench but… it is good enough.
It is only a workbench, which will be beaten while working on it.
Anyway, you might have to re-flatten it in one or two years when the wood is acclimated to your shop. (or to erase the inevitable scars)
In the mean time you will have honed your sharpening and planing skills and you will achieve better results.
Otherwise, try to smooth it with a very sharp plane and the thinnest shavings you can achieve and then use a card scrapper.
Now, on the contrary, some of us will make their bench-top slightly rough to have a better grip by planing it with a toothed plane.
IMHO, just use it as it is.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View JCamp's profile

JCamp

1310 posts in 1606 days


#2 posted 01-28-2019 10:02 AM

It’s a work bench….. it’s going to have some rough spots. My vote is to finish it and use it as is. Take a look st some of the antique work benches around. At one point they were nice beautiful benches, then someone used them, a lot.
If you use yours you’ll end up with many more rough spots, it’s the nature of the beast. Finish the bench and start building other things

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2774 posts in 3045 days


#3 posted 01-28-2019 12:39 PM

Those gouges are from tear out with the hand planes. Not necessary to do anything since its a workbench, and the top can be skimmed any time. Maybe wait for now and work on your hand plane set up skills, when you have figured out how to prevent the tear out, re-plane the top then. If you post what plane(s) you used your issues can probably be fixed quickly.

View BlasterStumps's profile

BlasterStumps

1944 posts in 1495 days


#4 posted 01-28-2019 01:13 PM

When you are orienting the boards just before glue up, it is good practice to determine the direction of grain for each piece and lay them out so the grain direction is the same for all. That way when it comes time to plane the top and you are planing with the grain, not against it, tear out should not be as much of a problem. You may have done this, but you still had some unruly grain, I don’t know. I have gone to my low angle jack plane for times like that.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." MIke in CO

View BlueRidgeDog's profile

BlueRidgeDog

787 posts in 835 days


#5 posted 01-28-2019 01:23 PM

You can continue to plane it down, but your planes are causing the tear out, so I would sand it if it is bothering you. As others have said, leave it for now and in a year or so when your plane sharpening and setup skill has blossomed you can take another shot at it. Getting a plane working just right is shockingly complex thing that requires some time with the tool and a great deal of experimentation.

When you see that sort of tear out, change directions (and verify you are taking a small enough bite with a very sharp blade).

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1483 posts in 1871 days


#6 posted 01-28-2019 02:13 PM

Just for vocabulary sake, that is referred to as edge grain, not end grain.


I laminated Doug Fir 2×4 s to form an end grain workbench top. Used hand planers (my first time and it s probably part of the problem) and sanders to finish the work bench top and it now has lots of gouges or tear outs with the grain. Should I sand more with a belt sander or fill the gouges/tear out?

If filling is the option what should I use?

See pics.

- sfmaker


View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1820 posts in 3915 days


#7 posted 01-28-2019 02:20 PM

And in addition to the vocabulary lesson, technically douglas fir is not a pine…

“Although both fir and pine trees are conifers, bearing cones, and members of the same plant family, Pinaceae, their plant group names are different. Fir trees are members of the genus Abies; whereas pine trees belong to Pinus”

Source: What Is the Difference Between Fir & Pine Trees?

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

3167 posts in 3228 days


#8 posted 01-28-2019 02:32 PM

Douglas Fir is not a true fir, it is in a genus all it own. Pseudotsuga menziesii

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Robert's profile

Robert

4522 posts in 2536 days


#9 posted 01-28-2019 02:40 PM

Don’t worry about it there will be plenty of dents soon enough.

For future reference if you plan to hand plane, orient the grain direction the same in all the boards.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

6932 posts in 2443 days


#10 posted 01-28-2019 02:47 PM

I’ve always thought it was odd that Doug fir, which is not a fir at all, was given a genus name that loosely means false hemlock (Tsuga is the genus for hemlock). LOL, what were we talking about?

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Jack Lewis's profile

Jack Lewis

576 posts in 2134 days


#11 posted 01-28-2019 03:10 PM

Why would anyone use DF for a workbench and not expect it to show usage and flaws? DF is meant for studs hidden inside of walls.

-- "PLUMBER'S BUTT! Get over it, everybody has one"

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

3027 posts in 1996 days


#12 posted 01-28-2019 03:16 PM

Had a few on my DF benchtop after planing. Now with all the battle scars, I can’t tell where they are. It’s soft wood and will easily dent and ding with the work we do on them. I’d say just enjoy your bench.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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builtinbkyn

3027 posts in 1996 days


#13 posted 01-28-2019 03:21 PM

It should look like this in short order. This way we’ll know you’re using it ;)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View sfmaker's profile

sfmaker

3 posts in 809 days


#14 posted 01-28-2019 03:32 PM

Thanks for your responses. Really appreciate it. I’ll put on a finish and get to working!

View SMP's profile (online now)

SMP

3813 posts in 961 days


#15 posted 02-05-2019 08:54 PM

Pottery barn would charge you an extra $2000 for that vintage hand scraped look!

I agree, coat it as is.

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

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