Just a quick post. I decided not to go into great depth on how to flatten a benchtop as it has been explained before and better elsewhere. But I did want to at least show this stage of my build here.
When I glued up the douglas fir portion of the benchtop, (before I added the sapele edges) I performed an initial flattening of the top. I knew the top was pretty flat already at this point and wouldn’t take much to finish it off.
To start, I got out my jointer planes (Stanley Nos. 7 & 8). I took diagonal passes all the way along the bench.
The jointer planes left marks that were easily visible.
After the first series of passes, I switched directions and planed along the bench on the reciprocal 45° angle. Once this was done, I took a series of passes along the length of the bench with a slightly lighter set plane.
There were quite a few plane track marks that had to be cleaned up, and I did this with a smoothing plane.
I guess that I should point out that I checked the bench throughout this process with a pair of winding sticks, but I never found any twist, either before or after the flattening. I also used a steel straight edge to check the benchtop was flat and was happy with the result.
Wow, what a workout! I was well and truly smoked by the time I got done with this… and my arms felt a little rubbery for a while. I also filled the wood stove a few times getting rid of all the shavings. Not as if I needed the extra heat in the shop after that planing session. Next up, sliding dead-men.
– Jonathan White