Workbench Build #21: Leveling.. Well.. Evening The Top..

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Airframer posted 529 days ago 1447 reads 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 20: Laminating The Top 2.. Part 21 of Workbench Build series Part 22: Rough Plan For The Base.. Opinions Needed.. »

More progress on the top today. I finally found a full day off of work to spend a good amount of time in the shop today.

The day started out innocent enough. The plan for the day was to knock down and even out the thickness of all the boards making up the top so it will be easier to level once it is assembled.

As you can see I was less than accurate when ripping the Oak for the laminated pieces..

I started out just scrubbing away the squeeze out and the high boards. As I got closer to even with one of the outside edge boards it became evident that I had (despite what I thought was careful planning) laminated the last board with the grain running opposite all the others… Well poo..

I contemplated this for a bit and figured since it is on the outside and not the middle the only correct thing to do was cut it off and add a new one.

So out comes the circular saw and accessories for a quick run down the top..

And then my Atkins rip saw to finish up.. (I really need to get on with tuning this guy up..)

With that board removed I have a 9 1/2” slab to even out. I’ll re add the missing board between the dog strip and the skirt later on if I think it is needed. I might end up liking this depth (which will come to around 14” when it is all said and done).

A few more hours of scrubbing and the top side of the bench is even and actually almost level! It still has a bit of a dip in the center but that will be taken care of once my No 6 arrives :-).

Now.. the other side! which is in much worse shape as far as evenness of the boards..

I spent another hour or so scrubbing away at that side and allllmost have it evened out but I’ll have to finish that up tomorrow. My arms are tired and the wife misses me so that is all the shop time I have for today.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more! Comments and critiques are always encouraged (your comments keep me motivated to keep going!)..

-- Eric -

10 comments so far

View Mauricio's profile


6799 posts in 1778 days

#1 posted 529 days ago

AF, the 6 will be there soon. I haven’t been able to send the 6 yet but I will get it sent tomorrow. Sorry about that. I did do some extra flattening to the sole, sharpened the blade, and boxed it up ready to go. It should be ready to go right out of the box.

By the way remember since you are flattening your top with hand tools you dont have to flatten the whole bottom side. You just have to work the spots where the mortises will be, make those spots flat and parallel to the top.

Flattening both sides is only necessary if you are going to run it through a machine.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Airframer's profile (online now)


2387 posts in 579 days

#2 posted 529 days ago

Thanks Mauri. I’m not worried about the No 6. I know it will get here.

I’m not trying to level the bottom so much as even out the thickness. I am mostly trying to get each joint down to the glue line so they can disappear. I am done with that bit and have flipped the top back over so I can start fitting the rest of it together. It is almost starting to look like something finally!

-- Eric -

View Tugboater78's profile


940 posts in 818 days

#3 posted 529 days ago

Getting there! Yer gonna make me have to start on making me a decent bench soon!

-- Justin - the tugboat woodworker - " nothing changed me like the first shnick from a well sharpened, decent hand plane"

View waho6o9's profile


4825 posts in 1203 days

#4 posted 529 days ago

Nice work AirFramer, she’s going to look nice, good job.

View WhoMe's profile


1106 posts in 1870 days

#5 posted 529 days ago

2 things if you have not started the glue up of the second slab.
Have you thought about maybe re-ripping some of the boards to even out the widths a little more? That would save some plane work. Unless you like that kind of torture…lol
Also, look into clamping cauls. Or, wrap 2 or more pieces of wood in wax paper that will be longer than your glued up slab will be wide. Place them crosswise to where you plan to do the gue up. Position them about 1-2 feet in from the ends ofthe wood you are gluing up. Then when you clamp the pieces being glued up. The surface setting on the wax paper cross beams should be fairly flat. Once dry, the flat sie should reqire much less planing to make flat.
Hopefully you understood my description and it helps on your nex round of glue ups.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies and the wall gets in the way.. - Mike -

View Airframer's profile (online now)


2387 posts in 579 days

#6 posted 529 days ago

Thanks for the suggestion Mike. I only have 2 more strips to glue onto the top. One is the dog strip which is, by design, thicker than the rest of the top by 1” and the skirt which is thicker than that to provide sufficiant clamping ability on the leg vise so the cauls wont be much help there but now that the top portion is evened out I can at least keep then evened up when gluing easier.

Unfortunately I have run out of glue so that whole operation will have to wait so I am moving onto the base next (finally) expect updates on that soon.

-- Eric -

View 559dustdesigns's profile


632 posts in 1794 days

#7 posted 529 days ago

Nice job, I have enjoyed following this project. As always, thanks for sharing with us.

-- Aaron - central California "If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"

View Don W's profile

Don W

14842 posts in 1194 days

#8 posted 529 days ago

It’s looking good.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Mauricio's profile


6799 posts in 1778 days

#9 posted 529 days ago

I used dowels to align my top pieces for glue up, saved me a ton of work afterwards.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Airframer's profile (online now)


2387 posts in 579 days

#10 posted 529 days ago

Thanks Don.

Mauricio, I might do that for the next few pieces. I must say though.. the “flattening” went faster than I thought it would though I am feeling it this morning lol.

-- Eric -

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase