After getting the 3rd 8” section glued up to complete the bench top, I went to bed, letting it sit in the clamps all night. The next morning, my son and I moved the top onto my old bench so that I could start flattening it. That’s when I realized that the glue-surface face of the last section, while flat, was angled. I was in such a rush (ie: excitement) to get it clamped up that I didn’t realize the problem when I glued it up. Part of the problem was that I didn’t flatten the individual 8” sections before gluing them up; so the angle wasn’t very noticeable when I first clamped them up.
This was a major problem because while I left a little extra when milling, it wasn’t enough to compensate having to take flattening the top / bottom with this new angle. It would have left my bench top thinner than the 4” or so I was shooting for. So, I ripped the last 8” section off. Then, I flattened the bottoms of the two sections (16” and 8”) individually. After that, I jointed the mating edges making sure they were 90 degrees to their respective bottoms.
To be honest, I’m not upset at all about the set back. I’d much rather do it right than have problems after the bench is together. The way I see it, this is just another opportunity for me to learn a lesson and improve my woodworking skills.
Btw, my Christmas gift came in today: a Veritas LA jack plane! My other planes are vintage Stanleys that I got off of eBay and tuned up. I’d never used a modern “premium” plane before. All I can say is WOW! Right out of the box, I was taking gossamer shavings the full length of 60” pine board. My vintage Stanley #7 is great, but after using the LA jack, I’m definitely going to start saving up to get a Veritas BU jointer some time next year.
I’m going to get them glued up tomorrow. I took a small break from working on the bench over the past two days to make a couple of much-needed clamp racks. My shop is small, so storage space is at a premium and being organized is VERY important. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anywhere to put my pipe clamps and hand screw clamps.
When I first set my shop up, I installed a series of French cleats around the walls. I built racks for my chisels, bar clamps, etc back when I first set up shop (about a year ago), but I picked up some pipe clamps and hand screw clamps over the past few months. So, I made a couple of simple racks to hold them using 1x and 2x scrap along with 3/4” Baltic birch plywood. The thing I love about the French cleat system is that I can move things around to different places if I find better ways to set up my work flow, etc.