I’ve spent the last few days flattening and thicknessing and dimensioning all the lumber for this project. It seems so simple with Norm Abrams does it. Alas, not so when I do it. I managed through it mostly. I have a few pieces that are 8 inches wide, and I only have a 6” jointer. And, of course, those wider pieces happened to have a ton of twist to it. So, I busted out the brand new 100-year-old scrub plane that my dad gave me recently (which I had just sharpened).
I was amazed at how efficient it was to take the high spots down with the plane, then follow up with my new #4 smoother. Shockingly, even though I’m a total hand tool newbie, that board was about as flat as could be when I was done.
Also, I’ve realized that I really need a workbench. In the worst of ways. Because using handtools without one totally sucks. Thankfully for my table saw top, which has been doing double duty as a face vise:
Though it’s a complete jury rigged system, it seems to work. I also found that jamming a scrap piece of wood in the miter slot makes a lovely bench dog:
Hand cutting tenons and planing boards with this system takes forever. But until I get a real workbench, at least I have my table saw top and clamps…