jointing 6’ long 4×4s on a little benchtop jointer is part crazy and part gymnastics, cursing helps, but patience helps more. as tough as trueing the reference face is, squaring the second face is the real challenge. at times nearly all the weight was hanging off the end with all fingertip strength focused on keeping the ref face on the fence. but my little cast iron craftsman continues to impress.
felt like i was channeling Rob Cosman as i checked each piece with winding sticks (just some old plywood cutoffs and a sharpie with which i put a dashed pattern on the far stick). one timber had some twist which required some fancy jointing and a bit of hand planing
With two faces dressed and square, I made the remaining two parallel on my lunchbox planer, another tool that always impresses me. I kept their width as large as possible, just planing enough to have a good gluable face, the height I made consistent on each to minimize flattening work later. ended up about 3 5/16” thick
as you can see from the pics, two pieces have nice vertical grain, one fairly diagonal, I decided to go with the diagonal in the middle. used lots of titebond 3 and used all the clamps I could. the board on the right is the nicest and will be at the front of the bench, well half of it will, this will be cut in half and glued again, the finished top will be about 19” x 36”
-- John - Central PA - http://affyx.wordpress.com