In the above video, and in the below 10 steps, I teach one of the most basic and essential skills in traditional woodworking: how to square, flatten, & dimension your own rough lumber into finished boards. To build quality traditional furniture, you need to start with perfectly flat and square lumber. Some people achieve this with power jointers, planers, and table saws. While the electrical power route is more economical for a commercial woodworking workshop, I prefer the safet...
Why Sole Flatness?Convex (bulging out) and concave (hollowed out) soles will cause uneven cut depths and skipping and chattering. For a convex shape, the plane rocks front to back and/or side to side. A concave shape will cause heavier cuts at the start and end of a surface, and possibly no cut in the middle. Different amounts of downward hand pressure can affect each stroke causing more confusion. Even with a very flat sole varying downward pressure will affect the cut. Reduce the variables ...
Finally got the bench to the point where it’s time to flatten the top and finish it. Going into the project almost a year ago, I made a promise to myself that I would flatten the top by hand. I’ve seen the fancy router sled used by the Woodwhisperer (among others), but that’s not how I wanted to go (besides the fact that I don’t want to put down $50 on a wide-pass router bit). The top wasn’t too far out of flat, globally. However, there were lots of...
Well the separate paths of motivation and free time finally merged today for a couple of hours, and I was able to get my jack plane out and get busy! I am about 3/4 of the way through “Phase 1” which involves getting the whole top flattish. Then I’ll drop it back down (you may be able to see it’s “up on blocks” (literally) to keep the top clear of the leg tenons) and see how level it is. If it’s pretty close to level, then I’ll smooth it ...
Well, with the boards for the top cut to rough length and rough thickness, and the general layout for the top decided on, it’s time to start squaring up the lumber and getting ready to glue the top all together. I started out with jointing one face and one edge flat and square on the 6” general jointer. I set up a roller stand to the exact height on both the infeed and outfeed side. It’s time consuming, but squaring all the lumber is probably the single most important step i...
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