I looked at various woods for the bench and ended up deciding on poplar, why, because it was relatively cheap, and I could get it in wide boards.
I wanted to build the top of the bench as a single board. I sorted through the wide boards available and looked for one with some interesting figure. Here’s the one I finally settled on:
I didn’t want to split the seat but my jointer is only 6 inches wide. Unfortunately the board with the best figure had the most cup. The cup was pretty bad, over an 1/8 of an inch.
The seat is just over a foot wide, 61 inches long, has an eighth inch cup, and wont fit my jointer. So I have a couple options. I could make a planer sled and slide it through my benchtop planer. Or a better choice for me, mostly because I enjoy doing it, is to hand plane it flat on one side and then run it through the power planer to straighten up the other side.
After a bit of work on one side it’s starting to flatten out
Eventually I got the top and selves flattened out and ended up needing to work the sides too.
It turned out to be quite a bit of work but I enjoyed it. Kind of the quiet therapeutic woodworking I don’t get enough of. Anyhow, progress is being made.