Lego Table #3: Hand Planing and Hand Sanding

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Blog entry by Eric posted 11-17-2008 05:34 AM 1620 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: A Tough Day in the Shop Part 3 of Lego Table series Part 4: Everything is a Workbench and the World is My Shop »

On Saturday (the day after our baby was due, and he’s still not here!), my wonderful wife said, “Why don’t you go do some woodworking?” Since I was actually in the mood to tackle the next task on my Lego Table, I went for it!

So the task of the day was to prep the table pieces for assembly. That meant planing and (some) sanding. The boards are in decent shape, being pretty much flat and square, so I only had to smooth them a little and take off the top layer to remove some staining and marring on the surface. (By the way, I went out and bought a replacement board for the cupped one, so I didn’t have to deal with that.) But still, that’s quite a chore when doing it all by hand with no workbench.

My makeshift bench involved placing two 2”x6” boards side by side on my sawing trestles, with the boards butting up against the wall. I used a couple narrower boards (1”x3”) laid parallel to the wall as a planing stop. This mostly worked when planing the shorter boards (the leg pieces). For the aprons, I had to plane one half, then flip it around and plane the other half (while sitting on one end of the board). Oh – I have to mention that the grain on this kapur is so funky, there didn’t really seem to be a “with” or “against” the grain! Kinda nice, wouldn’t you say? I had no tear-out, no matter which way I went.

After all that planing, I went over everything with 100# sandpaper. Good enough for now. Here you can see my setup – my wife took this pic while I was sanding:

Trestle "Bench"

And after it was all said and done – what was that, like 2 or 3 hours? – here is what I ended up with: a bunch of pieces that look pretty much exactly like they did when I started:

Components - After Planing/Sanding

And here’s a closer look at what the kapur sapwood looks like compared with the heartwood. Very interesting – I’m curious to see how it turns out in the end! These are the leg pieces – I’m matching up one of these heartwood/sapwood pieces with one pure heartwood piece. Still trying to think of where that strip of sapwood should be in my leg assembly (see the Sketchup drawing). Oh, incidentally, in the pic below you can see that one of the 2”x6” boards also has some sapwood mixed, but it’s much more of a pukey dark greyish yellow (can something be a pukey dark greyish yellow?).

Kapur Heartwood/Sapwood Mix

On a side note: I really need to fettle my Stanley #4. It would work fine, and then every 10 minutes or so my chipbreaker would jam up with shavings. Aargh!

Jammed Chipbreaker

-- Eric at

6 comments so far

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 3778 days

#1 posted 11-17-2008 06:18 AM

Looks like fun.

I was just out planing the top of my nightstands today. That smoothing plane makes nice fine shavings.

Take a nice fine flat bastard file to the flat part where the chip breaker touches the iron and make it flat. Angle it back a touch so the front edge touches first and there are no gaps. It will be fine.

-- Scott - Chico California

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3925 days

#2 posted 11-17-2008 03:54 PM

My gosh, Eric, it almost looks like you’re working in the shower. More woodworking under duress. Keep at ‘er pardner. You’re gaining on it. Neat wood, but I’ve never heard of it.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3636 days

#3 posted 11-17-2008 04:35 PM

Looks like Fun, Eric!

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 3747 days

#4 posted 11-18-2008 03:55 AM

Hey Scott, thanks for saving me the 10 minutes I’d have used to see exactly what to do with my chipbreaker. I was thinking sandpaper, but the file sounds easier.

-- Eric at

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 3778 days

#5 posted 11-18-2008 04:39 AM

Not a problem.

Any babies yet? Those mommies start getting testy the later it gets.

-- Scott - Chico California

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 3747 days

#6 posted 11-18-2008 08:46 AM

Nope, not yet, but we’re thinking tomorrow will be the day!

-- Eric at

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