Reply by Tim

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Posted on Truing lumber by hand--how to avoid "oops"

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3812 posts in 1986 days

#1 posted 04-07-2013 04:59 PM

There’s a couple great videos on this on Paul Sellers' master class site. You have to sign up for an account, but a few, such as the two on squaring up stock are free. You may want to watch his youtube series on building a bench too, but it doesn’t cover squaring up the stock.

You’re right, once you go past your line the only way to be sure of recovering is run a new line and come down to that, but once your skills are pretty good I think you’ll find you can bring the high spots down, checking with your square and have a piece square enough for most purposes. Like mosquito said, if you set your plane for very thin shavings your mistakes will be smaller too.

It will take practice, so it’s great you have a pile of wood to work on. Maybe start with smaller pieces though then work up. You probably can’t get an 8 foot two by four truly squared up without ending up with a 3/8”x2”x4’ piece unless you selected your pieces very carefully. There’s just too much bow and twist in them usually. But for a benchtop all you need to be able to do is pull them together by hand.

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