Leveling-Squaring a butcherblock top

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Forum topic by groland posted 06-17-2010 05:29 PM 3591 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View groland's profile


185 posts in 3440 days

06-17-2010 05:29 PM

I am building a woodworking bench. I purchased about a year ago a laminated ash top for it. The top has “cupped” slightly in the interim, so now, I am going to have to level it before proceeding with my workbench. It has bowed up slightly, < 1/8 inch, across its width.

The top is 72” L X 30” W X 2 3/4” D. It weighs a lot! Anyway, I am thinking the only way I can level it is with a plane. I am wondering what sort of plane would be best for this, and if anyone has any tips on how to go about it? The top is up on saw horses now. I have a #4, #5, #7 and #8 planes. How best to advance this?



4 replies so far

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3570 days

#1 posted 06-17-2010 05:39 PM

If your good with a hand plane, then go for it. It would probably be the best way….if your good with it. I’m not, haven’t had enough practice with one, so I would use the router. Make a router planer sled like this one. Of course, it doesn’t have to be with bearings like that, this will just give you a basic idea of what I’m talking about. Try to search for router sled here on LJ, you will get some good ideas…

-- Childress Woodworks

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3677 days

#2 posted 06-17-2010 05:49 PM

if you wanna go the handplane route (no pun intended) the #7 or #8 would you your best choice.

When I built my bench I didn’t have (and still don’t) any #7+ so I used a router with a sled much like Childress suggested. you can see how I did mine here:

it still needed some work afterwards to clean it up, but it was dead flat across the top.

good luck! looking forward to seeing your progress.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View swirt's profile


2786 posts in 3000 days

#3 posted 06-17-2010 06:07 PM

It is easier to flatten the cup than it is to flatten the bow because a plane working across the or diagonal to the grain will take off the edges of the cup until it is flat. If trying to do the bow, then the plane pretty much just wants to ride the bow. So if you can choose which side, choose the cupped side facing up.

Since it is fairly long. you may find it helpful to use a chalkine to snap in a reference line on each side, then plane down to that.

Working diagonal across the width with the #5 Jack plane. (or use which ever in your collection has the most cambered iron. Then finish up with the #7

-- Galootish log blog,

View a1Jim's profile


117127 posts in 3606 days

#4 posted 06-17-2010 06:12 PM

I think previous folks have it handled correctly.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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