Best way to go about flattening/smoothing a maple bench top?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by fas0latid0 posted 03-22-2012 01:34 AM 1176 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View fas0latid0's profile


12 posts in 1697 days

03-22-2012 01:34 AM

I have a workbench in the works, I need to finish the leg supports and flatten one side of a maple bowling alley lane which I received for free. What is the best way to go about planing it? I have a Lee Valley LA jack with a 50 degree iron which I plan to use on it, I’m just wondering whats the best method to getting a nice even surface.

4 replies so far

View SamuelP's profile


783 posts in 2069 days

#1 posted 03-22-2012 02:04 AM

I have done this and I believe you can search on youtube for video. I go across grain evenly down the entire legnth, then at a 45 degree from one of the top corner, then 45 degrees from opposite top right corner, then finally with the grain. then measure with a straight edge and repeat if needed.

-- -Sam - FL- "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns somthing he can in no other way" -Mark Twain

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


13571 posts in 2041 days

#2 posted 03-22-2012 02:58 AM

^What Sam said will work great. Check for flat often!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 1807 days

#3 posted 03-22-2012 09:14 AM

I would add that you want to do this with simply a sharp blade in your longest plane. And Once you get it flat, leave it. Even if there is a bit of tear out here or there…If you start going after those spots with a smoothing plane or card scraper, you’ve just ruined your flatness.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View thebenchdogs's profile


9 posts in 1688 days

#4 posted 03-22-2012 02:03 PM

I made a new bench last year, and to flatten the bench, I did as other members stated, by using my #8 joiner plane, and going across the grain at an angle. You want to continue to check for flatness, and make certain you have a good straightedge. It took me some time to get the entire top flat, but you want your bench top to be flat as possible. I probably need to flatten some high spots that developed since last year, but that is the method I use. Make sure your plane blades are razor sharp. Good luck.

-- Scott

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics