Starting my workbench project

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Forum topic by Tugboat706 posted 736 days ago 685 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Tugboat706's profile


39 posts in 768 days

736 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: jointer planer plane oak question

I have several 9.5” wide slabs of 2.25” thick white oak that will make up the top. My jointer can handle up to 6” wide, and my planer 12”. So when I get to the stage where I am working on the top, I can true up the ‘sides’ of my slabs, but the ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ will be too wide for the jointer.

So my question is: Do I need to hack up these big beautiful slabs into 6” or narrower pieces, or to I true the sides, glue them up, and hand-plane the top and bottom flat? I like the big, wide slabs and the way they look, so I’d hate to have to slice them up, but I want a good flat top for the workbench. At this stage, I’m still working on the base, but I want to have an idea of a plan in my head.

Thanks in advance for your help, guys! :)

-- Clark in Georgia

6 replies so far

View lumberjoe's profile


2829 posts in 854 days

#1 posted 736 days ago

2 words: Router Plane
(I love routers and use mine for just about everything)


View jmos's profile


681 posts in 975 days

#2 posted 736 days ago

I would suggest you look into router sleds to flatten the top. You set up rails (jointed 2×4’s work well) on each side of the top that are straight and parallel with each other, then use a sled that supports a router and rides on the rails to route all over the top and flatten the entire thing up.

Hand planes will work; use a jack or scrub to do the main stock removal, follow up with a jointer to flatten, and a smoother if you decide you want to, but it will be a workout.

I would look at other option before I hack up those nice boards. My only concern, do any of your boards contain the center of the log? Those boards tend to move more and you might want to cut that out.

-- John

View Nicky's profile


636 posts in 2697 days

#3 posted 736 days ago

I agree with lumberjoe and jmos.

for an example.

Don’t hackup the wide boards.

-- Nicky

View Gshepherd's profile


1440 posts in 807 days

#4 posted 736 days ago

How about a local small cabinet shop with a drum sander or wide belt sander to clean them up for ya…..

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View MNgary's profile


235 posts in 1022 days

#5 posted 735 days ago

I would consider straight-sawing the boards, temporarily attaching runners to each edge, planing one side, remove the runners and joint the edges, then plane the remaining side. Depending how much of a perfectionist you are, this may require edge-banding the two exposed edges (if you can’t tolerate wood fill for the nail/screw holes) on the front and rear outside of your final glued-up benchtop.

I know many woodworkers rightfully get concerned with using temporary runners when planing, but having the ability to use two inch plus for attaching the temp runners . . .

-- I dream of the world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View rockindavan's profile


283 posts in 1241 days

#6 posted 735 days ago

Check out the woodwhisperer’s video on jointing wide boards

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