Quick Question on Bench Flattening w/Hand Planes

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Forum topic by langski93 posted 05-28-2014 07:02 PM 960 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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111 posts in 3669 days

05-28-2014 07:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bench top flattening bench

For those of you with experience getting really flat results, I have the following question on technique.

My top is a bid wider at 31.5”
I have a Bailey #7, a 5 1/2 as well as a 4 if needed.

For the first step with the #7, the cross grain planing, would you start in the middle and plane straight to each side, or or do you start your push on one edge of the top and push all the way straight across the top and past the far (opposite) edge?

Because of the width of my top I was starting in the middle on the cross grain step and pushing across the front edge the length of the bench and then change direction and doing the other 1/2 of the bench down its length.

Thanks in advance.

-- Langski, New Hampshire

3 replies so far

View shampeon's profile


1894 posts in 2420 days

#1 posted 05-28-2014 07:20 PM

How out of flat is your top right now? If you can identify the high spots with a straight-edge and mark them (with a pencil) you can start off with the 5 1/2 or 4 with an open mouth and a thicker cut to knock them down first. Then you can clean it up with the 7, making some light edge to edge diagonal passes (I don’t do true cross grain planing here) and then lengthwise passes until you’re flat.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View pintodeluxe's profile


5816 posts in 3049 days

#2 posted 05-28-2014 07:30 PM

I am sure you can do pretty well with hand planes, but what I have had the best luck with is commercial size drum sanders. I take my large tops to a woodworking shop with a 50” combination planer / drum sander. Within a matter of minutes, the top is dead flat. In my experience, the cost is reasonable.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View richardwootton's profile


1701 posts in 2191 days

#3 posted 05-28-2014 08:59 PM

A pair of winding sticks to look for twist will come in handy also to look for twist.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

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