|Forum topic by langski93||posted 03-08-2009 07:58 PM||1481 views||1 time favorited||6 replies|
03-08-2009 07:58 PM
I am new at hand planing and finally building a decent bench which will not gyrate when I try to use hand planes. Up to this point, I have been using a power jointer and cleaning up with hand planes. I want to expand my capabilities which is my motivation for building the bench in the first place. My issue is with the bench top.
The top material is soft maple, 2 1/2” wide by 1 3/16” thick, set on edge, so that the width (2 1/2”) will become the thickness of the table top. The top will then be made from approximately 28 laminated pieces all 1 3/16” wide. Each piece has been smoothed with a hand plane and now is ready to be glued. Here is the big question:
Does the Edge grain all have to run in the same direction, so that whether I power join it, hand plane it, and or send it through a thickness planner for final dressing, I avoid or minimize tear out? Even as I take out very thin shavings from the soft maple by hand, if I don’t plane in the right direction it really wants to tear out. Is soft maple known for this? Hand planes are scary sharp, so that is not an issue. I did not mark the direction of the grain on the original smoothing, but even if I did there were many areas where the grain reversed for a substained section (pieces are 80” long).
I saw a method of using a router on a sled for leveling the top, but at the end of the day, I am interested in a highly refined surface with minimal sanding, which I still think will have to be done regardless of using a router to level. Thanks to all readers and responders.
Daylight savings and high 50s here in the Granite State.
-- Langski, New Hampshire