Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
Re: Time to flatten my bench

Wiley Horne
Hi Jack,

You’re doing great with the toothed iron. I’ve done this a couple of times. What worked for me best was to think of the job in two parts.

The first part was the brutal—repeat brutal—business of attacking the high spots wherever i found them with a fairly narrow cambered blade. Finding them was done with a milled-edge 4-foot level which just stayed on the bench top for constant checking. Constant checking to avoid ever cutting into a low place. I used a wooden fore plane, no capiron at all. But a toothed iron would have been great. Not a lot of tearout, because it doesn’t take long to find out which way the grain lies, plus you can always cut the high spots down across the grain. 90% of the time and work was done in part 1.

Part 2 was the actual flattening. A try plane or any long lightly cambered plane (like your no. 7) would do fine, because the real work has already been done.

I found this process to be the more effective, the less elegant it was. It seems to me you are following the same basic idea.

That is a nice long bench! Where did you get the cambered blade?

Wiley

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