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  • #309317
    Richard Guggemos
    Participant

    Looks fine. Now you’ll be able to plane it flat and true. It’s a big job but one I found very satisfying.

    Have a great weekend.

    #309326
    entitydigital
    Participant

    Looks great Hugo! I found that once I had the top glued and flattened, it was immediately useful a surface to help build the rest of the bench.

    Regarding your technique for knots, I’ve found the same, but I’ve also recently tried skewing the plane to get more of slicing action from the blade.

    Rob.

    #309353
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    Today, I have finished the underside of the lamination. It was tough work again, but using my straight edge often helped. One log has the grain orientation the other way, but it was not an issue, because it is wide enough to plane it individually. For the transition to the other logs, I used a very shallow plane setting.

    Now I am in the process of squaring the sides. I want a maximum width, and I am not good at planing to lines, so I started squaring them individually. I have not yet checked, how parallel they are. I will have lunch now and then have a look. Considering, that squaring the sides is pretty much the same work as joining the glue faces previously, I was quite fast and to the point.

    I already tested, how the apron will fit onto this lamination: Of course, it doesn’t. This will be the next challenge, getting this wide surface flat and even – probably six times, even though not all surfaces of the aprons and well board really matter, but I want the practise, because my first project on this workbench will be a large shelf with even wider sides.

    Dieter

    #309370
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    I have used a square to draw lines from both sides to see, if they match. On one half of the length, they matched, on the other half, they didn’t quite. When I eyeballed the sides, I found, that one side had a very light belly and still had a high spot on the end. At a length of 180 cm, this obviously matters. I removed these areas and the new lines with the square matched almost perfectly. I could use a knife and a square and see, if I could get a line around, that meets on the ends, but I am not going to (well, perhaps, out of curiosity), because this could lead to endless corrections. While a work bench is a precision instrument in a way, precision needs to be defined by a level of accuracy, and I am not going to split atoms on it, so will be good enough.

    I am actually more concerned about getting a nice surface on the top. This will be done much later, when the bench is assembled, so I can still practise on the aprons, legs and the well board.

    By the way, I completely forgot to think about the rails. I considered laminating pallet wood to thickness, but usually, it has wild grain and many knots. So I might reconsider. It is hard to get thick enough stock for this in DIY markets, but there are some wood dealers that I will check. I want 1″ width, so they don’t look too flimsy against the legs.

    Dieter

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Hugo Notti.
    #309388
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    I am not in a hurry now. There is always one or two boards to plane for the next few evenings. They are all touched already and I have to clean up the mess, that I have created in my first furious days. This is not too bad, but it is more work than on fresh logs. One of the logs is very much bent, I measured 1/2″ in the center. This means, that I have to plane down 1/2″ at least, which is too much, so I need one more log.

    I have again inspected the first block of wood, that I have created over the last two weeks, and I am satisfied with the result. The upper surface will be pretty much closed, I could close the gaps on the lower surface too, but why bother? The edges are straight and parallel, and these are the points of reference.

    Dieter

    #309390
    Richard Guggemos
    Participant

    Dieter,
    Remember, it didn’t happen if there aren’t any photos. Post us some pictures.
    Rick G

    #309429
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    Oops, I thought, I had uploaded some photos of the finished slab. I will do that tomorrow.

    #309464
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    As promised, here are some fotos of the first half of the bench top.

    The first one shows just the underside, the second one side and underside, and you can see, how the pencil line has two angles, one from before getting the sides parallel. The third one is the upper side, completely untouched, I didn’t even remove the glue.

    Tonight, I have discarded one log. It is extremely bent and has a nasty crack. I started working on another one, also quite bent, but I got it straight enough to match the first piece, that I apparently had prepared on Monday. I did the side, where the ends are high. So, I am left with the side, that has a belly in the middle. I used a scrub plane with fairly shallow setting to remove the biggest part of the waste. With my smoothing plane, I would still be planing. Now there is a gap of less than 1/4″, which can easily be compressed. At first, there was a high spot near one end, and I could see, how the ends on that side separated, when the main gap closed, and it needed careful looking to identify, on which log I had to plane.

    I still need to find some pine for the rails on the legs. In northern Germany, pine is usually sold in small pieces to start fires, and as thin profiles for walls etc. And there is pine in small dimensions, 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick, 1/4″ to 3-3/4″ wide. Eventually, I want to replace the fir top with a pine top, and so I want the leg parts completely made from pine. I will then look for fir to make leg parts for the fir top and sell that bench.

    Today, I had to go home from work by subway, and I passed a long train loaded with wood. It is a pity to see all these logs, which will probably be chopped to firewood. For some reason, people still fall for the lie, that heating with wood is more environmental friendly than burning gas or oil. If your definition of “environment” is “living room”, it might be correct, but for some obscure reasons, woods in eastern Europe are getting thinner each year. And since my plan is to live at least another 100 years, I am a bit concerned.

    Dieter

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Hugo Notti.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Hugo Notti.
    Attachments:
    #309525
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    Since I have to wait for the new logs to dry, I have started planing of the boards for the aprons. It is twisted, bent, cupped and – of course – it has knots. I have planed the convex side roughly and now I am on the other side. The board is 28 cm (11″) wide, so quite a task. I think, I have to remove about 5 mm of the thickness, perhaps a bit more. The concave side seems to be a bit easier, I have finished one half of the width. Now I have to recover and then figure out a way to clamp the board, so I can get to the other side easily.

    No photos yet, try to imagine a big fat untamed board of spruce.

    Dieter

    #309550
    Richard Guggemos
    Participant

    ??

    #309599
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    Tonight, I have maintained my planes and started flattening the body of the new plane (still using the old plane with the new blade). I also got the old blade quite straight again, I think, it is useable for rougher tasks. I even started flattening my old stones with very rough sandpaper. It is a lot of work and once, most of the surface seems flat, it also seems to take forever to get the rest done – have to get down the major part of the surface to the remaining flat areas.

    Warning: Make sure, you have a flat surface when you want to flatten a plane, stone or anything else. I didn’t and this probably doubled the work, because I noticed too late.

    Dieter

    #309644
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    See attachments. On one sidel, the board has a v-shape stretching from one end to the other, the edge of the v at around 1/3 of the length. The plane won’t cut anywhere near the high spot, even though it appears quite sharp on another piece of wood or other areas of the same board – it is actually freshly sharpened and set. it feels like riding the fibres. Only, when I skew the plane by almost 90°, it will “scratch” off some shavings.

    I leave it at this for tonight. I have many thoughts and ideas, but none that lead to a possible solution. I have ruled out explosives so far, even though they might make me feel a bit better 😀

    Dieter

    PS: All pictures show the board with the “bad” side down.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Hugo Notti.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Hugo Notti.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Hugo Notti.
    Attachments:
    #309652
    rafi
    Participant

    Keep it up, Hugo! Showing steady progress.

    #309705
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    I was wrong, the plane wasn’t that sharp anymore. Not really dull, but dull enough to skip these spots. So I made a new rule: If something doesn’t work, sharpen my tools. It might not always be necessary, but it usually can’t hurt, it gives me a rest and perhaps, it is just the solution I didn’t see. In less words: The first of the wide boards is almost finished now.

    Getting the new plane sole flat is harder. I am using a fairly thin tile for support, and perhaps it bents slightly. I cannot tell, it seems perfectly flat when I push it down while measuring with a straight edge. I have a concrete tile somewhere, that is much thicker (almost 1-1/2″), but I cannot find it.

    I sometimes wonder, how I would feel, if I had to do this all day long, five (or even six, as this was standard 100 years ago) days a week. I would probably be much better at planing, or completely wasted by now, or perhaps both.

    Dieter

    #309773
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    I will return to the massive boards either this week-end or next week. Tonight, I have planed the boards for the rails between the legs. Four are ready to be cut to width, two to go. I noticed a big difference between cheap spruce and good pine, these boards are pine. While naturally harder to plane, it is much easier to get a good surface, and tearout, when it happens, is much lighter. I would love to do the complete bench in pine, but that would be three times the cost. I only know local prices, but I often heard, that in Europe, wood is the most expensive in Germany.

    Tomorrow, I will continue planing the slabs for the second half of the bench top, and I will take a few pictures, so you can see, what I am getting done.

    I have put aside the second plane body, it is not important right now. But I will try the old blade again, it looks quite nice now, and it will let me work longer between sharpening.

    While planing the rail boards, I found a new strategy for flattening: I keep the plane fairly shallow all the time and look for the areas, where it takes off the most (or anything at all, on a fresh surface). Then I register the heel of the plane with a lower area and try to expand the higher area over the length of the board. Eventually, the shavings will get thinner, and then I look for the next high area. Registering against a lower area seems to minimise the amount, I need to take off on the high areas in order to reach the full board. On these four boards, I did today, it was almost enough to get the entire surfaces flat.

    Dieter

    PS:

    Looking back to my planing history, I needed to take these steps in the following order:
    – sharp plane iron
    – good measuring equipment and methods (straight edge, light, winding sticks)
    – sharper plane iron
    – more attention to measuring my progress
    – understanding grain
    In my entire woodworking history, planing seems to be the hardest skill to develop. And therefore, I love this project, it consists of 90% planing and I am learning so much!

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