Work Bench Help

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    Ken Johnston

    so I recently started the workbench build. I planed each of the 2X4 pieces and recently did the glue up following Pauls directions. now that I am planning the top flat I am finding small imperfections where the laminations aren’t tight and there are hairline sized gaps a few inches here and there on the top. I did not originally spot these as I am using 2X4’s with eased corners and planing out the round over with flattening the top. What is the best way to fix these gaps? or should I be scrapping the top and starting over?


    You don’t strictly have to fix them, but if you want to fix them you could cut a thin strip the width of the gap (widen the gap slightly with a chisel if you need to) and then glue that in the gap.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 8 months ago by raze599.
    Ken Johnston

    Thank You Raze, hadn’t considered that and if the poor laminations in localized spots don’t matter to much I will leave them be. Maybe you are someone else can help me with advice on a second issue I am finding very challenging.

    Now that I have the tops glued up I have started the process of planning the underside. My tops are both about 8′ long currently before cutting the ends and 12″ wide made from cheap home depot mystery white wood studs (stamped pine on them whatever that means considering the number of pine species that exist)

    I am using a number 5 jack plane to level them and this is where I am running into problems. I have sharpened my plane iron following Paul’s guidance and they are razor sharp, shave the hair off my arm or pass through paper like hot butter sharp. yet my plane keeps getting clogged up. no matter how I set the mouth wide open or narrow or setting my cut to shallow or deep it clogs after a few shavings. This is the first challenge I am stumped on how to fix.

    Additionally after 4 hours of work on the first top I cannot for the life of me get the thing flat. when I planed the face of the 2X4’s after a few minutes I would easily get a full width shaving but now that I am working the top I cannot get the full width shaving and I seem to be creating a hollow in the center. Any advice would be appreciated here as I am starting to get frustrated after 4 hours of effort I still have a badly out of flat top.

    David Perrott

    If your plane is getting clogged it may be the cap iron doesn’t meet correctly. There may be a gap between the 2, maybe too much iron is exposed from the cap iron, or perhaps the cap iron needs to be cleaned. Might be some gunk on it and things are getting stuck. The best thing to do is stop be fore frustration sets in and then re-assess.


    Another possibility is that you are not lifting the tail of the plane a smidge at the end of the stroke to break the shaving. When you pull the plane back, the unbroken shaving draws back out of the throat and then clogs on the next stroke. This seems to happen more easily with thin shavings, especially tissue thin ones.

    Ken Johnston

    I went back last night and gave it another go and as it would turn out that is exactly what my issue was started paying more attention to lifting the plane off the work on the pull back stroke and my clogging issues went away. Also I am seeing that my plane blade is getting severely chewed up likely from the glue lines which is probably why i am not getting a good cut.

    Thank you all for your wisdom. very appreciated.


    Also, your “razor sharp plane” won’t stay sharp long while planing glue and using it to flatten the bench like you are… I mean, a bench that size I would knock off all the big glue spots with an edge… then take a moment to resharpen to start flattening… then after half of it or so, I would resharpen again… Then resharpen a final time before final smoothing….

    You get what I mean? If the plane used to work, and doesn’t anymore… sharpen it.

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