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I’ve been meaning to build a new bench for myself, and last month, I had that opportunity.

I started with two 10-foot long slabs of Douglas fir, roughly 12″ wide and 3″ thick.


I flattened one face of each bench slab with hand planes. The chalk makes it easy to see the low spots.

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It took me quite a while to get the twist out of this one slab.


My scrub plane was a big help. You might recognize it as the one that I built in the Scrub Plane Build-Off last year.

I also jointed one edge, ripped the other parallel, then jointed it too using hand planes.


I ripped the slab, then cleaned up the surface with my jointer plane. (I started the rip cut with a circular saw, then finished with a hand saw.)

Sometimes you have to get creative to immobilize big pieces of wood.

Then I began work on the second slab. Same procedure.

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I used my thickness planer to surface the opposite side of the slabs. Because I was working alone, I set the planer for stability, and to minimize the amount of lifting required.


It took most of the day to get the two slabs surfaced.

I cut them to length and moved them into my benchroom, where I continued my work the next day… installing a wagon vise.


More to come…