Board Prep


There is so much written on surface prepping lumber with hand planes that I will not go into details. Read any number of books to see it explained. My favorite is “The Essential Woodworker” published by Lost Art Press. I prepped the 2 faces and 2 edges of the 36in long board using my #5 and #6 Stanley planes. I got the whole board pretty flat and straight then sawed off the ends to make the supports. Here you can see what were the ends of the board that I sawed off and placed on the top piece to get an idea of where I am heading.


Here I am using a #4 to plane the end grain of one of the supports. I have 3 reasons for posting this that I don’t see mentioned often.

1 – You don’t need a “low angle” plane to plane end grain. The plane just needs to be sharp. Really stinking sharp.

2 – You don’t need a shooting board to plane end grain all the time. This is especially true wilth relatively wide and thick boards like this. Try it sometime.

3 – I’m not going to get this end grain surface perfect. I am planing the end grain of the support that will go into the dado in the top. I am only planing the support until it sits FLAT in the dado. You see, there was a hump in the middle (from the saw) so I am planing it down and leaving the outside as sawn. Only plane as much as needed – then stop. This surface will not be visible.


The other end grain side of the support does not get planed at all. After this dado is cut and the brackets are mortised in I will saw a radius on the bottom edge of the supports, so we will see that later.

Bob Jones

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