Board Prep

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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.

end-grain1

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.

end_grain2

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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