Years ago, I saw an interview with W. Patrick Edwards on how he dressed his benchtop with a toothing plane to improve his bench’s grip.
I was intrigued by his argument, but it took a few years until I was ready to commit to it.
Last year I toothed my benchtop and began working on that rough surface. Since then, I have become the No. 1 fan of the method. It is a quick process (less than four songs on the radio for an 8’ bench). It’s easy to do on a benchtop that has seen regular maintenance. And it definitely improves the grip of the benchtop.
Also worth noting: I haven’t added any finish to the benchtop since I first toothed it. This also seems to help improve its grip.
If you have a toothing plane or a plane with a toothing iron, I highly recommend you give it a try. If you don’t like it, the toothed surface is easy to remove with a bench plane.
Thanks Patrick. This is a genuine step forward for me and my workbench.
— Christopher Schwarz
The bench shown in the video is my 2005 French bench, built from Southern yellow pine. If you want to learn more about this bench – and how to build your own – my first book on workbenches is a good place to start. Check it out at ShopWoodworking.com.
And the song in the video is Langhorne Slim’s “Land of Dreams.”