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  1. Check for flatness with winding sticks.
  2. Determine areas that need to be planed down.
  3. Plane the surface with a jack plane.
  4. Use a toothed plane blade to add roughness to the top.
  5. Go over the surface with 36 grit sandpaper on a random orbit sander.

Shawn Graham of Worth Effort Woodworking, shared a video on YouTube detailing his approach to flattening and preparing a workbench top.

I know that many woodworkers stop once they’ve gone over the surface with a jack plane. But Chris Schwarz and many traditional hand tool woodworkers advocate for the grippy surface that a toothed plane leaves behind. Workholding is simplified when you’re not fighting a film finish on your workbench.

It’s a great video and in the end, he reveals that he uses two reference books. The “blue” and “red” workbench books – both by Christopher Schwarz and available at ShopWoodworking.com.


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Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

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