I am a Terrible Hypocrite

But what else is new?

Less than a week after swearing off the old planing slab, I decided to rehab it anyway.  I need a suitable work surface for the upcoming workbench build, and it just so happens that my best option had been lurking in the background of the shop.

It also just so happens that I need a pair of sturdy sawhorses as well.  So when I stumbled upon some awesome internet plans for Japanese-style saw horses, I knew it was time to get the slab back in shape.  After flattening and straightening by hand (seen above), the slab was skip-planed to just over 2 7/16″ thickness.


It’s been almost a year.  This thing had better not move anymore…

With a usable work surface of 71 1/4″ x 12 1/4″ (net of the heavy roundovers hiding some edge fracturing that occurred during flattening), the slab is not quite full size for a Japanese-style workbench (at least not according to this article).  But it should be good enough for preparing the legs and rails for the new workbench.  I even reinstalled the inset vise.

In lieu of a joined planing stop, I utilize an aluminum planing stop like the one I currently use on my smaller maple slab.  I also think I’ll skip the sliding dovetail on the cleat and just friction fit a cleat into a dado (with some beefy screws as reinforcement).  Seems like the sensible thing to do.


The planing stop is not yet hack-sawed to width.

One day, I may lag bolt the slab to a trestle base and add a tool tray, but in the meantime, I just need some Douglas Fir 4×4’s for the new saw horses.



    1. I think the plan, after building the sawhorses is: (i) disassemble my current desk and put in in storage until I can rebuild it better; (ii) use my current “dining table” (the one my workbench is currently clamped to) as a desk; (iii) stack the stuff that currently resides under the dining table in the corner; and (iv) build the real workbench. Good thing is, there are still a few weeks of lumber acclimation to go, so I have time to further refine the plan.


  1. I’ve long thought that a more japanese-style work ‘bench’ would better fit a smaller space (like my apartment) that could be tucked away when not being used. Plus there’s something attractive to both my ascetic and to my wallet, about having to purchase as few work-holding; but I confess this is [still] entirely intellectual for me as I haven’t built any shop furniture for my apartment yet (working off of the dining room table for me!).

    Keep the updates coming! Love to see what happens next.

    Liked by 1 person

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