Today was all about the grind. Just grit your teeth and push through the burning in your arms and hands. To get going, though I had just had to settle my differences with the onery plane (it caused me to stop prematurely yesterday). I took my time and examined the thing to see what was amiss, because it wasn’t acting like this when I was planing the individual planks for the top a few weeks ago.
Then I noticed it—the frog had shifted forward, lifting the iron and everything attached to it a few milimeters. That was allowing wood shavings and chips to get under the blade, reducing performance and making it really hard to get the iron actually out past the sole. Try as I might, the adjustment screws on this thing are just not all that great (I know I know—it’s not a top of the line plane and this is what I get). So, what to do? Wallow in self pity and pine away after a Lie-Neilsen or Veritas plane? I think not. Well…maybe just a little. I mean, they are pretty freaking slick…hey, I can dream, right?
Anyway, I grabbed the bastard mill file (that is just about the perfect name for this thing…mostly because that’s what I called the frog I was grinding down…) and ground that sucker down. It felt good to release some frustration on this puppy too after yesterday. So within a few minutes, the adjustable (hah!) frog was flush with the mouth of the sole and the iron was fitting much nicer. Score one for me. While I had the file out, I flattened the edge of the chip breaker tood—no since not doing that. Score two for me. I put everything back together and BAM, even better than before. Hat trick.
Back to work, then…Plane the top. Shhhkrt. Shhhkrt. Shhhkrt. Over and over. First diagonal one way, then diagonal the other. Then to the left, then to the right. Then rinse and repeat. And repeat. And repeat.
Ad infiniutm, ad absurdum.
And then celebrate the quickening pace of real results!
An hour later, I had good news! The left and right sides of the bench are now almost totally equal—here is the right side (which only got a few passes with the plane):
Here is the left at the end of today’s session (HUGE difference compared to when I finished the glue up):
And here is the left 1/4 mark…
This is the middle:
Finally, here is the right side again, after really hitting it with the plane.
This is now the control point—I want the rest of the bench to be at least as flat as this side is. It’s really getting there. I can’t believe it!
And last but not least, here’s a picture of the carnage from today’s session. Note the nice glossy gleam on the bench (I never noticed that before). The plane is leaving a nice glassy surface now…love it!
I’m seriously debating putting the planing of the top on hold until I make myself a jack or scrub plane just to hog off the high points faster now. But then again…I feel I’m almost there with the #4 and while I think the top is perfectly usable now (maybe not for real nice projects—not that I have any in the pipeline) I think another day or two and I might just be done with flattening. I don’t know…the internal debate rages.