Cutting and Planing Lumber for the Top

The top of my workbench is made from 5 foot long 2x4s. I need to cut my 10 footers in half. I also want to practice cutting nice with a hand saw.

I need something to push against, so I used my holdfasts to attach a baton to the bench. This give s me something to stabilise the work while I cut it.

Baton for crosscutting

I marked out the cut lines with a square and a knife and used a chisel to make a notch to guide my saw. Paul Sellers calls this a “knife wall” and it makes it super easy to keep the saw straight and gives nice cuts.

I cut all my boards down and did a nice job.

Nice cuts

Now for the planing…

I needed way to hold the work while I planed and I don’t have a vise. Luckily it’s all figured out centuries ago.

I’m not sure what it’s called but I screwed an angled block to the face of my bench that traps the wood against my bench. I added some pegs to support the bottom and the system works perfect!

Angled block
Work supported for edge planing

I need to plane the faces too, and need a way to hold the work. 3 small pegs arranged like an L in the top of my workbench work beautifully.

Planning stops
Planning stops
Surface plane

A sharp plane is fun to use. It makes some beautiful curls of thin wood and leaves a really nice surface.

Curl from edge planing
Planed surface