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Rimino

Joining Top and Back Wood

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Hello,

I am trying to plane top and back wood to join the wood.  My bench only has a vise on the end of the table and not on the side, therefore the bench rocks too much to plane the boards in the end vise.  Does anyone know of a suitable way to plane the boards for joining?  Thanks a lot everyone

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Hi Rimino - For fine, accurate work a stable bench is the No 1 requirement.

See if you can arrange a temporary method to transmit the planing forces to the wall and see the difference it makes. (clamp a long piece of wood to the top of the legs and triangulate it with another piece of wood). If that has convinced you of the benefits of rigidity, the best way to get there is to fasten a square piece of wood ( 40mm x 40mm ) flush with the edge of the bench and then fasten the board to the wall.

If you can, reposition the vice onto the "long" side of the bench?

Never test for fit when the wood is firmly held by the vise. The act of clamping distorts the joint face. Slacken the vise so that it barely nips the wood and then check the fit of the joint.

Mark the position and length of the  high spots with a pencil line. Place the mark about ~10 mm under the joint and number the first trial fit using the number 1. Second trial fit - where the marking lines overlap place the next one ~10 mm below the previous line and label it #2 and so on. My first joint ran me up to #23 - my last one only to #4 - proof of improving skill :-)

With a perfect joint it should feel as though the the plates are "sucking" themselves together - a sure indication no air gaps between the joint surfaces.

No 2 requirement is a plane that has a flat sole.

No 3 requirement is a plane iron edge that will shave a hair.

Good luck - edi

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Two options I can think of in your situation is try clamping the plane in the vise and passing the wood over the plane.  If the bench is still moving too much you could make a shooting board so the force is going along the bench instead of across it.

664682259_Shootingboard.JPG.1460fb511261dff41dec9d5ae45c8d80.JPG

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3 hours ago, edi malinaric said:

...a stable bench is the No 1 requirement...

Yes.

The back side of my bench is against a wall.  I cut a vertical notch about an inch wide in the back of the bench top.  The notch fits tightly around a vertical strip of wood that's bolted to the wall.  The bench wobbled annoyingly before I stabilized it in this fashion; now it's absolutely rigid.  But it's not really fastened to the wall.  I can easily slide it out from the wall if I want to.

 

 

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My bench has an end vice and used to be very wobbly as well - sounds very similar to yours. At some point I plan to build a more solid one, but in the meantime I found that much of the wobble came from the joints between the top and the legs, which were weak. Attaching a sheet of plywood between the legs on the back of the bench greatly reduced lengthwise flex on the bench. Combine that with pushing the bench against a wall, it's pretty rock solid now.

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Reduce the cut on your plane to the barest shaving - even finer than you think possible.  It will go slow but smoothly, and give you a very accurate surface for joining.  Helps to use a larger plane like a No. 5.  Never had much luck getting a good joint with a smaller plane.

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3 hours ago, Shunyata said:

Reduce the cut on your plane to the barest shaving - even finer than you think possible.  It will go slow but smoothly, and give you a very accurate surface for joining.  Helps to use a larger plane like a No. 5.  Never had much luck getting a good joint with a smaller plane.

will only work if your plane is flat.

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On ‎3‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 2:54 PM, Melvin Goldsmith said:

Joining two pieces of wood together is elementary wood working It's a 5 minute or less  job in the trade. I'd suggest going to a proper woodworkers forum for advice on it

.

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Thanks everyone for all these ideas, I will remember all these ideas for the future.  I happened to have a jig for gouging corner blocks, I clamped it to the side of my bench and then clamped both boards to the corner block jig and planed it like this and it was unbelievably extremely steady and I wasn’t even thinking about how to stabilize it while I was planing.  Now I found out that my no. 7 jointer plane has a dip in it, (I bought it new a couple years ago) and now I need to find some kind of a large perfectly flat surface to plane my plane.  (I re-planed my block plane a while back on my piece of granite about 18” long, but my jointer plane is about 21” long.)

84BEDAA4-910C-40DF-BD40-F83BBF003A5F.jpeg

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You have to be aware that ideally you need two faces to be flat, so putting to two planed faces together and looking for light coming through is only going to tell you that one or both faces is not flat. If you have planed them as a pair both will likely be hollow in the middle or low at then ends.

The only way to work out what is going on is to test the planed surface with a straight edge.

When you are sure one side is flat and true work on the other so that it matches.

I've found that even if a small block plane is used it can produce a flat finish, but a large jointing plane is not the best choice for the job. And, in my experience, all planes tend to cut deeper at the end of the stroke than at the beginning so it pays to reduce downward pressure as you end the stroke. I also think that a sharp blade taking a medium fine shaving is best as a very fine cut setting can cause the plane blade to come out of the cut especially when it might be cutting with variable grain direction.

 

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I use a shooting board similar to what was shown in a previous post, except I fasten my board to the bench, and clamp the plane onto the board. I then join the edge by sliding the wood on the shooting board pushed up tight against the plane sole and blade.

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A good solid bench is really essential for many tasks.

Something like this: https://www.popularwoodworking.com/projects/toms-torsion-box-workbench/ is easy to make, will cost you a couple of hundred quid for materials, and will outperform pretty much anything you can buy. You can make it even simpler (and more useful for instrument making) by replacing the top with a couple of kitchen worktops glued together.

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Now that I have achieved the status of traditionally trained curmudgeon I hope it's OK to say that I am a bit unsympathetic to people who say they wish to make or repair instruments but believe they can do it without proper tools or following basic procedures. 

An absolutely solid, non moving, vibration free bench is absolutely required for accurate wood work. I understand that some people do  not have the space or budget  for a traditional 150 kilo joiners or carvers bench.  I would recommend that they  cobble up some thing which by attaching to a wall, set in a corner or through ingenious engineering accomplishes the basic requirements of being an absolutely motion free work surface rather than using the same ingenuity to find ways of working on a moving surface.  

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13 hours ago, Dennis J said:

If you have planed them as a pair both will likely be hollow in the middle ....

 

 

little bit of hollow in the middle is exactly what you want.

 

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1 hour ago, arglebargle said:

THESE bench legs go a long way towards making a stable, working surface. Recommended.

Looks like they would flex too much, unless diagonally braced, or unless the bench was attached to a wall.

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36 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Looks like they would flex too much, unless diagonally braced, or unless the bench was attached to a wall.

Nope. Once set up correctly they are as solid and immovable as my opinions.

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19 minutes ago, arglebargle said:

Nope. Once set up correctly they are as solid and immovable as my opinions.

Have you planed cello center joints and neck blocks, where the force is longitudinal?

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