Mini-Gloat, Don't Do This, Newbie Question--All in one


1. The mini-gloat:
Some time age, found a workbench for sale. It was salvaged from an old metalwork shop that had shut down, and was severely distressed and gunked with old oil, grease and other congealed nastiness. Under this layer of crap was 1 3/4 inch thick laminated maple top, 30 by 72. The legs are bolted-on steel channel--nothing special, but perfectly functional. Cost: 50 bucks.
2. The don't do this:
In an effort to "restore" the top, I went at it with a Bailey #3 (yeah, I know, but it was all I had). Needless to say, while the layer of crap is gone, the top is now anything but flat. Gouges, dips and humps to the tune of about 1/8 inch. It didn't do the plane blade much good, either.
3. The newbie question:
I claim ignorance for the above transgression, being a relative wooddorking newbie, and appeal to the vast pool of knowledge here for advise on how to go about flattening this top. Options I'm considering include going at it with a #7 and/or a belt sander with sanding frame, neither of which do I currently own. Any suggestions or advice on the right way to go about this would be greatly appreciated.
It is my sincere hope that responses to this post can be used as justification to SWMBO for me to procure more tools.
Thanks in advance.
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Attach a perimeter of sacrificial 1X4 or such on edge around the top, standing a half inch above it's average height, referencing off the lower edge of the top to keep it on an even plane. Acquire a piece of 3/4" plywood scrap of the proper size. 64X12 inches, grain running the long way. Add perimeter bracing to the plywood if needed to prevent swayback. Purchase a router and cutter bit and attach it through a hole in the center of the plywood. Adjust router downward to cut top. This assembly will act as a sled running on the 1X4 to allow you to rout the entire top in small passes until it is flat. Afterwards, remove the edge wood, and add router to your tool collection. Sand top properly. Smile knowingly at wife, and explain that the first venture was just "surface prep".
RJ

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Hi Sid,
Possibly the simpest solution - detach the top and flip it over? Doesn't solve the problem of justifying additional tool purchases, but there'll be plenty of future projects to accomplish that.
B.

tune
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Maybe a mill shop in your are with a wide belt sander. Fast and cheap.

tune
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wrote:

reface it with a sacrificial sheet of hardboard, which you will need a quality cabinet type table saw with a good fence to do properly..
since the top is now higher than before, you'll need to cut hardwood skirting to go around it, and a good router to flush and round the top of the skirting..
If your level of whining/persuasion is high enough, you really should have a planer and jointer to do the job well...
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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WOOD ISSUE 162 APRIL/MAY 2005 page 90 shows you how to make a router plain
sidney wrote:

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