Re did my workbench top.

Well, my original workbench top was pock marked by tearout from planing. I did not want to ruin a plane iron by putting a back bevel on one. It would be difficult bringing it back to normal.
Well I have a Veritas Bevel up plane and this past winter I sprung for a 50 degree O1.. it did not work well at 50... so I brought the final angle up to 70.. Still had to work it, but I was able to remove most all the previous tearout. I still has some tearout that I had to use a scraper on, but really the high angle was much better. I had to grind off some metal my eclipse style blade holder to get the angle...
So I probably lost 1/32 off the top to get down below the tearout... Some of the wood is punky, and it is naturally voided..
The top looks much better, and the last time I put tried and true over it, as I wanted a rougher finish so things wouldn't slide to easily. But this made glue cleanup and cleanup in general a pain.. This time I went with BLO... I didn't want my favorite shellac or my least favorite choice poly .. I have to say right now it is flatter (no tearout), and feels good. I might want to get a scraper plane if I can find one at a garage sale for highly figured woods. I have a number 80 or 81, but it was not the solution. I am talking about a real cabinet makers scraper plane, or adjustable scraper plane. Even using a scraper in hand, I had to vary the angle and skew many times to get clean cuts. I find maple to be a real pain when it comes to tearout. It changes grain direction too frequently and tears out to easily. I find Beech to be the easiest.. probably should include Bass too, but I don't build with Bass.. Walnut is easy too.
One thing I noticed was that the blade would collect lots of pitch and/or wood on the bottom. I guess from the heat of the high angle...
When I finished the bench the first time, I was frustrated by the tearout.. This time when it started tearing out, I did the standard switch direction, and if that didn't work, I went cross, and if that didn't work, I wound up pulling the plane , instead of pushing it. That surprisingly worked well at times. Other times, I just loosened up the grip quite a bit.. All this only took a few hours last night and a few early this morning.
Hopefully this will hold up for a few years.. and I'll be able to re-surface it again easily. It was more satisfactory this time..
--
Jeff

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