I was in a fretful mood, so it was "Don't work on the current project, but
piddle and clean-up time."
Let me take you back a few months, right after Thanksgiving, the question
came up again. It was "What do you want for Christmas?"
As I have done in the past, I took a black Sharpie and circled several items
in the Lee Valley Christmas catalog. I never thought any more about it,
but the person that drew my name gave me everything I had circled, I had
expected as in the past they would select one or two items and be done with
(If I'd known I was going get everything I circled, you can bet the bevel up
jack plane would have been circled. :-) )
Well, one of the things I circled was the aluminum straight edge. My
benefactor saw the steel straight edge guaranteed to be accurate to +/-
0.001" or some ridiculous thing like that, so I got the steel one.
Fast forward to today . . .
The work bench I built last year has a 24"X72" maple top., I was going to
make the top, but the finished top was considerably cheaper that the wood
cost to build it, and besides the finished top was dead flat!
I don't know how it happened, but the straight edge ended up on my dead flat
work bench and Gasp. . . . . ., I could see daylight under the straight
edge! Well, this won't do. . . I slipped a sheet of paper under the
straight edge . . . it took three sheets to fill the gap. I break out my
garage sale micrometer and can you believe the bench had (note the had) a
0.015" low spot in it.
Well, this was just wrong. That means the rocking chair I built earlier this
year doesn't sit flat on the floor, after all I had leveled the chair on my
dead flat bench.
So I spent 2 hours with my jointer hand plane removing translucent shavings
from the top. I gave up when the gap got to be 0.008", then I got to
It is all Lee Valley's fault, because if that darned straight edge had not
been in their catalog, I would never have known the bench top was not dead
I'm glad that I'm not one of those anal old fuddy-duddies that permeate the
woodworker ranks :-)