I did a Really Stupid Thing(tm) and in true Wreck spirit, I'm going to make
myself look like an idiot before the world.
I've spent the last few shop days putting a new top on my existing workbench
so I could adapt it to be better suited for woodworking.
The original top on the bench is made from dimensional lumber screwed to the
support structure. After many years in what amounts to a small barn, the
wood had cupped and twisted quite a bit, and the boards were never
perfectly flat to begin with. It really was all but useless.
So I planed off all the high spots and planed across the joints between
boards to provide a surface level enough to support a laminated hardwood
top. I didn't want to replace the entire top because I'm trying to save
money, because the top needed to be thicker anyway, and because I was too
lazy to un-bolt all my metal-working stuff from the far left side of the
bench and then go buy longer bolts and re-attach it.
Anyway, I set a piece of railroad track on the top, and slid it around on a
sheet of cardboard to make sure it was going to lay flat. When I did this,
I found a couple of spots that needed shimming slightly in order to avoid
sagging problems. I shimmed them with several used up sheets of 60 grit
sandpaper, since I had a lot of used up 60 grit sandpaper laying around,
and I needed very thin shims.
Much later, I started drilling my dog holes. I was initially just boring
through the new top, and only penetrating the existing one far enough to
see that I had hit pine; intending to finish the job with a spade bit. I
found one hole that had some weird black stuff at the bottom. The top had
some kind of funky stain from something or other deep in the wood, and I
mistook the "black stuff" for that, and thought I had "hit pine" so I
On the next hole, I put my full weight behind the drill, and all I could do
was make smoke. It didn't cut worth a damn.
So I finished the top, much to my dismay, with a spade bit. Luckily I had
already bored down 1/8" or so with the Forstner in all locations, so I have
clean entry holes.
I'm going to get out the Complete Guide and see if I can figure out how to
save this Forstner, but it's probably hopeless. Cutting through three
sheets of 60 grit sandpaper is a very good way to destroy most any bit, I'd
Kids, don't try this at home. If you find yourself in the same situation I
described, plane off the rest of the damn thing so you don't have to use
shims, and if you don't follow that advice, at least don't use sandpaper
for shims unless you're a freaking moron like I am.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < email@example.com>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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