Raised platform for efficient hand-planingSimple planing platform goes alongside any standard workbench, putting the woodworker at the most comfortable height for hand-planing.
It can be difficult to choose the right height for a workbench. While a taller bench is generally easier to work on, a shorter bench works better for heavy hand-planing, allowing the user to bring more of their weight to bear on the work. This simple planing platform gives you the best of both worlds. It goes alongside any workbench, hooking on the legs to provide a raised track for extended planing sessions. When you’re done, it can be removed in seconds and leaned in a corner for storage. The 3-in. height works well for me and my 34-in.-high workbench, putting my 5-ft., 9-in. frame at just the right height to bear down on large hand planes, and the 1/4-in.- thick cleats give me considerably more traction than I get on my concrete floor, especially when it’s dusty. I make the platform from an 8-ft. length of 2×8 framing lumber, which provides a stiff walking surface and allows the risers/leg hooks and cleats to be screwed onto it solidly. You should feel free to size the height, length, and width to suit yourself. In any case, you’ll need to adapt the leg hooks to suit your bench.
—ED CLER, Villa Grove, Ill.
Illustrations by Dan Thornton