Resurface a Workbench

Resurface a Workbench

I built a new workbench using a top from a high school woodworking class. It needs to be resurfaced. Is there a good way to resurface this top without an elaborate setup?

Stephen Rosasco: A belt sander with coarse sandpaper is the most efficient, low-cost method.

Andy Rae: Try the low-tech way: Sharpen a big handplane, such as a No. 6, 7 or 8, and start planing, working diagonally at first until the overall surface is flat, and then with the grain to smooth the surface. Check your planing progress with a long straightedge (a ripping of 1/2 in. or 3/4 in. by 8-ft.-long plywood works great) and a pair of winding sticks, which are simply a pair of straight- and parallel-edge boards you can make yourself, about 3/8 in. thick by 2 in. wide by the width of your benchtop. Place the sticks apart on the bench in various spots, and sight over both of them to check for twist in the top. When the sticks are parallel with each other, your top is flat.

Kevin Hancock: Try renting a floor sander.

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