Project: Bed frame from hard wood (still deciding between cherry, oak, walnut, ash, beech)

Question: What is a good method to face joint a board (approximately 15 cm / 6” wide) by hand with a shorter bench (1.5 m / 6 ft)?

Tools: 16 cm resaw capacity bandsaw, no. 7 jointer plane, no. 4 smoother, plunge track saw, regular handsaws and chisels, Bosch 1600 router


  1. I don’t see edge jointing as a limitation; just face jointing seems difficult for boards longer than my bench.
  2. I don’t have a machine jointer nor thicknesser.
  3. I don’t think that a router sled for such a narrow board is needed.

Proposed solutions:

  1. Joint the board in sections and iterate through Left, middle, right side until reasonable jointed, but there is a risk that each section is not parallel.
  2. Construct a sort of table extension, but I am concerned that the drop in support near the table ends will cause slight issues. I have seen this with small items like Kumiko and even a think shaving under the strip.

1 Answer 1


Joint the board in sections and iterate through Left, middle, right side until reasonable jointed


but there is a risk that each section is not parallel.

Check often, adjust as necessary.

This is basically similar to the problem of how you face anything that is wider than the plane (a somewhat-common occurrence LOL). Because shavings can be on the order of a couple of thousandths and less each (0.04-0.025mm), any resulting discrepancies that need to be addressed are very, very small.

Which leads on to the next point, that the jointer plane is never the last tool to touch the face of a board..... and in fact, unless you're a planing expert your smoothing plane won't be either! So there's plenty of scope for adjustment and refinement as needed.

In short, since you'll be smooth-planing, scraping and/or sanding anyway expect to complete the work with one or more of those steps.

One further tip, don't bother jointing the non-show surfaces. Or at least don't complete the work. This will basically cut the task in half.

In these days of machine processing of stock and powered sanding a dirty secret of woodworking from the days of all handwork has become lost — many pieces only looked perfect from the outside. But peek underneath or behind and you could find that table aprons aren't all uniform thicknesses, the backs of dressers/chests of drawers were not finished equally with the rest of the piece (sometimes left rough from the saw as shocking as this seems to modern sensibilities).

  • Good point that its a similar point to planing something wider than the plane. Another aspect that can be difficult to remember in the moment of planing is that the boards don't need to be perfectly. A slight variation would be hardly seen on a 2 m long bed rail.
    – PhDeadlift
    Apr 3, 2021 at 10:52
  • 1
    Yes very good point about how visible this is once in situ. It's a bit different for tabletops or anything like that which faces upwards and the surface is revealed in raking light or via reflections. Down near the floor though slight discrepancies would be much harder, perhaps impossible, to see.
    – Graphus
    Apr 3, 2021 at 18:47

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