With my glue up not being very level, I had quite a bit of work to do to flatten the cutting board. And as I was using only handplanes, it was a considerable effort. Thank goodness I bought a new Hock blade for my Jack plane!

One of the woods in the kit would emit a yellow dust when I planed and scraped it. I searched and found out this is Ipe, also called Brazilian Walnut. This was a difficult wood to work with hand tools, and I soon found out why! While reading Workbenches: From Design And Theory To Construction And Use by Christopher Schwarz, I see a list of woods and their rating on the Janka scale. To quote the book, This is “a test that reveals the amount of force (in pounds per square inch) required to insert a .444″-diameter steel ball into a species of wood so that half of the pellet is buried in the wood”.

So where does Ipe fall on the list? It takes 3,680 psi!!! Wow…. the next highest on the list was Purpleheart that came in at 1,860, almost half! And Purpleheart is a very tough wood!

I know that these kits are meant for people using power tools, but wow, what a baptism into learning to use a hand plane. I didn’t use one of the pieces in the kit, and compared it to the finished product (even after the example in then photo). I ended up removing .25 inches. Whew.