I continue my slow build of the standing desk (see, Standing Desk - Lowe's Creative Ideas
(plans toward the end of the web page).
One of my colleagues at work also happens to be a woodworker (actually a cabinetmaker). I laid out my plan to biscuit together the dozen or so mini-planks that make up the desktop. And then -- well, we had a woodworking moment.
He said, well, line up the grains as they look well -- here's the moment: make sure they're all straight and flat with the planer and joiner. Uhhh, what planer/joiner? It's still on my wish list. To be fair, he has a commercial shop, with, as best as I can gather -- basically everything. I've got a dozen or so tools, but not a planer (nor a joiner).
So, I had some free time and I dug in to figure out how the hell you get the boards flat and square: The planer and joiner! OK, now, I sort of get it. And, now I understand the notion of the hand plane.
OK - so, practical question: How should I deal with putting a dozen or so mini-planks together to make the desktop? Questions within that question: Should I -- indeed, must I -- buy a benchtop planer? Should I go with a set of handplanes and then later buy a benchtop planer? If I bought the benchtop planer, wouldn't I still need to handplane the surface of the desk after I joined the mini-planks? Could I use sand paper to even it all out?
If I buy a commercial bench planer (I've looked at the Dewalt, Ridgid and Porter Cable models) -- doesn't that mean I can only plane the boards before they're jointed with biscuits? I mean, I can't afford some planer that will plane down a desktop.
Incidentally, this lead to an interesting set of internet research. I found a guy who gave a great video essay on getting into hand planes -- and encouraging people to buy a bench planer, and only go with a small hand plane at the beginning (see, Which Hand Plane Do I Buy First | The Renaissance Woodworker
Oh, I left out the most important question: How should I explain to my wife that even though i said I wouldn't need any tools for awhile, I'd like to go spend, I dunno, $200 to $800 on a few more tools to finish a desk that I'm charging $100 to make :-).