Forward progress finally got a bit faster. I had a lot of trouble with the top of the bench, getting it smoother out. I used a hand plane to do 95% of the work, and that did work for the most part. I had a lot of trouble with tearout, the plane blade tearing away wood, digging far deeper than the blade would have cut. I had to stop with the plane. I tried using a back bevel on the blade to increase the angle for less tearout, which I think helped, however I was still having the issue. I switched to sanding, an extremely tedious workout! I didn’t know how else to get it flat. Remember, this is the entire top of the bench, far too large to go into the 13″ planer.