Step 2: Gluing and Finishing the bench top
Once the top was glued together I used the belt sander to level top top and take it to bare wood. Sorry I forgot to take a picture of this but I basically just sanded everything smooth with the belt sander. Once the top was sanded I put a couple of coats of polyurathane on it before I realized that I still needed to drill my holes. For the readers I recommend drilling before putting the finish on.
To make sure my holes were straight I made a scrap of wood with marks on it where I wanted my holes, I was drilling a series of 1/2", 3/4", 1", and 1 1/4" holes so my holes spacing varied based on the hole size. The template/stick for the holes is sometimes referred to as a story stick, you can see in the picture that I clamped it to the top and used a awl to mark where the holes would go. Once I had both rows of holes marked I simply drilled the appropriate hole where I marked it. Look at the picture below and you can see my nice even holes working from smaller to larger front to back. At this point I put on another coat of poly and make sure to get some in the holes to keep the wood protected.
At this point I was just sitting back and admiring my work, I was also ready to quit and move on to another task but I was able to dig deep for the motivation to finish the project.