the issues asked about don't manifest themselves when using
a surface plate, they simply manifest themself. to wit, all
joints are different. all tube types and guage are different
from each other. all filler materials have different cause/effect
results. etcetera. your task a s a builder is to be familiar
with all the combinations and be able to recognize the changes
as they occur. i've described it as "alchemy". you can use your
experience to a degree. you want to tame the frame so that all
the idiosyncracies and faults of manufacturing as well as your
own hand/eye coordination result in the best possible alignment
WITHOUT having to resort to cold-setting. in any event - the material
always tell you what it wants to be. as they (must) say in woodworking,
some trees simply do not want to become bookcases...
it is no different with metal. you get your skill set. you have your
experience factor.
you recognize the limits of the material and within your abilities - and
you just let it rip. what part does the the surface table play in all this?
it is there to measure the results. if you've made errors along the way,
the table can be thought of as a glorified benchvice in which the bb is
held while you decide which way to lever the frame.