Tear out can also occur in other ways besides planing wrong way. Because wood is not consistent, and there are variation in species, grain typically tends to swirl around knots, inclusions, and other imperfections. Figured wood is the most notorious. Then again, it can just mysteriously happen. I did notice one of the pics there is a small knot you can see the grain swirl.
Some ways to avoid issues:
1. When gluing up panels, orient all the boards with same grain direction.
2. Extremely sharp iron
3. Cap iron set very close to edge (2mm)
4. Very light shavings (.020" or less)
5. Close up the mouth (IMO not that helpful)
With experience you will be better at reading the grain and anticipate in which case you can elect to skip planing and go to scraping, sanding.
The problem is even with experience, by the time you realize there is tear out, the damage is done. Its very difficult -> near impossible to fix so it can be a quite disheartening event :-(
My approach for your situation is hit with 80 grit sanding get it the best you can and go on. After all its a workbench so not critical.
Your plane set up certainly didn't help. Cambered irons, first of all are intended for roughing (like a scrub plane), second are not easy to sharpen, especially for a newbie.
The plane itself is intended for rough planing, hence 5 1/2's are usually set up with a cambered iron. That said, just about any plane can be a smoother with the right iron/set up. I suggest you buy another blade to set this plane up.
But truthfully, I think a #4 is the better plane for this job. Personally I think Ebay planes are way overpriced BTDT & now I only buy new planes. If I don't like them I can return them.
I highly recommend the Wood River planes sold by Woodcraft. IMO you just can't go wrong with them. Just be aware the iron will need a little work prior to use (back flattening). No big deal, tho. Rob Cosman has a good video on setting one up.
BTW, very nice looking bench!!