Milling Workbench Lumber

30 09 2008

On Saturday I was able to make some progress on the lumber. The shop had to be rearranged to accommodate work on the large pieces that will make up the laminated top. I was worried about the 2″ x 4″ pieces bowing in the middle of the 8 foot length while being planed to their final dimensions, so I suspended the largest one between the two shelves that have been my bench up to this point. Once about half bench top has been glued together, I’ll start using that.

I spent about three hours flattening that board with a toothed blade. The toothed blade took off some serious material once I got the planed adjusted right, but at 8 1/2 feet long and over 9 inches wide, it’s going to take awhile to get this thing flat.

Grant and Tanner both wanted to help:

Grant

Grant

Tanner

Tanner

Probably the most impressive part of Saturday’s work was the new 1/2″ Wood Slicer bandsaw blade from Highland Woodworking. I usually use blades from our local Woodcraft, but this blade went through the hard maple without any problem. I never had to reduce the feed rate for the saw to keep up.

My bandsaw’s stock fence was another story. On the first board, it slipped so much that it almost ruined the board. I had to use a clamp to keep it in place for all the other cuts. Looks like it’s time for an aftermarket fence.

In the hour between dinner and getting the boys ready for bed, Jenn and I were able to cut three pieces for the top to their rough dimensions. Each board was cut on all four sides and with the end result being so much smaller than what we started with, it felt a bit anticlimactic to see the end result. The boards do look like something that could be used in a workbench top as opposed to the rough lumber we started with.

Taking a break to read Stop that Ball!

Taking a break to read Stop that Ball!

— Jared





Bench Screws and Handles

25 09 2008

When I arrived home from class last night two good sized rectangular boxes were waiting for me on the diningĀ  room table. My bench screws had arrived from Joe at bigwoodvise.com. These things are amazing. They are beautiful and absolutely solid. The Lie-Nielsen maple and cherry handles fit perfectly as well.

Bench Screws and Handles

Joe’s bench screws are normally made from ash, but he will use customer supplied wood, so on August 14th I sent two pieces of roughly 4 x 4 x 26 pieces of hard maple for the screws and two pieces of 4 x 4 x 8 for the nuts cut from this 16/4 beam:

The rest of the stock will be the chop for the face vise. The pictures say a lot, but Joe’s work is absolutely top quality. The screws came from a substantial piece of maple and you can feel how solid they are when you hold them.

I wish my bench was further along so I could install the screws and actually use the vise.

— Jared





Workbench 2008 – Cutting to Rough Length

21 09 2008

It took nine hours yesterday to go from this pile of wood:

Wood before being cut to rough length

Wood before being cut to rough length

To this:

Wood cut to rough length

Wood cut to rough length

And as usual, I was able to exceed the capacity of my power tools:

Wood too wide for chop saw

Wood too wide for chop saw

I also realized that one of the boards I was hoping to get two sections of the laminated top will only yield one which means another trip to Highland Hardwoods. I did find a piece of spalted maple in the cutoffs that I didn’t notice when selecting the wood.