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Thread: Workbench Build: BORG Doug Fir

  1. #1

    Workbench Build: BORG Doug Fir

    Getting bored being cooped up so decided I want to finally build a bench top to replace the kitchen countertop I currently have. Went to the BORG today and bought some Doug Fir 2x12s that I plan to rip down to 3.5 and face glue them. Well Iím new to this and didnít think about the fact that my BORG only sells green Doug Fir.

    So now Iím trying to figure out what to do. Do I sticker them and let them dry? Do I rip them and let them dry? What would happen if I just build it? Would the glue still hold? Iím wondering if the fact that itís glued on edge would keep the wood from moving too much because itís so thick.

    Help a newbie out...

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    We'll it's not exactly green, just only partially dried.

    I made a bench with the same material, 2x12s ripped down and face glued. I ripped the boards and then stacked and stickers for a month, then got sidetracked and they sat around for a couple of years before I actually built the bench.

    Rip them first and then stack and sticker as long as you can up to a month or so. But if you just wanted to get it done, I'd bet it would work if you only waited a couple of days.

  3. #3
    I would be tempted to wait a while, possible the lumber is air dried down to about 12%. Do you have a tester so you can get an accurate idea of the MC?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Noah Starksen View Post
    Getting bored being cooped up so decided I want to finally build a bench top to replace the kitchen countertop I currently have. Went to the BORG today and bought some Doug Fir 2x12s that I plan to rip down to 3.5 and face glue them. Well I’m new to this and didn’t think about the fact that my BORG only sells green Doug Fir.

    So now I’m trying to figure out what to do. Do I sticker them and let them dry? Do I rip them and let them dry? What would happen if I just build it? Would the glue still hold? I’m wondering if the fact that it’s glued on edge would keep the wood from moving too much because it’s so thick.

    Help a newbie out...
    My planing bench was made out of Doug Fir 2x6's lightly planed and face-glued, that were probably about as "green" as that, and it's held up fine over 30 years. I did use epoxy, though.

    I should add that I used lots of pipe clamps, this is quite a load to press. I left it in the clamps for a week or so, as I recall. (I was very afraid. I don't know if that was warranted or not.)

    It needs surfacing every now and then, but all benches do.
    Last edited by Doug Dawson; 03-28-2020 at 10:09 PM.

  5. #5
    Perhaps 25 years ago I wanted to replace my 2x4x8's on edge workbench top with something longer and with harder wood, but on a minimal budget. Not knowing better, I bought a number of 2x8x12's from Home Depot. 2x4's and 2x6's are spruce-pine-fir (SPF) and starting with 2x8's the wood is southern yellow pine, heavier and harder than SPF. Proceeded to rip them in half on the table saw. If memory serves, about 20% of the rips were so cupped and bowed and twisted they were firewood, so I had to buy extras. And when I finally made them flat and straight they were narrower and thinner than the 2x4's in the original top. At that time, I hadn't learned that framing lumber is only about 18% moisture so I glued them together in batches.

    On a side note, when I am gluing boards together in groups I worry about building in a warp accidentally. If edge gluing the first 3 of 6 boards in a tabletop I will clamp all six together even though only the first 3 have glued edges, hoping I won't have to try to joint a group of 3 boards. When I was face gluing the ripped 2x8's, I probably used one on its side on each side of each group as straight edges. Cant remember if I continued gluing separate groups, or simply face glued the next six to the first group.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post
    My planing bench was made out of Doug Fir 2x6's lightly planed and face-glued, that were probably about as "green" as that, and it's held up fine over 30 years. I did use epoxy, though.

    It needs surfacing every now and then, but all benches do.
    I did something similar when I built my bench, except that I used Titebond. It's held up just fine.

    I was pretty choosy and went through the entire pallet of 2x4's to get the straightest. (The lumber desk didn't complain.)
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrew View Post
    I would be tempted to wait a while, possible the lumber is air dried down to about 12%. Do you have a tester so you can get an accurate idea of the MC?
    Unfortunately I don't have a moisture meter. But one of them even feels slightly damp to the touch.

    I did something similar when I built my bench, except that I used Titebond. It's held up just fine.

    I was pretty choosy and went through the entire pallet of 2x4's to get the straightest. (The lumber desk didn't complain.)
    Did the exact same thing when I went today. They had 65 in stock. I went through about 55 until I felt I had 9 good ones.

    I'm planning to use titebond as well. Did you just build them right away when they were still green?

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    I'll add that if you want the finished bench to be 3-1/2" thick, you need to rip the laminations a bit thicker, at least 3-3/4. They will bow/twist a bit once ripped.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Noah Starksen View Post
    Did you just build them right away when they were still green?
    None of mine were obviously damp to the touch. I unloaded them, ran them through the jointer and planer, let them sit overnight, and then glued up 2 sections - each just less than the width of my delta benchtop planer. I let each section dry, scraped off the excess glue, and ran the two sections back through the planer (on both sides). I cant swear that the top and bottom surfaces were perfectly parallel doing it this way, but there wasnt much flex in each 3 1/3" thick section. So I felt pretty confident they'd be close enough. The resulting top was smooth and flat when I glued the two sections together. A few years later, I did staight edge check and decided it was time to flatten the top surface again. I did that with a #7 hand plane. It was work, but has held up well. YMMV.
    Last edited by Frederick Skelly; 03-28-2020 at 10:13 PM.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Snap crackle pop is the sound Douglas fir construction lumber makes in my shop. If you can get them all glued together before the weather changes you will get some really loud pops when it does.
    We have 60s today next week itís forecasted mid 80s or higher.
    Good Luck sounds fun
    Aj

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Hughes View Post
    Snap crackle pop is the sound Douglas fir construction lumber makes in my shop. If you can get them all glued together before the weather changes you will get some really loud pops when it does.
    We have 60s today next week it’s forecasted mid 80s or higher.
    Good Luck sounds fun
    Just one word, Benjamin, just one word: epoxy.

    I don't remember the exact reasoning I had for it at the time, but it turned out to be sound.
    Last edited by Doug Dawson; 03-28-2020 at 10:33 PM.

  12. #12
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    Why would epoxy be better then Regular yellow glue.
    Douglas fir accepts glue very well.
    Aj

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Hughes View Post
    Why would epoxy be better then Regular yellow glue.
    Douglas fir accepts glue very well.
    So your point is?

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Doug why do you feel epoxy is necessary ?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kees View Post
    Doug why do you feel epoxy is necessary ?
    You're asking me to reproduce my analysis of the issue from 30 years ago, and I'm sorry, I can't do so "on a dime", I don't have notes going back that far. I just know what worked. I'm old, please don't beat me.

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