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Thread: How to build anything, work bench

  1. #1

    How to build anything, work bench

    It has been a while, two week vacation, I took a lot of pictures of of my last build and something happened to my camera and the resolution got turned up and it created a file to large to post on this forum so I am starting over.

    I went to the saw mill yesterday and bought 58 BF. of ash for the top. Preparing and gluing the top will take more than a couple of weeks. More about the process coming up. So I should have time to get the bottom part finished. While I was there I also picked up 14 BF of hard maple. The wood in the doorway is the hard maple. For proportions the door is a 36 entry door.

    After looking at prices of wood on the internet that some of you are paying I thought I would include pictures of my invoice so you will know I I am truthful about what I paid. I did find out that the mill also has 8/4ths ash. didn't ask the price,

    I do plan on starting to cut up the wood for a 4 inch top today. I have some other things that have to come first so I do not know how far I will get'

    Anyway pictures If you double click on the pictures the will get larger.

    DSC03853.JPG DSC03854.JPG DSC03855.JPG DSC03856.JPG DSC03858.JPG
    Tom

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    58,868
    That's a nice buy, Tom. While prices certainly vary a lot depending on a lot of factors, in many areas, there is a ton of ash available because of the very high percentage of ash that's been killed by the emerald ash borer. Abundant supply can be of benefit to folks who like to work with ash.

    I look forward to your bench project!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    7,777
    Glad I don't live in your area Tom; I wouldn't want to have to compete with those prices. It looks like you got more than 14 bf of maple, too.

    Buy all you can at those prices.

    John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    2,426
    Wow, what a deal! My local sawmill has 4/4 Ash and Hard Maple @ $3.50 and $5.00 respectively. I'd be packing my rack at those prices.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    1,019
    Gotta love those prices. Emerald ash borer or not, i cant imagine that sawyer is making anything on sawing, stacking, kiln drying, stacking again, and selling the ash. It is 1999 lumber prices where Tom lives.

    If i were you, i would definitely go for 8/4 when building a bench top. You mill half the boards required to laminate the edge grain top. Half as much glue. Maybe even half as much waste as far as milling goes. In my experience, i need about 1/8" at the jointer and 1/8" at the planer to achieve perfection on a 7-8" wide 7-8' long board. Regardless if its 12/4, 8/4, or 4/4.

  6. #6
    All of you will have to stay with me here. Yes it is a little more work to use 4/4ths over 8/4ths but I think it is easier to get a a better glue up with less gaps. Sometimes it can be hard to just pull them together. I am trying to pass on information to help the novias wood worker be lest intimated with a project. I hope some will see the cause and effect of some of the steps.

    Anyway the first thing I do is get a straight edge. I use a sled on my table saw. A person really has two choices, either buy it straight lined ripped or cut the straight edge your self. A straight line rip can cost up to 30 cents a linear foot. The cost factor adds up in a hurry. I use a sled, but I am sure a track saw would do the job very nicely. I started wood working steady in 1973 and I have lived without a track saw this far so I am planning on just staying with what I am comfortable with.

    Pictures

    DSC03860.JPG DSC03861.JPG DSC03862.JPG

    Note the feather boards, 2 in front and 1 behind the guard. The one at the back helps keep everything tight to the fence More about that feature latter onJudt because it is straight now doesn't mean it will be 2 weeks from now.

    And I have a question for all of you. How many pennies are there in a quarter. And how would you wright it in a decimal.
    Tom

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Eagle, WI
    Posts
    71
    That sled is intriguing. Have you posted pictures of it elsewhere here?

    Peter

  8. #8
    Yes I have posted pictures of a different set up on a different saw here before. I will repost them because they are clearer. I have since changed saws. I have been hammered at different times because I say safety is an attitude and not a list of rules. And that you are responsible for your safety and not a set of rules. There is no saftey rule that says one has to change saws. I just thought it was a wise thing to do because of the amount of time I am alone in the shop using the saw. The last saw sat on a riser or was raised up about 3 1/2 inches. That's a long story in itself. I didn't like the aluminum frame I built it was a little to wobbly for me so when I got the new saw I built the now one out of pine.

    I have tried adjustable rollers in the past but they were never in the right place , not enough of them or at the last minute they would slip and everything would go out of level. On the new one the legs just fold down and the level height is built in ,no adjustments just clamp it on and go. Old pictures.

    DSC03218.JPG DSC03859.JPG I am havening trouble loading pictures , i will get back later.
    Tom

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Somewhere in the Land of Lincoln
    Posts
    1,792
    Good buy on the lumber. Did you get a Sawstop? Look forward to seeing what you are building as it progresses?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Shorewood, WI
    Posts
    850
    I look forward to seeing your build.

    I like that the sled lets you use a featherboard behind the blade. That's clever.

    If you ever need to resize photos for posting, there's a web based tool to do it for you:
    https://winston.shinyapps.io/image_resizer/
    It was kindly posted for all to use.

  11. #11
    Well I was busy and I sawed about 5 hours Friday and 3 on Saturday. Usually I just use the sled for the straight line rip but this time I time I repositioned the wood and used the sled for all my cuts. It took longer but by clamping the boards tp the sled and using 3 feather boards I managed to cut 14 pieces 4 1/4 wide and I have six pieces I can glue together to make 4 more pieces. A couple of boards kind of pinched together but they didn't happen until at least half way through the cut. So I do not think they would have been a problem on my old saw which didn't have a riving knife.

    My title says how to build anything. The first thing one has to do on every piece on a build and that is to get a straight edge to work from And one can always pay more for the board and have it straight lined riped or one can straight line rip it like I did, with a sled. Again one could also use a track saw here. I do not know about cutting to width with one, since I don't own one. I do know a 1/4 sheet of plywood is a lot cheaper than a track saw. There is another use for the sled coming up.

    Some like to cut the boards into shorter pieces and then get an straight edge. I am set up for long cuts so I straight line the whole length, That way I don't have to do the set up two or three time on the same board

    Like I said earlier I do not acclimatize my wood before I start. But I hang it on a close line it is roughed out. This time I had to much weight for the close line in a big hurry. I got lucky and had a copper air line close by so I hung it on the close line and air line.

    I sawed for 5 or 6 hours and I could stop feeding the boards and take my hands off the boards, leaving the saw running, drink some coffee and go back to work and with the weight of everything boards clamper down so they couldn't rock, and the feather boards there was never an possibility of getting a kick back. I liked that.

    Anyway pictures of where I am.

    DSC03863.JPG DSC03865.JPG DSC03866.JPG DSC03867.JPG DSC03868.JPG

    The first above picture is of the board closing up toward the end. The rest is of the wood hanging. Now they are getting acclimated from all for sides equally and if the board is going to bow, cup or twist it can do so freely
    Tom

  12. #12
    Lets say you wanted to build what is pictured below. Just look at all the straight line rips that were completed and on the long sides There are 8 pieces 3 inches wide and 56 inched long. So it doesn't matter whether one is building a work bench top that is 4 inches thick and 13 inches wide when glued up or a pie safe, the process is the same. Get aa straight edge and rough cut the details a little oversize. One can always take material off. if it is to size and it bows you are, pardon my French , screwed and you will need more wood.

    DSC03872.JPG
    Tom

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
    Posts
    6,084
    Wow, what a deal! My local sawmill has 4/4 Ash and Hard Maple @ $3.50 and $5.00 respectively. I'd be packing my rack at those prices.
    Brian,
    Check out Craig on Craig's list in Westfield Center. (open CL and look under Akron/Canton)
    He has ash for $1.50 a bd ft.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  14. #14
    Sorry to sound so clueless, but straight line rip?

    Is that just a term for ripping a very long piece of wood that doesn’t fit on a table saw normally?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
    Posts
    6,084
    Straight line rip is just a term used for making one edge of a board a straight line - instead of using a jointer or router.

    With a table saw, you use a sled to make the straight cut, then you use that straight edge against the fence to do the rest of your rip cuts.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

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