Dan's Blackbutt Roubo Bench #3: Timber & The Initial Cuts

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by DoctorDan posted 03-03-2010 02:07 AM 2554 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: The Design Process Part 3 of Dan's Blackbutt Roubo Bench series Part 4: The Top: part 1 »

The Source of Timber – Boutique Timbers
I purchase the vast majority of my timber from Mal Ward of Boutique Timbers. Mal is an interesting bloke, who lives on a small property near Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia. (He is also brother of Tony, a fellow LumberJock.) His property is just littered with stacks and stacks and stacks of timber. He deals in a variety of species and primarily sells in rough slab form.

Yes, they are joey’s or baby kangaroos

Boutique Timbers at the Sydney Working with Wood Expo

A demostration of a Lucus Mill used by Botique Timbers

The Choice of Timber
Blackbutt is a Australian Hardwood that grows locally. It’s very hard, and weighs 900kg/m3. Making the 2.6m bench around 300kg or 660lbs. It’s Junka score is similar to Ash. I haven’t worked out the weight comparison yet.

The Selection of Timber
I arranged a time the visit Boutique Timbers to select from Tas. Myrtle slabs for another project. While there I ordered 9 slabs of blackbutt. 10’x 1 3/4” x Tapered 15”-18”. I had this shipped 300km to where I now live. Cost me $80 to move 1.1 tonne of wood. I wasn’t too fussy with board selection. Cost is per usable area. Some where better than others.

Initial Cuts
After unloading it all into my workshop I got working on the initial cuts. I used a $3 chalk line to mark out and my trusty Makita 5007MGK -185MM circ saw to make the cuts. It is around this point that I realize a massive tract saw would be infinitely better. My cuts were relatively straight however over 10’ I was upto 1/4-1/2” off. Now when jointing if you lose 1/4” on every board.. that’s a lot. Oh well, you do the best you can, with what you have.

-- Daniel -

3 comments so far

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3136 days

#1 posted 03-03-2010 02:22 AM

a) Very fun pics. Thanks for taking us along.

b) I’ve (we’ve?) faced the same problem, in ripping larger panels with the circ saw.

The best way I’ve found to get around it is to use my brad nailer, and nail a long strip of skinny ply—1” wide, or so—as my guide—anything that’s been through the jointer.

I have clamp on straight edges and a circ saw guide (good for up to … IIRC …. 8’), but like the idea that … if I’m careful with my angles … I can extend the strip of wood by just adding another and another and another. You can always follow your chalk line, to ensure the guide strips are straight, too.


-- -- Neil

View DoctorDan's profile


281 posts in 2977 days

#2 posted 03-03-2010 02:31 AM

Larry's reminded me that the Torque WorkCentre would make easy work of ripping the long boards. (Max rip 3.5m, cross cut 1.3m). It’s a new tool, which is simple, solid and well worth checking out. I think you’ll see a lot more of it in the future.

-- Daniel -

View 559dustdesigns's profile


633 posts in 3130 days

#3 posted 03-03-2010 01:31 PM

Daniel, This is an exciting project, one that I am really enjoying.

I can’t wait to see how you are able to construct what looks to be a very well designed work bench.

Keep the post coming!

Does anyone in the states know do we have this wood over here, if so do we call it Blackbutt, too.

Looks like nice stuff.

-- Aaron - central California "If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics