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Building my Workbench #3: I'm getting to the beginning...

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Blog entry by HokieKen posted 09-13-2016 04:39 PM 581 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: My (almost) Final Design... maybe... sorta Part 3 of Building my Workbench series Part 4: Breaking Wind »

I was actually at the beginning last weekend. I was all excited to get out to the shop and start cutting these beasts down to rough lengths and go to work with the scrub plane. And then…

Well, I’ve been kinda amassing a bunch of crap over the last few years. I have wet grinders, antique table saws, old hand saws, bench vises, scroll saws, ‘bout 1/2 dozen electric motors and a ton of miscellaneous crap that I’ve just kinda been piling up in whatever empty floor space I could see that wasn’t in my way. It got a bit out of hand.

When I went to start cutting my timbers down, I realized WTF am I going to work on these 12’ behemoths? So I had to do a little self-flagellation and make myself purge and reorganize my shop before allowing myself to start the new bench :-((

Anyway, just wanted to update that I haven’t started yet. Hopefully within 2 weeks I can make the shop respectable and get to it!

In the meantime, I’m gonna solicit some advise:

My original plan for milling my beams was to cut to rough lengths, scrub one face “flat enough” and take a couple of light passes through the planer to “joint” the opposite face (beams are too wide for my 6” jointer). Then plane to thickness and joint one edge square on the jointer. Then I intended to stand the beams on the jointed edge and run them through the planer to get finished width. Well, my planer can only do 6” vertically and these guys are 8” wide. I can hand plane them but I don’t want to. I have trouble getting stuff flat, square and parallel all at the same time (pick 1, 2 if you’re lucky). Also, hand planing 60’ of white oak is a lot of work and I’m lazy.

So how do I get these guys to final width? I’m leaning towards doing it in 2 passes on the table saw and then hitting it with a jointer plane to clean it up. I could do it on the bandsaw but I think it would bring my little 10” benchtop BS to its knees in a pool of tears. Hoping you guys have a magic bullet for me on this one.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!



4 comments so far

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

2384 posts in 742 days


#1 posted 09-13-2016 05:03 PM

  1. Ask if you can use the planar at the high school wood shop.
  2. Build a quick and dirty router planar. Set the beam to be flattened across two sawhorses or on the floor, maybe shim to make level. Use two jointed 2 by 8 rails clamped to the side of the beam. Get a router with 1/2 collet and a bottom cleaning bit. (On sale from MLCS). (I got a router and router controller from HF.) Build a track using two angle irons to slide the router back and forth between. The track rides on the rails. A couple of passes it will be flat in no time and you will be covered in sawdust. Flip to do the backside. Later after the legs are on you may want to smooth and flatten the top with hand planes, but it may not be necessary. Build something nice for you girlfriend out of the no-longer need rails.

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

View HokieKen's profile (online now)

HokieKen

1772 posts in 603 days


#2 posted 09-13-2016 05:20 PM

Thanks for the tips Don. #1 is something I’m considering. Just hoping not to have to load and unload these things again! #2 I’d thought about and I have a bottom cleaning bit that would do the job. I think 2 cuts on the TS then finishing it with a plane would probably be more efficient and give better results though. I definitely plan to do final flattening with a jointer plane when I get it all together. I like planing for flatness, I can do that, it’s just planing to final dimension and keeping everything square that I’ve never really gotten the hang of.

I better not build anything for my girlfriend. It pisses my wife off. ;-P

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Jarrett's profile

Jarrett

70 posts in 592 days


#3 posted 09-14-2016 02:31 AM

The hand plane would do the job soundly, but know that you have a friend a short distance away with a planer that can accept the mass. My shop is yours. I have a trailer if need be. Just know that it’s a working shop (aka a mess). I also have a makita hand planer to help before the final scrubbing process takes place if you prefer not to break your back and haul.

-- Jarrett http://www.cattywampuswoodworks.com

View HokieKen's profile (online now)

HokieKen

1772 posts in 603 days


#4 posted 09-14-2016 10:32 AM



The hand plane would do the job soundly, but know that you have a friend a short distance away with a planer that can accept the mass. My shop is yours. I have a trailer if need be. Just know that it s a working shop (aka a mess). I also have a makita hand planer to help before the final scrubbing process takes place if you prefer not to break your back and haul.

- Jarrett

Thanks Jarrett! I may take you up on the planer. I have a powered hand planer as well but actually prefer to use the #3 plane I have set up for scrubbing. Luckily, these beams are pretty straight and flat so the initial dressing shouldn’t be too bad. I think I’ll try the table saw/hand plane method to mill the leg pieces to width first. If they don’t do well, it’s no big deal. If I don’t think that’s gonna be a good method for the glue-line joints on the top pieces though, I’ll give you a shout and see about running them through your planer. I appreciate the offer!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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