I started yesterday grabbing all of the appropriate width and length stock out of my stash. I used up nearly every 8 foot piece I had. I could have easily done it with 7 footers, but I decided, if this is the ‘Last bench I’m going to make.’ (until I find a better one) then I ought not to short-change myself.
Here I am midway through the process.
I didn’t take a great deal of photos, because, by the time you’re on LJ, you’ve probably already surfaced rough lumber. My process is this:
1.) Set up jointer, set up infeed/outfeed rollers. Set jointer for a thick shaving, 1/8” or so.
2.) Joint the ‘cleaner’ edge of each board.
3.) Set jointer back to fine shaving, 1/32.
4.) Run the flattest boards through it, stop when you’ve got a clean index face (enough smooth surface that the board can’t twist in the planer).
5.) Set jointer back a big rougher, 1/16
6.) Joint the worst of the lost for an index face.
7.) Push jointer aside, fire up tablesaw (yup, you heard me)
8.) Using TS, rip everything > 4.5-5” wide down to a more reasonable size. (twice this left me with another piece to joint up again.)
9.) Plane just enough to get 2 clean smooth sides.
10.) make pretty stack on top of the jointer, and temporarily clamp them all to keep warpage to a minimum, as I am dog tired and won’t be able to glue up tonight.
So why do it this way? Shop size. Turning an 8+ foot board around in my shop, which is only about 11 feet wide wall to wall, can be a production.
Note that what you see is only about 22.5” wide, when clamped. I still have to pick up the one piece of 8/4 ash I have to buy, for the doghole strip. I knew I could probably get by using multiple pieces of 4/4, but I’ve nearly exhausted my 8 footers, and I think it will be easier to get a single 8/4 board, even if I have to take a little drive for it. (I priced out the local woodcraft and rockler, and nearly peed my pants. They price out 8/4 ash at something like $20/bf. Who on earth would ever buy lumber there?)
I also set aside some thicker 7 foot stock for the stretchers.
Next, I start gluing up workbench chunks. I think I’m looking at around 4 chunks. 3 ~7footers, and one shorter one with the dog holes in it.
Hopefully, I’ll move on to gluing in the evenings this week!