Workbench #2: More Forraging

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Blog entry by KellyS posted 08-19-2009 03:27 AM 1034 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Forraging for building materials Part 2 of Workbench series Part 3: Pictures from the hunt - spoils of battle »

Score BABY! I am always forraging for scrap lumber at work. We manufacture really big Air conditioning units, so we have crates, skids, big pallets, little pallets, lumber of all types, sizes, but most of the good stuff is around 48”long. I’ve recently stumbled upon some rough sawn 4×3s that our sheet metal is shipped on. Most of it is Poplar, I’ve found plenty of oak too, maybe enough to make the base out of…..I wonder if that will be wise to mix oak and poplar. I even found 1 piece of curly maple and 2 pieces of walnut…odd. I’ll find a use for that or give it to by “Bowl turning” buddy. Anyways, I’ve cherry picked through the poplar and I think I have enough for the top. I shooting for around 24” wide x 60”long with the top 3” thick made by laminating 2” wide poplar pieces together. I would rather have maple, but all I have is rough sawn 1” stuff that will square up to about 3/4” after it is all cleaned up. I just think it will take forever and a day to do it that way, and I’m afraid that it will turn into a big mess trying to laminate it all know, 1/64” error here, then 1/32”, then the error begins to accumulate until the joints aren’t tight, and it’s a big gom of glue. I’m thinking that by using the poplar, I’ll have less joints with less chance of cumulative error.

I’ve bought Chris Schwarz’s book on workbenches and have been studying on it quite a bit. I really like the Roubo benches. If I’m going to build one, I’m going to try to build the one I like… If I mess up, then I have nothing but time in my lumber, lot of sweat, but ahh, I’m overweight, so the excercise is good for me…No matter how it turns out, I’ll be the better for trying!

More to come later.. Jointing and planing coming up next.

-- He who dies with the most tools wins!.....Just wait, I'm going to win!..ERR my wife will at least.

4 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 2999 days

#1 posted 08-19-2009 04:19 AM

Great find enjoy

-- Custom furniture

View HokieMojo's profile


2103 posts in 3150 days

#2 posted 08-19-2009 04:25 AM

any photos?

View kenn's profile


807 posts in 3142 days

#3 posted 08-19-2009 07:12 AM

Good luck, the roubo is a great style bench. Keep us poted.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3070 days

#4 posted 08-19-2009 08:05 AM

sounds like a plan, not sure about mixing oak and poplar- I believe they have different expanding/contracting ratios which might pose an issue down the road… I would personally stick to same lumber, or lumber of similar characteristics.

also – don’t forget that lumber from pallets is not completely dry – so give it some time to dry before you start milling and assembling it.

good luck, we’ll be waiting for some pictures, and progress.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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