Alright, so I think I’m slowly giving up on my idea to use my old reclaimed oak flooring board for the bench top.
The deal is, that’s really a lot of boards and they all need to be sized to the same width, and most of all put through the planer to get rid of old tar etc. That’s too much work and probably too much strain on the tools.
A local store has planed and squared oak boards, 2 meters long, 14mm or 18mm wide, 20mm thick. I could use the same sandwich idea to construct the top from those boards. but if we add up the coast for all the boards needed for the top plus an apron, it gets quite pricey, at about 272 euros (close to 400 USD). I’ll need a lot of that money to buy the vises and hardware.
Another idea: the same store also sells unfinished oak flooring, by boxes of approx 1m². Using that for the top would come up to half the cost of the other solution above. That said, it won’t look as nice as using long boards, as the flooring is made up of short boards. It’s tongue and groove flooring. I’m wondering if that leaves any gap between the boards or if it comes together flush.
The wood seems to be nice, probably very straight, 22mm thick.
I’m wondering if, for cost savings, another material could be used for the lower layers and then the oak just on the top layer. It’s been suggested to use layers of MDF or ply, but if I can, I’d like to keep it all solid wood. Besides, around here using MDF doesn’t really mean much savings, if any.
What about 2 layers of pine (either flooring or boards) under the oak. Would it be dangerous to glue up those panels with regards to wood movement and potential warping? Wondering if the 2 layers of pine would still provide for as much beef and density for the top.
Using cheaper 2nd and 3rd layers would actually make it possible to use the long boards instead of the flooring for a better look, or perhaps use my old flooring if I work up that kind of courage…
Sure, some thick maple or other hardwood on edge in a butcher block fashion would be great, but I won’t be able to find that kind of wood around these parts, even less at a price I could afford. For such an amount of wood, I’ll be limited to what’s available in the local home stores.
-- David - Tucson, AZ