LumberJocks

New Home Workshop #12: Making Choices

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by builtinbkyn posted 03-15-2018 12:38 AM 721 reads 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: WARNING: The STUNT in this blog ..... Part 12 of New Home Workshop series Part 13: Duck!!!! Duct!! »

Today I had some carpet being installed, so there wasn’t much time for the shop. However I did want to get into something that I needed to address in anticipation of a project I have planned. Months ago I picked up two kiln dried, 10’ long book-matched slabs of honey locust with the intention of making a live edge dining table. Until they arrived in my driveway, I had never touched the wood much less worked with it. I did know it’s one heavy, rock hard wood.

Well late this afternoon, I decided to cut a few inches off of a slab and see what I could make of it. My intent was to see how it works and eventually how it takes finishes of various types. After taking my slice, I pinned the section between dogs on my bench and went at it with a 5 1/2 jack plane and a low angle jack plane. I can see I’ll need to get my sharpening station up and running soon, if I’m to start this project. Man it’s rough on sharp edges. I didn’t do much more that plane one face and remove the saw marks on the end grain.

What I learned from this, other than how hard the honey locust is, is how lightweight my bench is. I moved the bench a good deal during this experiment. The other thing I learned since pulling the slabs out to inspect them and choose where it was I was going to take my slice, is that one of the slabs is cupped and bowed more than I thought whereas the matching slab isn’t cupped and is mostly flat along the lenght. The slab that’s cupped and bowed is not the slab with the large crack. I guess the stress in that slab was relieved by cracking and the other had to just move. They’re slightly over 2” thick. I don’t want to be thinner than 1 3/4” for the dining table top, so this is where I thought about another use for the wood.

The bench I made back in 2015 was not intended to be my forever bench. I always anticipated I would make that once I had my shop located in my home. Now I’m figuring I need to make a choice. I can plane the slabs to see of I end up with the top thickness I want or I can make a really heavy, dense bench top from some of what I have – about 40bf – and probably the chops for what ever vises I choose to go with and also a cocktail table I need for the TV room. Making either of those first will get me back into woodworking mode as I’ve been away from woodworking since packing up my Brooklyn shop in September.

After writing this out, I think I know what I’m going to do lol I can get two birds with two chunks of wood. Then I’ll have a really solid bench to work on my dining table and a place to put my feet up while watching TV. Ah I’m still up in the air on this, but a new bench would be nice :)

Oh I also finished the handle on my Knew Concepts coping saw. This feels so much better in the hand than the spindly handle that was on it.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)



11 comments so far

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

3151 posts in 2375 days


#1 posted 03-15-2018 01:04 AM

Bill, if you want to do the table top with the locust you can rip it to narrower boards, joint the edges and glue them back together in the same order. The glue lines will be invisible, especially if you use a thin kerf blade. But if you want the new bench and coffee table, that will also be a great choice. Decisions, decisions! :)

-- Art

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2633 posts in 1058 days


#2 posted 03-15-2018 01:11 AM



Bill, if you want to do the table top with the locust you can rip it to narrower boards, joint the edges and glue them back together in the same order. The glue lines will be invisible, especially if you use a thin kerf blade. But if you want the new bench and coffee table, that will also be a great choice. Decisions, decisions! :)

- AandCstyle


LOL yeah I could do that. However the intent was a live edge table top. That is why I got the book-matched slabs. I also thought about using this wood for dining chairs, but not sure I have enough of it. I could also make the base/legs/pedestal for a dining table and get another slab of a different species – walnut comes to mind :) But I’m still left with no place for my feet when watching TV and even worse, a lightweight bench :O

I really think once I flatten that one slab, I’ll be unhappy with what I’m left with for a table top. I can rip these and save more wood, as you suggest. Those two slabs together weigh over 300lbs. They would make a nice heavy bench ;)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View tacky68's profile

tacky68

78 posts in 1545 days


#3 posted 03-15-2018 04:30 AM

Bill: Use the two slabs for your new bench. Get another slab for your table. I just watched John Malecki’s new

video. He used a slab in his project, and stated where he got it. Did a quick pan shot of the showroom. Looked

like a cool place. Good luck with the build, keep us updated.

Tim

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

2595 posts in 700 days


#4 posted 03-15-2018 10:34 AM

They’ll make a pretty bench, Bill. And as I’ve found, having two workbenches is awfully handy. And I still press my five-board bench into service as a sawbench at times, so I’ve kinda got three. So go ahead and use them and get your shop groove back on. It’s supposed to be a fun hobby, right?

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

6167 posts in 1256 days


#5 posted 03-15-2018 02:01 PM

Is that thick enough for a bench top Bill? I would personally want something thicker… The locust would be a good choice for a bench though from what I’ve heard about it. Never actually worked with any though.

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

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2633 posts in 1058 days


#6 posted 03-15-2018 02:34 PM

Tim and Dave, I slept on it and am still up in the air about what I want to do. Though a new bench would certainly put a smile on m face, I think these slabs would make a pretty live edge top. Just trying to work out the issues before proceeding one way or another.

Kenny, I hope I’m looking at this right and maybe you or someone else can confirm or set me straight on this. The slabs are slab sawn/flat sawn/live sawn (read different terms used for the same cut) at +2”. If I were to rip them to 3” wide, I’d end up with quarter-sawn/rift-sawn dimensional lumber? IF this is correct, I can make the top any thickness. This would also reduce or eliminate lateral seasonal movement in the width of the top.

The book-matched slabs come from the section I hi-lighted in the red rectangle.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2633 posts in 1058 days


#7 posted 03-15-2018 02:53 PM

Ah I also realize I calculated for one slab at 40bf. So I have 80bf. Always good to know what you’re working with.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

6167 posts in 1256 days


#8 posted 03-15-2018 05:06 PM

Yes, that should make for a great benchtop if you rip them down and glue them up. And yes, that should give you QS/RS grain when you get done. Good, stable stuff.

Alright, I’ve made my decision… build a bench! ;-))

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

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2633 posts in 1058 days


#9 posted 03-15-2018 05:50 PM


Yes, that should make for a great benchtop if you rip them down and glue them up. And yes, that should give you QS/RS grain when you get done. Good, stable stuff.

Alright, I ve made my decision… build a bench! ;-))

- HokieKen


Thanks for confirming that Kenny. However I think I’m going to proceed as planned lol I think it will have a really nice look that I’m going for in the dining room. I’ll do some testing with Tried & True and some other oil finishes I have, but this is what it should finish out to using a clear waterbed finish. There are two built-in units in the dining room with burl veneer. Something like this should look nice with them without being too ‘matchy’.

It would be a shame to cut them up, especially since I’ve been breaking my back for the last few months shuffling them around the shop lol. I think if I rip an inch to two inches off of the cupped piece, I can retain more dimensional thickness when I flatten it. The cup is 3/16” at the center. I may have to get creative on how I treat the other side and the type of legs/base and how it’s mounted in order to retain more dimensional thickness. Maybe I’ll end up around 1 7/8”. I would be happy with that. Thicker would have been nicer, but I would need thicker slabs to start off and I have no way of manipulating the slabs without help. As it is, they’re a load and a half.

Now I have to make a router sled and the carriers, so I can do the flattening. Anyone have some good plans for that? :)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

3151 posts in 2375 days


#10 posted 03-15-2018 09:24 PM


Now I have to make a router sled and the carriers, so I can do the flattening. Anyone have some good plans for that? :)

Bill, here is a good one although it may be overkill if this is a one time event. The best part is that you can make it in less than 8 minutes. hahaha

Also, there is no reason that ripping as I suggested would preclude the live edges on the outsides.

-- Art

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2633 posts in 1058 days


#11 posted 03-15-2018 10:33 PM


Now I have to make a router sled and the carriers, so I can do the flattening. Anyone have some good plans for that? :)

Bill, here is a good one although it may be overkill if this is a one time event. The best part is that you can make it in less than 8 minutes. hahaha

Also, there is no reason that ripping as I suggested would preclude the live edges on the outsides.

- AandCstyle

Thanks for that Art. I actually found the original of that design. Seems that Youtuber should give the appropriate credits in his video – unless he feels using plywood vs dimensional lumber changed it appreciably ;)

http://www.finewoodworking.com/2011/09/29/level-big-slabs-in-no-time-flat

Yeah that’s the design I’m going with. I’ll just wait for the weather to break a bit so I can do it in the driveway and then whip out the leaf blower when I’m done. Ah in actuality I’ll pull the HF DC out there and do the cleanup.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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

HomeRefurbers.com