The Workbench #4: Warp Drive

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Blog entry by debianlinux posted 08-05-2013 12:10 PM 932 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: This is NOT super simple Part 4 of The Workbench series Part 5: Top Shelf Frame Redeux »

Got a couple of hours this weekend to haul everything up out of the basement and work on putting together the frame for the top shelf. Since this frame is so narrow along its length I was unable to clamp the back side of the assembly when attaching the 2nd rim to the members. As a result the twists in the wood were not pressed square for the joins and now the whole assembly is racked despite all the connections being flush and square. I may just live with this fact and attach the shelf so that the top surface is level. Otherwise I’ll be cutting new member pieces and spending another couple of hours disassembling and reassembling this piece. I will have to devise a way to press the pieces flat from all sides in order to achieve this end, however.

It’s always lovely when work was really just a dry run for getting to rework it later. No matter which side is laid flat on the ground there is about 1-1.25” twist so that one corner or the other is lifted from the ground. I didn’t have this issue wit the other frames because the frames were as wide as my work surface allowing me to clamp the rear of the assembly flat while also clamping the front area I was joining. I noticed as I moved down each member the rear was lifting higher and higher. I would have needed clamps with about 20” of throat depth to be able to clamp them. I suppose I’ll have to rip some plywood to provide an adequate work surface for the next attempt.

3 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3672 days

#1 posted 08-05-2013 01:47 PM

twist in the lumber needs addressing (or simply ‘dressing’ with a jointer) before work continues, and before assembly otherwise as you notice, any twist will transfer to the rest of the build and will make things practically impossible to do.

this is not “just you” ...

make sure you start with square and flat boards on each project. that means picking up the straightest boards at the lumberyard/BORG, and then flattening them true at the workshop (the straighter the boards are to start with, the less work you’ll have to flatten them true). unless you have them milled and dressed at the lumberyard in which case they should be ready to be used.

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

View debianlinux's profile


53 posts in 1789 days

#2 posted 08-05-2013 06:31 PM

These are 2×4’s that I painstakingly selected from the pile at Home Depot only to watch them curl up after sitting in my basement for a few weeks.

It seems to me removing thickness material would throw the assembly out of square as well. I just got my 1st hand plane so I don’t know if trying to fix twisted 2×4s is a good training project for using one, somehow I suspect not. I don’t have access to mechanical jointer/planers.

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3672 days

#3 posted 08-07-2013 03:24 PM

just the nature of the material – it’s not you… ;)

that’s why 2×4 are usually left for framing and not seen often in ‘fine’ woodworking projects (even though they are used from time to time – still not the preferred choice of material)

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

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