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My Roubo Build #3: SUCKING IT UP AND GETTING ON WITH IT: THE TOP

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Blog entry by naomi weiss posted 05-12-2010 11:51 AM 1650 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Ah, Crap--Whinge Fest Part 3 of My Roubo Build series Part 4: Well, 3b, Actually »

יום ירושלים

First off, thanks to everyone for their encouragement. I really do appreciate it. Note to self: If you think something nice whilst reading someone else’s stuff, tell them—you never know what your comments can generate.

I looked at the wood and thought—what the hell? How badly can i f this up (probably more than i can guess, so i am thankful for that blind-spot)? Let’s look at the wood, and forget about getting the bloody things objectively flat; how about seeing how they fit each other. This may be embarking down the wrong path, but there seems to be some logic to it. I have 20 boards for the top (blerg), so i will do 4 sections of 5 boards. I know the Schwarz did 3, and i did agonise a bit over this, but it’s time to stop being a pedant and a literalist! 4 sections, it is!

I numbered them and even swiped them with a block plane just to make sure the grains are lined up. One bad thing about softwood is that it moves A LOT. The weather here in the Middle East has been like what i imagine menopause to be like; hot flashes on and off, unseasonal rain (well, i guess the metaphor falls apart there, but whatever), etc. So i imagine (haven’t checked thoroughly) that there is a lot of movement in my super-soft white pine. I am hoping to use this weakness to my advantage:

From Roubo Slumber

Lining up the boards by grain; dry-clamping to see if they are aligned nicely and if they might, as a result of being clamped, eventually align better

Here is a close-up (sorry-i got lazy and took the photos from my mobile):

From Roubo Slumber

I guess my question here is should i be worried about these gaps?:

From Roubo Slumber

To be fair, i only did some planing to fit with the first 2 boards; i have to do this, but i didn’t want to get carried away—this was my mistake with my legs, which i think i mangled.

-- 'Humility is a duty in great ones, as well as in idiots'--Jeremy Taylor



7 comments so far

View naomi weiss's profile

naomi weiss

206 posts in 2855 days


#1 posted 05-12-2010 11:53 AM

Hey-do you think i can stack the 15 boards on their sides for now or bad idea?

-- 'Humility is a duty in great ones, as well as in idiots'--Jeremy Taylor

View ratchet's profile

ratchet

1389 posts in 3248 days


#2 posted 05-12-2010 02:22 PM

Naomi, Good job conquering your fears and getting to work! Can you move the board (with the gap) to the other side (keeping the grain pattern in mind and clamp to close the gap? Or rearrange them all so there is no gap? I guess the real question is can YOU live with the gap and not stress over what you might have done to correct it during the build? The wood projects you build will not care if there is a gap in your workbench top and a workbench is a tool, not furniture.
Thanks for sharing your workbench build with us.

View Will Stokes's profile

Will Stokes

265 posts in 2815 days


#3 posted 05-12-2010 03:26 PM

1. While your’e working with soft pine, it will stiffen up once you glue up a whole bunch of boards. It’ll never be as stable as hard wood, but the sooner you get it all ready and glued up the better IMHO.

2. I also highly suggest shuffling the boards until you optimize for all the qualifiers you’re after (matching grain, minimal gaps, etc). Another trick I and others apply is to take boards that are not so flat and face them against each other. When you pull them together to clamp them up the natural forces of the boards oppose each other and the resulting laminate will end up keeping its shape even more. This of course means you have to apply more clamping pressure toward the center of the glue up so it’s best to get them as flat as possible before doing so. I’d say your gap doesn’t look that bad.

View woodbutcher's profile

woodbutcher

592 posts in 3627 days


#4 posted 05-12-2010 09:39 PM

Naomi,
We’re still having “Fun” right?
Keep on Keeping on!
Sincerely,
Ken McGinnis
p.s. I do hope you can read the humor into this!
p.p.s. For me it would be self depricating!

-- woodbutcher north carolina

View woodbutcher's profile

woodbutcher

592 posts in 3627 days


#5 posted 05-12-2010 09:45 PM

Naomi,
Just one serious word of caution. Once you laminate those four sections together. It will be critical that they have no gaps-for they will not be easy to apply enough clamping pressure to straighten them out!
Sincerely,
Ken McGinnis

-- woodbutcher north carolina

View naomi weiss's profile

naomi weiss

206 posts in 2855 days


#6 posted 05-13-2010 12:14 AM

Thanks for all the tips, guys! i perused some articles about grain direction, and so far i am still a bit stumped! About the concepts in general and also about how to apply them to my particular cut of board. Ken—once i bit the bullet, i was most definitely having fun!
Will—is there anything i can finish the bench with that will make it especially hard? That’s what i hate about pine-you can scratch it with your thumbnail and do some damage. That top is going to get beaten up pretty quickly…

-- 'Humility is a duty in great ones, as well as in idiots'--Jeremy Taylor

View naomi weiss's profile

naomi weiss

206 posts in 2855 days


#7 posted 05-13-2010 03:22 PM

Thanks for all the encouragement, Autumn! Hey—when you doing the Jefferson bookstand? I can’t wait for that! I just spent hours trying to find a sawhorse (a pair, rather). Sometimes i really hate the middle east! But i did find 4 litres of Titebond for 105 NIS which is i think a good price…
Oh, and PS—i didn’t necessarily get the grain direction right just because i checked it!
PPS—not SO worried about gaps. Will Stokes said it doesn’t look so bad. I think i will clamp another section today, and we’ll see how that goes. The boards went through the planer at the place. My mistake with the legs was to flatten each surface, rather than check how they fit. So i am hoping since the boards are not completely wonky that all i’ll need to do is swipe a few times with the block plane. Here’s hoping!

-- 'Humility is a duty in great ones, as well as in idiots'--Jeremy Taylor

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