Well, I got some time to spend in the shop. The first thing I did was build some saw horses per the design in Schwarz’s book. I figure I needed some additional space for this build, I also figured I could use the saw horse later, so I got that done.
Next I milled up the lumber for the top. The LVL worked fairly easily. I had three pieces, (2) 7’ and (1) 8’. These thick long cuts are where I start wishing I had a full cabinet saw instead of my 1.75hp hybrid. Anyway, the two 7’ boards ripped down easily as long as I took it easy on the feed rate. My combination blade made a nice smooth cut. I was somewhat surprised to find stresses in the 8’ board. The kerf closed up on me and tripped the breaker (even with the splitter installed.) After that I kept the wedges handy.
The jointing went better than I hoped; I was concerned about handling boards that long and getting good results. Again, no problems at all with the knives cutting this stuff. Planing was also easy. I set up roller stands on the infeed and outfeed sides for both jointing and planing, that really helped a lot.
Unfortunately the LVL was not as flat as I had hoped, all the boards had some cup, and I had to waste more than I expected getting the boards flat. The material was sold as 1 3/4” thick, but was mostly only 1.7”. By the time I was done jointing and planing, some pieces were down to almost 1.5”. In order for me to hit my target width I needed to add some boards.
So, I milled up an extra 8/4 maple board. I am using 8/4 stock for the front and back edges, so I milled up another board and got two more strips for the top, which left me a bit fat. My original plan was to get 24”, and I ended up with 26 1/2” milled stock. I could just use one extra maple board and get down under 25”, but I figured why not leave it in.
The top is currently 3 1/4” thick. I planning on passing it through the planner at least one more time before final glue, but I’ll easily end up over 3” thick. This new top must weigh 50% than my old bench did. :-)
I’ve turned my old bench into an outfeed table for my TS; the height was perfect once I added a sheet of 1/2” MDF. That was something else I would not have wanted to try this project without.
Next step is to start gluing everything up. Here are some pictures of the top laid out on the saw horses.