A while black I posed a forum topic asking for folks advise on how to use this piece of wood for a workbench.
A cabinet maker I bought my band saw from gave it to me for free. It was made from two slabs from a green oak tree so it cupped pretty bad. It had been used as a table for a restaurant.
After assimilating everyone’s advice I decided I would cut out the piths, re-glue the top and use it to make a French workbench like Roy Underhill does in one of his shows. I love the splayed legs and I like the idea of a tool tray to keep things from rolling off of the bench. I have actually found a few antique examples of this bench online, here are some pictures I’ll be using for inspiration.
Here is what my Sketch Up drawings look like so far.
My top wont be large, about 68” or so once its done but that is pretty close to the dimensions of the examples above. It will be about 2.5” thick and it will be about 16” wide (core), 24” wide with the tool tray. It will also work well for the space I have.
I’ve already cut up the top, removed the pith, jointed by hand one face and one edge of each of the 4 pieces so they are now ready to be fed through the thickness planer for the other sides.
The nice thing about pithy wood is that the wood on either side is quarter sawn. So, I will have a lot of nice quarter sawn flecks in my top!
I also had a bunch of red oak I wanted to burn through for the legs and stretchers so this is a great opportunity to do that. They were all 4/4 so it has taken a lot of jointing and glue up to prepare them which was not fun since I don’t have a jointer.
Unless you count my new #6 which has been indispensible on this project. Its been a lot of fun to joint these big pieces of wood by hand. I’m having fun and getting a little workout.
WOODEN SCREWS!: I’m going to be carving my own wooden screws for a leg vise and wagon vise. I’m following the instructions from Carters blog. The only exception is that I’m planning on carving the screw by hand rather than using a router. It seems very doable from everything I’ve read and I won’t have the hassle of making a jig and buying a router bit. Also, I don’t have a lathe, I had to buy my dowels, so I cant afford the trial and error of setting up the jig. I may make the router jig down the road if I buy a lathe and start making more screws.
I bought my dowels from these guys. I’m pretty satisfied with them. Luckily the 1 1/2” dowel I’m using for my tap fits just right in the whole made by my spade bit.
The dowel for the screw is 2” in diameter.
I satarted on some of the layout of he tap last night.
So that’s all I have for now. Next I’ll be working on feeding my leg and top pieces through the planer when the kids are awake and working on the screw when they are asleep.
Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll stay tuned for the rest of the build.
-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch