I have to say, the thought of trying to flatten 16(ish) boards entirely by hand (for the bench top) is a bit daunting. But I lined up the six I have done a cursory planing on, and they look like they mostly line up. Of course, I think they all have a slight bow, but at least they’re all bowing to the same extent. It’ll be an artistic bench with the “bent” look. ;^)
But I do have a couple questions for you all, and I know that at least a few of you won’t disappoint and will try to answer, so thanks in advance.
1. I think termites have gotten into at least a couple boards – I see tiny holes. First of all, how do I know if they are gone? I haven’t seen any sawdust at the base of the boards, which is the only thing I can think of to look for. Secondly, if the termites are gone, is it okay to use the wood? It’d be laminated in between good pieces, but is it more succeptible to re-infestation or decay or anything?
2. I have a mix of heartwood and sapwood, mostly because when I bought the wood I didn’t know what I was looking for. I gather from my readings that heartwood is favorable, but is there any reason I should not mix the two? I don’t really care if it looks dumb, so long as it works well. Or would you recommend I use sapwood for, say, the stretchers, and go buy some more heartwood for the top?
3. If I have to get a different kind of wood for the legs (2×6s), would that be problematic? It would be another tropical hardwood (probably meranti or nyatoh), so my guess is that it would work.
4. Regarding that slight bow, what’s the best way to fix it? If I glued the first bowed piece to a straight one, would it pull the straight one over? Or is the trick to glue them up quick and get end caps on them? (Is that what they’re called – end caps?)
And if anyone is interested, a 10’ board of kempas 2×4 (which is pretty close to being the full 2” by 4”) is $5.56 in U.S. dollars.