LumberJocks

Work bench, 85+ years in the making

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Project by RoundestRock posted 07-03-2011 12:12 AM 4142 views 9 times favorited 34 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I guess you could say this was a family project. The top of this workbench came from an American Elm tree my Grandfather’s brother planted in 1935. My Grandpa then transplanted the tree to his farm in 1940. My Grandpa passed in 2003 and my Grandma had to move from the farm in 2008. The trucking company that bought the farm had a history of leveling everything and putting it all in a landfill. Then they add pavement, and as the song goes, no more paradise.

Anyway, I couldn’t let such a magnificent specimen go to such an end (over 24’’ diameter, 20+’ straight trunk, 70+’ of tree all told). So with permission I fell, milled, and dried the wood myself. I had a yield of over 800 board feet! Once dried I hand planed the wood and fitted each joint. This took a good deal of my free time for a year. The top came out at 24’’ X 90’’ X 4 1/4’’. I made a point NOT to flatten the underside so it would be obviously hand made. It weighs almost 300 Lbs. That’s just the top.

For the legs I ran across an excess sale on jatoba for $2/brdft. It came in 3/4’’ X 6’’ planks. I laminated those to triple thick for strength and weight. The crotchet is laminated paduke that was left over from another project. I put the frame together with 5/8’’ X 8’’ bolts so it can be disassembled for moving. Total weight is between 500 and 600 Lbs. I still need to add the dog holes and a clamp rack to the bottom, but otherwise it’s done (at last!).

I think my Grandpa would be proud. I know I am.

-- I only WISH I could do this for a living. Problem is I don't want to sell anything I make!





34 comments so far

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1599 posts in 2120 days


#1 posted 07-03-2011 12:16 AM

Very nice. Hope ya dont have to move it often

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View RichSoby's profile

RichSoby

24 posts in 1205 days


#2 posted 07-03-2011 12:20 AM

Sweet! Nice piece of family history there! I agree, your Grandpa would be proud!

View scarpenter002's profile

scarpenter002

474 posts in 2563 days


#3 posted 07-03-2011 12:32 AM

Wonderful job and an even better story. I must agree that your Grandpa would be proud.
Thanks for sharing.

-- Scott in Texas

View Bearpie's profile

Bearpie

2587 posts in 1676 days


#4 posted 07-03-2011 12:43 AM

There is no doubt in my mind that your Gramps is bragging to all the angels on how well you made this and how proud he is of you! Well done and great use of some cherished wood that has a history!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View saddletramp's profile

saddletramp

994 posts in 1296 days


#5 posted 07-03-2011 12:44 AM

Good story and a great bench. You should be proud.

Gee, how come nobody grew me a tree?

;^)))

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

5110 posts in 1966 days


#6 posted 07-03-2011 12:51 AM

Oh yeah! That is one nice workbench and alot of history. Looks too nice to use. Great job…

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

View karl roth's profile

karl roth

17 posts in 1674 days


#7 posted 07-03-2011 12:54 AM

goSh ! that is impressive !! beautiful bench and great story to go with it

cheers

View Don W's profile

Don W

15045 posts in 1226 days


#8 posted 07-03-2011 12:55 AM

that is so cool. The bench and the story. I made my top of elm cut off my dads farm, but don’r think anybody actually planted the tree. How did you m ill the lumber? Looks like a new milling machine in front of it. I always wanted one of those.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View jevarn71's profile

jevarn71

80 posts in 1818 days


#9 posted 07-03-2011 12:57 AM

That’s some serious growth after the transplant between 1940 and 1950! Must have been some good soil at the farm. Great looking bench!

-- Jason - Aim High!!

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1298 days


#10 posted 07-03-2011 01:05 AM

Nice story and work. Making memories out of memories…

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View DantheWoodworker's profile

DantheWoodworker

18 posts in 1178 days


#11 posted 07-03-2011 01:46 AM

That is very beautiful. It is also a great story. Thanks for sharing.

View ChrisCarr's profile

ChrisCarr

196 posts in 1556 days


#12 posted 07-03-2011 02:35 AM

You should be proud of yourself. Thats an awesome story and accomplishment !

View FlairWoodworks's profile

FlairWoodworks

71 posts in 1197 days


#13 posted 07-03-2011 03:08 AM

Nice bench. Are you going to add dog holes?

-- Chris Wong -- http://flairwoodworks.wordpress.com --

View SawdustDon's profile

SawdustDon

17 posts in 1213 days


#14 posted 07-03-2011 03:14 AM

Beautiful bench and story. I especially liked the dated growth ring cut.

-- Don

View Tim Kindrick's profile

Tim Kindrick

369 posts in 1212 days


#15 posted 07-03-2011 03:18 AM

VERY COOL!!!!

-- I have metal in my neck but wood in my blood!!

showing 1 through 15 of 34 comments

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