Reply by Mauricio

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Posted on Advise: Knotty Cupped Top for Workbench

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7144 posts in 3114 days

#1 posted 10-22-2011 03:32 AM

Thanks so much for the advice guys.

Don, I know you have a chain saw mill and probably have a lot of experience with this kind of thing. P.S. I have a decrepit wooden jack plane I am restoring that I will post soon. I’m going to use it as a scrub plane.

The cup is about 3/8” so it may be better just to flatten as is. I wouldn’t expect it to move much from there. I’ve heard of the wet grass trick before but have never tried it. Worth a shot, I wonder what will happen once it dries again.

Here is a pic of the pith, you can see it has already checked and had to be filled. This doesn’t bother me esthetically.

The other peculiarity with this situation is that it is finished on only one side (to let it dry the guys said). With that you would expect that it would dry/contract more on the unfinished side and cup in that direction but it didn’t. I think this is due to the pith being off center in the board and being more to the unfinished side so there are more arching rings on one side that want to straighten out. Hope that makes sense, if not the pic shows what I’m talking about.

Crank, I know I have read something about the pith being bad news but I can’t remember what specifically. If I can get this flat (with the router trick) do you think I can keep the pith? I’ve used the router jig on cutting boards it works great. The top is cupped about the same all the way down.

Don, I don’t know how often I will have to flatten since my bench now is OSB, Sounds like I’m making too much of that? I like how it looks now but I’m assuming it is not done drying and may need to be flattened a little more down the road. Sounds like neither of you are into the “skinning with straight grained wood” idea. I do like to keep things simple but I’m just dreading having to do the router flattening process twice. It’s a messy business. Planning it flat on the other had sounds enjoyable.

Don&Crank you guys both seem to suggest that Oak is a stable wood. I would have thought the opposite since it is so porous, I have about a 100bf of cupped oak boards in my garage. But once they’re done cupping and you flatten them they stay relatively stable.

Thanks again for the advise and any additional input.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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