Just a little update on my bench build.
This shows the Irwin clamps I was able to use while gluing up the three individual sections of my bench top one at a time.
Here I am joining all the sections together for the last gluing. My Irwin clamps weren’t long enough to reach the full 26” final width of the top. I only had 7 long clamps, but that worked out fine luckily. Three under and four on top. As you can see, I had to put the clamp handles against the wall otherwise I wouldn’t have had enough room for the long clamp ends. This didn’t make the glue-up any easier!
The side showing is actually the bottom. The challenge here is to plane it flat with all those very hard Fir knots. My original plan was to drill them out with a Forstner bit and plug the holes after the main planing was finished. I tried that, but the Forstner bit was not up to the job as the bit wandered too much before the rim could bite into the good wood around the knots.
For the next try I used a hole saw the same size, sawed down into the top about 3/16” around each knot, chiseled out a little of the hard material with a gouge then used my Forstner bit again to deepen the hole without degrading the circle made by the hole saw. As you can see, this worked very well. I didn’t have much time to do this work today, but now I know that I can drill the rest of the knots quickly and accurately and make my planing work much easier on myself and my plane iron.
I plan to scroll saw the plugs out so I can keep the grain direction consistent. If I don’t taper the plugs I can saw out thick plugs and cut them to make several disks from one cutting. If i make them slightly oversize it might even be possible to taper them a little afterward by sanding to ensure a perfect fit.
I’m not sure when this little project will be finished as we are driving to Sweden this week to visit our son. So far I have used my little Stanley /Bailey #4 and it is performing perfectly for me. This is a better form of exercise than using boring training equipment. Good health and a flat bench!
Thanks for reading!
-- Mike, an American living in Norway.