Two New (to me) Issues With A Project

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Forum topic by Kazooman posted 06-01-2015 10:02 PM 720 views 0 times favorited 0 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1008 posts in 1952 days

06-01-2015 10:02 PM

After seeing a thread here on it, I decided to build a “bench top bench” based on the March 2005 Fine Woodworking design. I had quite a bit of 6/4 stock from some end grain cutting board projects, so I figured all I needed was the hardware. The feet, aprons, legs and stretchers were to come out of a piece of 6/4 hickory that I purchased before I realized it is not a good choice for a cutting board. This piece has been in the shop for over a year, so it has acclimated to the temperature and humidity. It was straight and S4S when I got it and still was when I started to work it. I crosscut a piece from it and ripped that into four pieces for the feet and aprons. No problem. I then needed to plane the rest to 1-1/8” for the legs and stretchers. That went perfectly, still all square. The first surprise came in how much tension was revealed in the wood when I planed it. The piece was now 1-1/8×7” by about 5” long. I had it on a crosscut sled to cut off a section for the stretchers. There was so much tension in the wood that cross cutting a 7” cut bound on the blade, even though I had the fence and its splitter in place. So much that it stalled the motor and tripped the breaker (3 Hp SawStop Pro saw with a good blade). Never had that happen on a crosscut before. Never tripped the breaker with this saw. Flipped the piece and finished the cut from the other side. I then ripped off one stretcher with no problem. I never finished ripping the second piece. It was binding so badly that I decided the end result wouldn’t be suitable for the bench. After about a 12” cut I had to pull the piece out of the saw. The 1” piece I was slicing off completely closed the kerf and was bent down almost 1/8”. This is a plain sawn piece of stock, but I was amazed an how a perfectly stable, acclimated piece turned into a monster as it was machined.

I switched to some hard maple that I had and cut all of the pieces. Now on to the mortise and tenons.

The second issue is a joke on me. I had the maple stock on my bench. The bench is also hard maple and it is flat. I couldn’t believe the twist the stock seemed to have. It wasn’t like that when I last checked it. I even tried some makeshift winding sticks and couldn’t see any problem. I picked what seemed to be the best end to crosscut two 8” pieces off for the legs of the bench. I was hoping any twist wouldn’t rear its ugly head in such a short piece. Over to the saw and now the stock lays flat! Back to the bench it has a twist! Oh man! There was a small dot of dried glue on the bench top. Every board in the shop would seem to have a twist when resting on that.

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