Screw Tapping a Green Bench Leg

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Forum topic by revF posted 01-13-2016 05:28 PM 218 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 285 days

01-13-2016 05:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: workbenches leg vises wooden screws screw tapping shrinkage green wood

Hi there. I am about to have a bench leg tapped for a 2.5 inch maple screw for a leg vise. The leg I want to use is green ash (both the species and the moisture content are “green”). The leg is from a tree I milled myself about six weeks ago and the leg is quarter sawn (as much as any timber is truly quarter sawn – the grain is vertically perpendicular to the face side of the timber). Its dimensions are 3.75×6. My question is how might the screw function be affected over time as the timber continues to season?

Initially I worried that the shrinking leg might actually pinch the (already dry) screw and bind it. However, I think that holes generally become elliptical as wood seasons which may have the same or opposite effect. I know it’s a bit of a gamble either way. As long as it doesn’t render the vise ineffective or unusable I can live with it.

I have some more seasoned timber I can use if necessary so it’s cool either way. Share any thoughts and thanks.

1 reply so far

View HokieKen's profile


1523 posts in 559 days

#1 posted 01-13-2016 08:15 PM

Green wood only milled six weeks ago that is that thick is not a safe bet IMHO. I wouldn’t count on it working in the long run. If you really want to use that wood, I’d cut a 3” square mortise through and get a 3” block of stable wood tapped and glue it into the mortise. Given a choice my preference would be to use a stable wood for the whole leg.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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