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pith up for workbench top, or best knot free surface up?

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Forum topic by Matt Stauffer posted 02-26-2011 08:57 PM 1520 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Matt Stauffer

110 posts in 2227 days


02-26-2011 08:57 PM

I am making a bench top out of 2 inch thick by 7 inch wide southern yellow pine boards that will be edge jointed together for a benchtop. I’ve heard that the pith side should be up for use in a benchtop or table. My problem is that the pith sides of each plank contain a few knots that are loose and would need to be dutch patched, while the “bark” side of the boards is mostly free of any worrysome knots. Is it worth my trouble to cut out and dutch patch the knots so I can stick to using the pith side upwards?

-- Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. ~ John 5:24


3 replies so far

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Loren

8301 posts in 3110 days


#1 posted 02-26-2011 09:32 PM

The inside of the tree (pith) is firmer, more dense wood. It will be
more wear-resistant.

There are 2 schools of through regarding edge-joining flatsawn wood for
a table or bench top. One is that the growth rings should be facing
one way, and the other is that the boards should alternate growth
ring orientation. You’ll get a more stable top by ripping those boards
into 3rd and gluing them together so the quarter/rift sawn faces make up
your bench top.

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Matt Stauffer

110 posts in 2227 days


#2 posted 02-28-2011 07:08 PM

Thanks. I have the worst time ripping this SYP on the tablesaw. It binds up and tries to kick back once I get so far into sawing. My only guess what is going on is that there are tensions being released as I saw into it and that ends up pinching the blade. I may just take my chances on using the bark side up.

-- Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. ~ John 5:24

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Loren

8301 posts in 3110 days


#3 posted 02-28-2011 07:56 PM

Did you try ripping it in multiple passes? Kickback seldom occurs
when ripping only partway through the thickness of a board. After
the first pass, either flip the stock and rip from the other side, or
raise the blade to rip to full depth.

Eventually a hardwood workbench settles into a state where it’s
flat enough to only need a touch-up here and there. I don’t know
if your flatsawn wood will act that way, but if you’re not using your
bench as an accurate reference surface for flattening boards and
fitting door frames, it may not matter that much if the top surface
is flat or quartered.

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