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Pulling in the aprons on my Nicholson bench

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Forum topic by Bamabb posted 05-23-2018 06:32 PM 297 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bamabb

3 posts in 75 days


05-23-2018 06:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: nicholson workbench bowed bow bowed wood apron

So I am working on a Nicholson bench. I am using some lumber I got fairly cheap in a soft maple. The problem is both of my aprons are bowed down the length. One is bowed probably 1/8” and the other is probably 3/16-1/4” out over the 6’ length. I was going to plane it down but I really don’t want to lose any of the thickness of the board since I will be using holdfast in the apron. The one that is really bowed is only 1-7/8” thick. My question is could I put the aprons on and then use a threaded rod between the 2 aprons in the middle to pull in that bow? Would that throw something out of wack over time? Could I even pull that much bow in? Or would the backside of the threaded rod just blow out the wood? I know I put the board on the concrete floor and stepped on it and it was still difficult to make flat with all my weight on it. Thoughts?


5 replies so far

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Woodknack

11773 posts in 2403 days


#1 posted 05-23-2018 10:58 PM

How dry is the lumber? I believe historically these were built from jobsite lumber, 1-7/8 a thick apron. Sure, add a stretcher between but if you can’t get it flat standing on it, I would considering planing it. But if the lumber isn’t dry then you risk it bowing again.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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BlasterStumps

710 posts in 463 days


#2 posted 05-23-2018 11:18 PM

If you have to reduce the thickness in order to get it flat again, why couldn’t you add a piece on the back side of the apron to give it more thickness where you plan on using the hold fasts? I built a saw bench with 1” red oak and wanted it a little thicker for hold fasts. I glued some blocks on the underside and it works fine.
Mike

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

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bondogaposis

4757 posts in 2374 days


#3 posted 05-24-2018 01:54 AM

If I remember correctly a Nicholson bench has 2 side aprons that are glued to top along the top edge. When you get to that stage if you can’t pull the sides flush to the top with clamps, then I’d start to look for new wood for the sides. I would think that in a 6’ span you should be to easily pull 1/4” at mid span. Once the glue cures it will hold.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Bamabb

3 posts in 75 days


#4 posted 05-24-2018 02:37 AM

Rick- the wood is dry. So it probably wouldn’t move to much.

Mike- did you put one long backer or small blocks behind each holdfast hole?

Bondo- I would think it would be easy to pull in till I stood on it. May just try it like you said and if I can’t get it in then find a new board.

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BlasterStumps

710 posts in 463 days


#5 posted 05-24-2018 04:05 AM

I used small pieces in the two locations. Something like 6” x 6”
Mike

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

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