|Forum topic by AndySensei||posted 11-09-2013 02:41 PM||1150 views||0 times favorited||3 replies|
11-09-2013 02:41 PM
I have a choice to make in the near future: How do I use the of Ipe my neighbor gave me?
Some background info: I’ve been living in Japan for the past 7 years, and jumped back into woodworking around a year ago. It has been tough sourcing quality hardwood here for reasonable prices. My neighbor has been air drying some Ipe for a while (leftovers/rejects from his workplace), and offered to give me a whole bunch, because he is an awesome guy. I have 18 boards, rough, about 6’ long general 2×4 dimensions.
My next project is a proper woodworking bench. I bought and read Chris Shwartz’s newest book on workbenches, and have come up with a few design ideas. I would like to laminate the top using the Ipe, as it would give me an approx. 20”-24” wide by about 72” long benchtop. After researching and practicing some machining on the rough cut boards, I realize this will be a bit of a challenge. I might be up for it, as this is a good opportunity to make a heavy, hard, sturdy bench. It would also be good to use a lamination for the top because I want to install a wagon vise using a shoulder vise screw I ordered. I have a medium sized old face vise I plan on using as well. I would LOVE to make a leg vise, but can’t afford the hardware right now. I guess I could always retrofit one in the future (when I feel like punishing myself with that task). The legs and stretchers will probably be reclaimed framing lumber (4×6s most likely) since I have a source for free demolition wood from time to time.
I would also consider making the legs and stretchers out of the Ipe, and making the top out of some large Douglas Fir 4×6 posts, or Japanese Red Pine 4×6s. The problem would be installing the wagon vise. I’m wondering if using 3 4×6s and a few 2×4s (to install the sliding wagon vise runners) would be a good idea?
I could always just make the entire bench out of cheap framing lumber, and use the Ipe for some outdoor furniture. But I feel like that is giving up on a challenge. Plus an Ipe bench will be pretty badass.
BTW, I have no planer or jointer. I have been slowly using a router planing sled to flatten the Ipe, and using my #6 fore plane (with a fence) as a jointer plane. This is not the most ideal situation. The boards will get surfaced eventually, but its slow going.
ANY suggestions would be welcome. I’m sure I’ll figure out a solution eventually, and all options are still open. I have plenty of time to decide on what to do, as that lumber won’t be dressed for a little while.