2 February 2014 at 3:40 pm #27059Greg MerrittParticipant
Which faces of the mortises are out of square? The wide or the narrow? How far out are they? The wide faces can be trued up without causing you any real problem. The narrow can be trued as well, but you may end up with a gap at the top and bottom of the mortise. You could simply add wedges in that case. Spruce will compress quite a bit as you drive the tendon into the mortise. I wouldn’t attempt to true up the mortise, unless it is way out of square, until you begin to fit the tenons. Leave the tenons fat and take you time with the fitting. As you try to insert the tenon keep looking down into the mortise to see if it is the mortise wall or the tenon that needs adjusted. Neither the tenon nor the mortise need to be perfect. The compression of the wood will allow for a margin of error. Same idea as learning to cut dovetails and starting in a soft wood. Wood compression is very forgiving of slight errors.
The area that I would concentrate on is the tenon shoulders. Make sure these are square. Once the assembly is clamped, square shoulders will yield a square assembly. Once again the compression of the wood will compensate for a misaligned mortise and tenon.
Hard wood assemblies are far less forgiving.
http://hillbillydaiku.com2 February 2014 at 3:47 pm #27060
I still need to cut the tenons, so I don’t know yet. I hope they won’t be.
from Germany2 February 2014 at 3:54 pm #27064STEVE MASSIEParticipant
I will try again my post didn’t post. David your bench is looking good and you will really like this bench. I built mine from “junky” 2 X 4’s from Home Depot after going through at least 100 to get 16 or so. I built mine using a Work Mate and ( 2 ) plastic saw horse’s.
Steve Massie, I live in the great State of Florida, US2 February 2014 at 5:24 pm #27066Steve FollisParticipant
It’s looking really good Dave! I think you are going to be very pleased with it!
Memphis, Tennessee6 February 2014 at 4:30 am #27321
I was wondering if the spruce you got from the lumberyard was kiln-dried? Or did you have some other method to determine moisture content of the timber? Obviously the laminations of the top and aprons went well, and I suppose the boards glued up no problem and they didn’t twist or distort on you after you brought the boards home but before you laminated them. Reason I ask is I’m about to start my workbench build and I plan to use spruce as well. I plan on going this Friday to a lumberyard close by to me and I hope to find straight lengths with few knots. Then I intend to let the timber acclimate to my garage maybe a for a few days so it can have a chance to stabilise as much as possible. Was wondering how you went about these issues.
Thanks for your post, and best of luck as you further your goal of the workbench build.
New Jersey, U.S.A.6 February 2014 at 7:19 am #27323
frankly, I didn’t think about it much. I expect the lumber from my local yard to be in usable condition, and I think they cannot afford not to take some care of that. I laminated outside at low plus temperatures and then took them inside at basement temperatures for setting. So far, I didn’t notice any problems. It wouldn’t hurt, though, if you have the time and patience, to allow the wood to acclimate. All wood is different and so are circumstances, so another time, my approach may have caused problems.
Good luck at the lumberyard.
from Germany6 February 2014 at 7:45 am #27324
Thanks, Dave. I’ll report in a separate thread on how my workbench project is going, as you have done for yours here in this one.
New Jersey, U.S.A.6 February 2014 at 9:52 am #27329FrancoParticipant
Carlos, I think it’s important to take time and choose the correct boards in the first place. I have so far purchased all mine from the same place; the wood is stored outside in cold and damp weather. I haven’t noticed any problems. I’ve also left the timber a few days to settle. Just stay away from timber that isn’t up to the task, even if that means going back another time.6 February 2014 at 10:30 am #27330FlorianParticipant
From my very little experience I found that the preplaned timber tends to be drier comparing to the rough sawn construction timber that is sometimes extremely wet. They just cut it down and sell it. At least this was the case at the lumberyards I went to get my wood so far. I bought 8×10 cm from the same pile and had moisture content from 12 in some pieces to almost 30 percent in others.
@davidr: Where did you buy your clamps? I ordered some 24″ last year at harbor freight and would like to buy some longer ones, too. Would be nice to avoid the transatlantic shipping.
I enjoy working wood in Germany.6 February 2014 at 11:44 am #27332
those are from axminster.co.uk. I ordered a bunch of them along with a few other tools. The clamps are not too sturdy, but it should last a while. Also I haven’t added wooden inserts and padding, as Paul did with his, yet.
from Germany6 February 2014 at 1:58 pm #27340FlorianParticipant
Thanks David. I checked their site and will probably go for the 60″ at Harbor freight with 54″ capacity. I want to clamp some larger tabletops in the near future and like the higher capacity. For the 24″ clamps I paid a third for the clamps and two thirds for shipping, tax and customs declaration. It’s still a good price for what you get.
I enjoy working wood in Germany.6 February 2014 at 11:05 pm #27374
Florian: Yes, I think you are right. Dressed timber should not present
as much to worry about as rough sawn. This probably accounts for a large part of the price difference (since preparation and dimensioning cost money).
Franco: Good point: To avoid distorted or twisted boards it is critical I try to pick out the straightest and knot-free pieces one can find at the lumberyard in the first place.
Paul, in a reply to a question on his “How to Build a Workbench – Intro and Laminating the Tops part 1” blog series http://paulsellers.com/2012/06/making-your-workbench/
points out that if you go to a big-box store and use kiln-dried timber they have there, if you leave it to acclimate 3-4 days in your workspace for it to dry thoroughly, it should work.
Based on his reply and the replies I’ve received here, I will probably will not have to worry about my spruce boards cupping or twisting on me before glue-up.
Thanks again for sharing your experiences and knowledge.
New Jersey, U.S.A.9 February 2014 at 5:21 pm #27516
I have the H-frames fitted, only need to finish the surfaces and tenons. I was wondering, whether to glue the aprons like @paul shows in the book or wedge them as shown in the video. Any opinions on this topic? Thanks.
from Germany9 February 2014 at 5:30 pm #27517Greg MerrittParticipant
David it’s a question of mobility. Do you plan on moving this bench from place to place? The bolt and wedge design allows you to dismantle the bench for easy transport. The screw and glue design results in a permanent assembly. Mine is screwed and glued and if I have to move it to another location it will be a two man job and require a truck. But I have no plans to move it anytime soon.
http://hillbillydaiku.com15 February 2014 at 6:37 pm #27887
Just a short update: today I surface planed the finished leg parts and the aprons. Then I glued the leg frames. I measured out of squareness of about 1mm (~1/32″), which I think will be okay. I noticed one apron had a shake, so this may actually be caused by neglecting to acclimate the wood. I don’t see how this might be a problem though. In addition to the rounded through tenons, I rounded over the legs and rails. A bit of practice and I think it will look more finished in the end.
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