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  • #445690
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    Today, I tried one leg again, hopefully the one with the smallest measurements, got one face flat and marked it clearly. From there I will get to the other faces and adjust the other legs accordingly. I think, I can use the first leg as reference for the heel of the plane to flatten the other ones. The main trouble is, that the wood is really tough to cut into. It will be tedious work to get form the outside to the inside, while removing lots of small high spots.

    As for getting better, I think, it is the way you look at things. The better you can see the effect of every single stroke of the plane, the better you can adjust. I realised that, while planing the boards for my rack.

    Dieter

    #440515
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    Hi cwhite!

    Thanks for asking! My enthusiasm got killed by my maintenance skills on the plane. I fiddled around quite a bit and in the end, I lost confidence completely. Then I also had my new hobby, archery, which I really enjoy. It basically took away all the time I would have needed to complete the workbench. There were quite a few small projects, but nothing close to the level of woodworking, that is discussed in this forum (archery target stands, arrow rack, wall-rack to store bows etc.). So I had nothing to report.

    However, there is hope! I never completely abandonned the project, every piece is still in my workshop and in quite good condition. And I have started another project, a rack for my basement. It won’t be any high-quality work, just to the point, basement-quality, and made entirely from scrapwood. And that is the point, I have planed every visible surface of the boards, because they were very raw. This restored my confidence, and I actually used one of the slabs of my workbench to be, to work on. By the way, I was astonished about the variety of possibilities to secure wood without a vise! Perhaps this is worth another post on this forum.

    There is no schedule yet, but I will be back!

    Dieter

    PS: I should re-read this topic eventually, to get back into the subject…

    #313965
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    Since one side of each slab seems to be flat, I can think of two options:

    1. Take the flat sides for reference, find the thickness you have to get to, mark and plane away.

    2. This option is not exactly beautiful, but less work, and you can keep the better slab at its current thickness: Use the square sides for the top and fit boards under the wedgy slab, where it rests on the leg frames. You either have to fit the boards to the shape of the surface or make recesses parallel to the top and leave the boards straight. I think, recesses might be even easier, except, you cannot use a router, because you cannot rest it on the adjacent surfaces. If you want to hide your mistake, add boards to the ends of the benchtops.

    By the way, I did quite the same mistake on two legs of my bench, which caused so much frustration, that I waited two months, before picking up the work again. Don’t let that happen to you!

    Dieter

    #313921
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    Jake, that is just one purpose of the apron. And it is very visible in the corresponding sections of the videos about making the bench.

    Dieter

    #313920
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    er, being as “good” an archer as I am a woodworker could result in serious injuries – to myself 😀 Learning the basics of archery isn’t that hard. My only advantage in an apocalypse is, that I already have a bow and don’t need to resort to my basic woodworking skills in order to make one. I don’t even have suitable hunting arrows… And killing a wild animal with a bow is quite difficult, they can run off easily, because the arrow is so much slower than the sound of the shot.

    I had another look at the hornbeam stave (I think, the singular should be “staff”, but everybody says “stave”), it looks fine, no cracks, no twisting, no unwanted biological matter. This will be a nice task for next winter.

    Dieter

    #313835
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    The main project is started, I have found a suitable trunk of hornbeam (ironwood). Hornbeam isn’t perfect for bows, but it has been used by many people and they succeeded. The profile will be D-shaped, but not as thick as an English longbow. It will be flat on the back (the side facing away from the archer) and slightly round on the belly (other side – obviously). Hornbeam can stand compression fairly well, so the back can be fairly narrow. But anyway, the next step is months ahead, because the stave needs to dry first. I have felled and split the tree two weeks ago, shortly after starting this thread, removed the bark and cut it a bit closer to the final dimensions. It split nicely in the center, but I had to put wedge against wedge to force the fibres apart. I have heard, that splitting hornbeam is very difficult, once it has dried, so I am glad, I did it right away. Having the stave pre-dimensioned also lets it dry faster, because there is less wood to dry.

    I also found some straight poplar branches that might be suitable for arrows. They will dry much faster than the stave for the bow, so perhaps, the next post will be about making arrows from scratch. I have already started to collect feathers…

    Dieter

    #313834
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    More delay, because I am so active in other fields and I wont’t rush things again (which was probably the main cause for my trouble with the leg laminations). But I think, once again, that the hardest parts are done now. There is still the flattening of the bench-top, but I am quite used to spruce now, and flattening the underside wasn’t that hard after all. The top will be just a bit more tricky, because I want both halves level. My largest concern is to get good reference faces onto the laminated legs.

    I hope to be back with news in two weeks.

    Dieter

    #313833
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    I don’t think, the shape of the box will be endangered by shrinking and expansion. In order to ensure, that the drawer doesn’t stick, you could store the finished box in a very dry place, while keeping the wood for the drawer in a more humid place – perhaps a bit above the humidity of the room, where the box will be later on. Then make the drawer to the current dimensions of the box, less a hair or a bit more. The drawer will dry to the same level as the box and become slightly smaller. From that point on, the drawer should never bind, because it will never get more humidity than the outer box. I assume, that you let your prints dry properly, before you put them into the box…

    This is just a theoretical idea, so I might be completely wrong. But it makes sense to me…

    Dieter

    #313832
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    As others already said, pine is quite difficult to cut precisely, because it is so soft, while having quite strong annual rings eventually. Besides, I think, Paul Sellers’ chisels are really really sharp and he is doing mortise holes for over 50 years now.

    My first mortise holes were a mess, not only, because I didn’t follow the instructions in the videos, and it tool awfully long to cut them. A bit later, I watched one video again and even took notes. Then I was quite at ease, but didn’t pay too much attention to perfection, I only tried to replicate the method to the point. From there on, it went better quickly. I still get massive tearout in pine or fir, especially, when I am too lazy to sharpen my chisel, but I am in control of the general process now.

    Dieter

    #313831
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    Lots of good advise already!

    What helped me, apart from following advise from others: I got a bright light and a pencil, then watched carefully, where I abraded the steel. Like this, I gradually got more control over the process, and I have an idea, what I am doing with each stroke.

    Dieter

    #313611
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    There are three functions of the aprons in Paul Seller’s design, that I can see:

    Provide extra stability to the bench-top
    Strong and square connection of the bench-tops to the leg frames
    Space to attach something, a vise, a drawer, you name it… (not essential)

    Old style benches, as in the pictures, often have the bench-tops screwed together with huge iron rods and dovetailed end-rails. And there are extra rails to keep the legs square. And I think, the legs are joined into the bench-top, but I might be wrong.

    Another advantage of aprons is the extra weight, which prevents the bench to move about when you are doing heavy work.

    I think, what counts, is the stability of the bench. If it doesn’t move, rock or flex, while you are working, it is fine.

    Dieter

    #313375
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    Here is a good idea: Make a viking helmet (or a bowl, or many other things)

    Dieter

    #313374
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    Congratulations, this looks really neat!

    I wonder, if pine in Germany is somewhat special. When I see people working with pine on youtube (not only Paul Sellers), it seems to be nice and friendly wood, except for a few nasty knot areas. The legs of my workbench are pine and it was an almost catastrophic adventure. Yesterday, I read a catalogue about garden wood (for fences, carports etc.), mostly pine. They hinted, that some treatment for weather-hardening can cause silica to surface, and my wood looked exactly like on that foto. Perhaps, most pine in Germany is treated and they don’t even tell you???

    Just out of interest? How well do you get along with the carpet in your workshop? I want to move my workshop into the basement, which is also my personal private living room – with carpet, which has to stay.

    Dieter

    #313373
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    50% humidity is not that much. A bit much for a workshop but already low for a bedroom. Therefore I find it quite odd, that a laminated board warps so much. I’d expect any laminated board to stay flat for quite a while. Perhaps you can complain and get a new board for free?

    Your idea to cut the board in half and plane each part is another good solution, I think.

    Dieter

    #313362
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    Just out of interest, what type of wood will you buy? Pine?
    I am using mostly fir on my workbench. It is a bit softer, but considerably cheaper than pine. It should still make a good workbench though. But actually, in Germany, you would have to pay almost your price for fir. Pine would be 1.5 or even 2 times as much.

    By the way, don’t forget hardware and glue.

    Happy building!

    Dieter

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 341 total)