Drift Redwood Bench Build #5: The longest cut

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Blog entry by scruboak51 posted 04-05-2014 02:40 AM 1583 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Finishing but far from finished Part 5 of Drift Redwood Bench Build series Part 6: Life Gets in the way »

I’ve had a bit of a hiatus from posting updates on my bench build, but it’s not for lack of effort. After a lot of thinking I decided to build a metal base for the bench. This will keep with the theme that my work and, by default, our house is developing. It also allows me to develop my metalworking skills.

I found a phenomenal local metal supplier. They have an entire section of the store devoted to pre-cut shorts. Just about their entire inventory is represented in one and three foot (0.3 and 0.9 meter) sections. This lets me get my hands on the inventory and get a feel for how certain shapes and sizes will fit with my project at hand without the worry of raising the ire of the production oriented customers/employees. Also, it’s sold by weight and the price is very reasonable when I’ve compared it to other on-line discounters; factor in the no shipping and it’s a bargain.

For the bench I decided to got with inch and a half bar-stock; it’s beefy, about 10 pounds (4.5 kilos per foot). I cut it in half without out to much fuss, so I decided to tackle a pretty aggressive cut. You can see the outline in the below picture. The goal for the one side of the bench is to make a trestle style base with a single center support. The bottom leg (what I am cutting) would then taper over it’s length to about 0.25 inches

Little did I know I was about to embark on a 2 week ordeal that would test the limits of my patience and sanity. Much like the tortoise I persisted; there were a few marathon hour plus sessions, but mostly it was done in 15 or 20 minute chunks.

Tonight, I finally broke through and completed one of the two cuts

I’d have to estimate my progress was about 0.2 inches per hour which works out to about 6 or 7 hours per cut. I almost broke down and purchases a sawzall but dropping a good $120 on a tool that is not going to see much use was hard to swallow. Plus, the remainder of the work is going to require me to finally invest in a drill press and a couple Blacksmith tools, as well as some outsourcing to a local welder, so money saved that can then be applied to those is a win for me.

I’ve still got the other side left, but I would estimate that is 80% complete. Once both cuts are made I need to clean things up and make sure the cut is nice and level; mercifully, I can resort to my arsenal of power tools.

There is a lot of work and a lot of learning ahead for this project. Thanks for reading.

2 comments so far

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 2139 days

#1 posted 04-06-2014 11:06 AM

Wow, is that a solid bar of metal of 1,5” ?? You are crazy or have very little experience with metal, or both… but just wow, your effort and your ability to perservere is outstanding.

An extruded 1,5×1,5 made of 1/8” steel easily supports 2000 kg, so why you would do that to yourself is beyond me. But it is impressive!

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View scruboak51's profile


37 posts in 2245 days

#2 posted 04-06-2014 02:24 PM

Jake: a good mix of both and throw in cheap. Had I know it would have taken that long, I probably would have re-thought the plan, but once I started I wanted to see it through.

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