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Southern Yellow Pine Work Surface (workbench)

43813 Views 45 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  ruddhess
My first "benchtop"

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Beginning to make a Japanese style planing beam/board. 6 boards from Lowe's - 2 X 10 X 12's cut in half and staked up on my old sawhorses.

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I used a 1 X 2 "select" pine as a straight edge - screwed to the 2X with drywall screws as a guide for my circular saw. Set the depth to leave a wafer thin "bridge" on the very bottom so I didn't cut into the board below. Worked very well. (Bit of a "mis-start" on the first board. I am ripping each one down the center and the cut edge will be the top side. Garage is absolutely full of boxes of my junk. I need to go through them and sort stuff out (plus find my hand plane and any other tools that may be lurking in there).

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This one has a LOT of gummy sawdust. Smells good though.

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Thin wafer on the bottom of one side. I took an old chisel and sliced it off even with the cut face.

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Here is the first one all split and ready to go.

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All ripped and stacked up. Fairly even and almost the same width - 4 5/8". The top ones are very heavy and knotty with a lot of sap. The slab will be 18" wide and 70 or 71 inches long after laminating. I don't have but a couple of small clamps, so I got five 3/8" all-threads X 24" and some fender washers and nuts to cinch it all down good. I am going to have to be precise in drilling my holes so the threaded rod will fit - I will drill larger holes (say 7/16" or 1/2") with a Forstner bit (I have a small drill press). I bought some Elmer's wood glue to do the lamination, but later I bought a tube of Liquid Nails heavy duty adhesive instead. I'm going to use a plastic putty knife to spread the adhesive out on each board. I also bought five 4-1/2" bolts to glue two boards at a time, then join those together later.


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Glueing up pairs of boards and then glueing up quads

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This is the first two boards glued together the night before this picture. I have taken the bolts out and everything looks solid. Time will tell. This first one was probably the worst for glue coverage as I was in a hurry - it has been too long since I glued boards together. I keep thinking that if I didn't hurry, the glue would set up and I'd have to do everything over again. But I think it will still be OK. I used plenty of glue on both sides and the only part I'm really only slightly concerned about is the end corners - I don't remember if I spread the glue all the way out.

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This Yellow Pine is beautiful!

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Here is my glue up area. I had some old closet doors to use as a flat work area - they are hollow and light, but fairly flat and easy to clean up the glue because they are painted. I got wise and started using a cheap plastic putty knife to spread the glue out more evenly.

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Glue is running out, so that's a good sign!

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Now all five pairs have been glued up.

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So the first pair from the day before and the second pair from early morning get glued together at the very last of the day before going into the house.

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And here is a quad glued up- the camera amplifies the difference in height of the laminations - this end curled a bit on one side before the glue-up.

More later.
I dont believe you need to rush that much with the yellow glue. I usually glue three at a time, all 6,7 or 8 ft long. Then glue them up in pairs and pairs into slabs. Works well and if you spred the glue even and on both pieces and dont try to mash them when clamping, you will have great bench tops, just remember your 7 Ps, pryier proper planing prevents piss poor proformance. Sorry for the bad word here, just the facts..


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Glue Curing Box

Here is what I did yesterday: made a long box to keep the wood and glue warm while curing.

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Everything I needed was laying close at hand - literally! I had four old closet doors that I used as shelves a long time ago that were standing in the corner. I had used a couple of them as a flat work place to start gluing up the boards for my slab. I found 8 little metal angle braces with screws that I had bought a while back and never used. It is 78" long (my 72" boards fit just right) and 12" X 15" otherwise.

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I will cover the ends with some old blankets.

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And I had a single bulb and bare fixture hanging right beside my shop light. It was 40°F in the shop when I put the thermometer inside and closed the ends up with blankets.

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Everything hooked up and ready to go.

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I found that with an extra blanket on the top, it will stay 60°F inside all night. Even with outside temps as low as 7°F like last night.

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Yes this works well, i did the same for a dog house but in place of blankets on the ends i used plywood with styrofom glued to it and on hinges with weather striping. Its amazing how much heat you can get with just one light blub. I used a 75 watt blub and have a happy dog. His water never frezzes as the temp stays about 58 to 65 degrees depending on outside weather, we to have had 4 degree nites and still a happy dog. You do have to keep a watch on the blub as they dont last but a few weeks being on full time..


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Gluing Up The Feet

Here is a shot of the upright posts in their "sandwich" mortises.
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Left side: C-clamps do the job.
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Right side: Pittsburgh bar clamps and one C-clamp.
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Almost complete.
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Front and back upright assemblies are skewed by about 3/16".
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It's beautiful wood though!
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And the top rails are dead even in height.
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Starting to look like something to work on, oh, wait its a great workbench. Looks good my friend..


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