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Author Topic: How Should I Mill This For A Work Bench  (Read 806 times)

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Offline pezrock

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How Should I Mill This For A Work Bench
« on: November 30, 2021, 11:31:18 PM »
I have either a red oak all squared up on the Mill. It's about 12x12x8 right now. I want to build a new work bench with it and I want the table to be about 2 1/4" to 2 1/2" thick 32" deep and 8 feet long. I want to build it in March if possible. I do not want to kiln dry the wood. My main objective is a sturdy bench, nothing fancy. I'm open to a little mortise and tenon but I'm fine with nuts and bolts. My question is, for the table, should I Mill a bunch of sticks and glue them up or just mill 2 12" slabs and one 8" slab and glue them together? 

Thoughts? 

Offline kantuckid

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Re: How Should I Mill This For A Work Bench
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2021, 08:24:04 AM »
It's got to be dry enough to glue properly->period!<-
 Much easier to glue up than long all threads IMO.   
My woodworking bench is not some state of the art, classic style, edge grained nicey/nice affair. It's 3-12" wide x 2.5" thick maple boards. I glued them up a long time back, attached a VG woodworking vice and a wood carvers hold down on the other end. It has two rows of bench dog holes running away from my vice. It's attached to a steel industrial leg and shelf frame thats very heavy. I added three large drawers on the side away from the vice. The shelf holds all my solvent gallon jugs in a heavy row on cans all the length. The steel frame is on lockable casters for handy movement.  That frame had an asbestos top from a vo-tech school electrical program closed down. One of my sons replaced that nasty stuff with a sheet of plywood for his own work bench on a bought steel frame. 

I periodically clean up my maple top from my abuse as a do all wood bench. Gets sanded now and then. I've mixed many gallons of AB paint on it so it gets nasty over time from mechanic work, so on.  My other bench is a heavy all steel industrial table. 
While my woodworking bench doesn't match the Bavarian trolls versions it very serviceable. Doesn't warp either as it's attached to steel which has screw slots in it. 
March is not logical for red oak that's thick or thin. Find somebody with kiln space is my idea.  
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Offline Den-Den

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Re: How Should I Mill This For A Work Bench
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2021, 11:35:44 AM »
Possibly not what you want to hear.  Find a customer who will buy green oak and mill the wood as HE/SHE wants it.  Take the money and buy DRY material for your bench.
You may think that you can or may think you can't; either way, you are right.

Offline pezrock

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Re: How Should I Mill This For A Work Bench
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2021, 05:11:26 PM »
A kiln near me is non existent. Do you think if I bring indoor to a cool dry place with a fan that I could have 2x4 and 2x6 dry enough by March? If not by March than when? I'm aware of the 1 inch per year rule but since these are not slabs would they dry quicker?

Offline Den-Den

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Re: How Should I Mill This For A Work Bench
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2021, 07:17:57 PM »
"1 year per inch" is more of a myth than a rule.

2" thick red oak will get from green to about 13% moisture in a year, air drying in my area.  It wont get much below that regardless of how long I leave it.  Trying to rush it will create expensive fire wood.  2" x 6" or 2" x 20" does not make a significant difference.  2" x 2" will dry faster although I don't know how much faster.
You may think that you can or may think you can't; either way, you are right.

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: How Should I Mill This For A Work Bench
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2021, 07:39:51 PM »
Forget oak. That thickness, for all practical purposes it will never dry. In a professional operation they might air dry thick oak 2 years and then kiln it.  Cut some 2" hard maple, at least twice as much as you need, stick it in a warm airy place with tons of weight on top and wait 2 years. 

Offline richhiway

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Re: How Should I Mill This For A Work Bench
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2021, 07:42:15 PM »
I would make 2X3 or 4 and glue them on end. 
If they dry until march without warping they will probably be dry and stable enough for a work bench. It isn't fine furniture. Also probably not in the house at 70 degrees. 
If it does warp a little a year from now just plane it down.
The cells are not collapsed in air dried wood so they can absorb moisture, so if you take it from a dry heated area and put it in a damp basement it would assume that moisture level and expand.
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Offline justallan1

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Re: How Should I Mill This For A Work Bench
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2021, 10:03:40 AM »
What's your idea of a "work bench"?
Are you wanting a conversation piece, beautiful and stylish, squared up perfectly and 100% flat or are you going to be beating the heck out of it and getting it stained, scratched, scarred up and used?
Please know that I don't mean to sound rude, but I think your planned use for it kind of dictates how much care you need to take building it.

Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: How Should I Mill This For A Work Bench
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2021, 10:23:06 AM »
I built an oak work bench, about 2 1/4" thick, with mortised and tenoned legs and frame work, the oak had been air dried a few years, and later developed a crown in the bench top.  Drilled the top horizontally crosswise, and used threaded rod to hold it together, and clamp it up as well as all the clamps I had.  Had to flatten the top with a plane and belt sander later.  Turned out to be a great work bench, just made it about 2' wide and maybe 9' long.  It does not slide around on the floor, but can be moved it need be. I drilled rows of 3/4" holes so I can clamp a board either long ways with an end vise, or crosswise with a vise. Just use pegs I turn on my lathe for the dogs and leave a little square end so they stick up to contact your work piece and don't fall through the bench.
Most everything I enjoy doing turns out to be work

Offline pezrock

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Re: How Should I Mill This For A Work Bench
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2021, 11:07:20 PM »
Between the responses and post milling, I decided not to do it. I guess this tree was meant for something else. After I milled it I thought it was too nice to be turned into a work bench. I'll post the pics on the "watcha millin" thread.

To answer another persons question, yes I wanted just a really functional solid bench that would last me until I move on to my next life. Doesn't need to be too beautiful. 

Thanks for responses.

Offline pezrock

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Re: How Should I Mill This For A Work Bench
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2021, 11:10:25 PM »
What's your idea of a "work bench"?
Are you wanting a conversation piece, beautiful and stylish, squared up perfectly and 100% flat or are you going to be beating the heck out of it and getting it stained, scratched, scarred up and used?
Please know that I don't mean to sound rude, but I think your planned use for it kind of dictates how much care you need to take building it.
Stained yes
Scratched yes
Scarred yes
100% flat yes
Squared up yes
Used yes
Beat up yes

Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: How Should I Mill This For A Work Bench
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2021, 04:43:39 AM »
Maybe consider just cutting a slab the size you want, perhaps 1/2" thicker, and start out using it whatever MC it is in March.
You attach it to the workbench frame in a removable manner that allows for movement, perhaps just by its weight, with several screwed on blocks on the underside that keep it from shifting.  Dont finish it.  Every so often take it to the mill and skim it to level it.  A carbide blade skim cuts pretty well. Let it do whatever it is going to do and when it stops doing it, finish it.   Just an idea.
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: How Should I Mill This For A Work Bench
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2021, 09:32:57 AM »
there is a guy that built a great one from walnut.  i will build one someday.

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