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 Post subject: To top it all off
PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2023 4:59 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
So, in my last post, I mentioned that my current project is a Moravian workbench, as described by Will Meyers. I have finished the leg assemblies and connecting stretchers, started on the face vise assembly and now I need to start on the bench top.

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The challenge here is finding suitable piece from which to make the top. Ideally, for a period designed bench, you would use a single huge slab of hardwood lumber. Unfortunately, in my neck o’ the woods, large slabs of oak, maple or cherry are hard to find and very expensive when you do find one.

On the other hand, large timbers of Douglas Fir are more prevalent. Doug Fir is a good structural wood but in comparison with hardwood species it is softer and tends to be a bit splintery. Never the less, the fact that outstanding grades of salvaged DF can be had at a mere fraction of the cost of hardwoods dictates that I at least give it a try. I mean, if it doesn’t work out, the piece is large enough to rip down into lumber for other things and the grade quality is exceptional.

When I refer to the grade, I mean the closeness (or tightness) of the grain, its run out (or straight and parallel with the piece) and absence of knots. To put it simply they don’t make trees like this anymore. Thus, salvaged lumber from the demolition of an antique (if not ancient) building, built when old growth, climax forests where still available for harvest.

Yesterday, I made a trip to Pacific Northwest Timbers (PNT), in Port Townsend, Washington. PNT has a large selection of massive salvaged timbers, almost exclusively DF. Some of which was recently salvaged from a shipwreck in British Columbia, after nearly a century buried in beach sand. The timbers are huge and are impregnated with sea salt.

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The piece for my bench top was cut from a floor joist salvaged from an old building in Seattle. That’s all the provenance I have for the moment, but PNT has said that they will have more in the future. It won’t improve the performance of the bench but it will make it more fun and interesting to use.

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 Post subject: Re: To top it all off
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2023 10:42 am 
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Salvaging materials is always as interesting as building the projects.


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 Post subject: Re: To top it all off
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2023 7:31 pm 
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Location: Kerrville, Texas USA
How did you get the timbers resawed?
Or did you use them whole for the top?

Just asking
Duan

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Duan Packard
Kerrville, Texas

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 Post subject: Re: To top it all off
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2023 7:33 pm 
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How did you get the timbers resawed?
Or did you use them whole for the top?

Just asking
Duan

ps I really like the frame and the Fir looks great.

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 Post subject: Re: To top it all off
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2023 6:42 pm 
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Hey Duan,

The timber from the top was used nearly full size. The cut 8' off of one end for me with a chainsaw. I crosscut the piece to final dimension on the table saw (flipping it over to complete the cut). I cleaned the paint and plaster off with a drum sander.

The leg and stretcher assemblies are glue up from construction 2x12s ripped for best grain.

I'll post some photos when it's finished.

Cheers,
Tom

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 Post subject: Re: To top it all off
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2023 11:19 am 
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You are doing a good job of making something nice and useful out of salvaged materials.


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 Post subject: Re: To top it all off
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2023 7:32 am 
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Very cool TMS! Be sure to post the pics. I will be interested to see the results!

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