Workbench top: two species of wood?

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I cleaned my '60s Zildjian A 'hats the day I bought them, to get the green stuff off and check 'em out for cracks (none at all.) That was about 10 years ago.
I used a toofbrush and lots and lots of mild detergent and rinsed for ages. Finished off with guaranteed non abrasive polish and haven't cleaned 'em since, and anyone who tries will have to have a 5a-ectomy performed by a proctologist of their choice.
That's one extreme,
here's another.
I bought a 20" nameless nasty in 1971. (Krud? Zit?) It cost me 50 pence - around a dollar at today's X rates. Sounded like a saucepan falling off a stove, but it did me sterling service for many years and clipped to a 20" drum, made a useful in-transport protector..
When I finally replaced it with a Sabian ultra-heavy HH 22 (not in the catalogue btw) I took the 20, and on a nothing to lose basis, carefully hammered sets of concentric rings into it, expecting I'd have to toss it away afterwards. By some sod's law defeating miracle, the vandalism transformed this pile of trash into a gorgeous-sounding deep-rumbling long-sustaining and sweet tam-tam soundalike that J. Arthur Rank would be proud of. I've now gone precious on it. I'd be terrified of hammering it again and ruining this now fine instrument.. but I'm quite happy to polish it. It has virtually no lathing (grooves) in it, The Zildjians, for example, have quite pronounced grooves and I think this makes some difference, though I still wouldn't polish the HH which has a brilliant finish and not much groovery.
I experimented briefly with armor-all (?) as a surface protectant on the grounds that it is supposed to be molecular-thin and beautifies everything. It left nasty marks everywhere, on the cymbals and drum heads. Don't do it. It is Folly.
You'll notice that nothing matches in my set-up. Everything chosen on sound, not appearance, so I've got Sabian ride and crash, Zildjian hats and crashes, Meinl crash (fast!!) and Wuhan bell/splash. I've got some Pearls somewhere for eating Pizza off of..
Does anyone notice or care?
Maybe 14 yr old drummers who buy signature drumsticks so they'll sound exactly like Joey.. but I'm not playing to them - (I'm playing to their girlfriends :-) ) would probably notice the different logos and think I'm playing cast-offs. Unpolished cast-offs.
AS you know, all 14 yr olds spend a lot of time polishing.
But not French polishing.
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"Bored Borg" wrote

Of course, you only play all that crap at home just to bother the neighbors, eh?
We'd have to arrest you here. It's against the law for a drummer to bring more than a kick, snare and hi-hat to a gig ... or otherwise annoy a bass player.
As Billy Mooney would say, ya fookin' right!
:)
--
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Last update: 10/22/08
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On Sat, 15 Nov 2008 13:58:37 +0000, Swingman wrote

Annoy a bass player? How do you do that.. start the gig on time instead of waiting for 'em to show up? :-)

Last few gigs I've been out front, wailing on blues harp. All me kit in one pocket...
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Bored Borg wrote:

That and keep poking them each time they nod off during the gig. ;-)
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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Bored Borg wrote:

NewBeats?
And to think I came here from a percussion news group so I could talk woodworking. :-)

I don't know what the drum shops are like where you reside, but if you get a chance to check out any Dream Bliss cymbals, it'll rock your world. http://www.virtualcymbals.com/bliss.html
They're cheap Chinese hand hammered cast cymbals that sound ridiculously similar to vintage K's and Istanbuls. I got 20 for $113, then I drilled it for rivets, because... well, it was 113 bucks. http://www.mikedrums.com/DreamBliss.mp3
I've also been hand hammering brass snare drum shells, lately.

Hmmm, lets see... I already mentions the Dream ride. I have Zildian, Sabian, Paiste, Ufip, a Wuhan somewhere in the pile and some really cheap generic splashes that I use for X-hats. And I picked them all because I liked the sound. :-)
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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the dings, scratches and other such character marks you're speaking of will be easily removed/minimized when you occasionally resurface your 4" thick top.
In other words, use it, don't abuse it, don't fret the occasional nick and mark and it will be ready for what you and your grandson and his grandson will dish out.
jc
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joe wrote:

The first thing I built out of wood was my workbench. I made it out of construction grade pine, the top is 2x4's ripped in half glued and all-threaded together. If you ever had the pleasure of ripping 8' construction grade 2xs in half, you know it is an experience. Anyway, the top was not even close to being flat, so I borrowed a 4" belt sander and sanded the hell out of it. When finished, the thing waved at anyone that walked past. I quickly learned a lot on that bench but that was in the mid 70's, and while I was going to replace the top with something less "friendly" I never did. This sucker has served me well, and I'm betting it will serve my son well some day. I'd never replace a thing on this bench, and the patina from many years of abuse, blood sweat and tears is awesome (to me) I have benches with replaceable hard board tops but they suck as far as giving you that warm feeling that you get with real wood.
The fact it is nowhere near flat has not bothered me much as I initially thought. When I build stuff, I build it flat for the most part, so the dimensions pretty much make it flat. When building a chair, I usually set it on my table saw if I want to see how it looks on a perfectly flat surface. While I do have some perfectly flat surfaces, only my table saw top has a chance of seeing light, so rather than clear off a spot on a bench, I just use the only clear surface in my shop. Here's a flick of my old bench, can you tell how nice/nasty the top is? Can you see the top?
http://www.jbstein.com/Flick/Bench.jpg
Anyhow, since then, my bench tops are always made of cheap, 2x6 pine, or "White board" or whatever the borgs call it today. It's easy to work with, ages nicely, and if you accidentally cut one in half with your circular saw, you can quickly and cheaply replace it. I've never had to replace any of my tops and I personally like the looks of finished pine and the dents and bruises it gets over the years is a bonus. My guess is most people will never replace their tops either, in fact, most pictures of shops I see you can't see the top of anything. You can't replace what you can't find:-)
I don't own a 3" thick maple top, and if I did, I'd be afraid to use the sucker. No fear in using "white wood" My only suggestion is make sure you throw on some varnish, preferably something that yellows with age. Varnish keeps the dirt out, and dirty wood is ugly.
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Jack
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*snip*

There's another advantage to the "white wood" SPF tops, and that's its hardness. Since it dents easily it'll serve to cushion and protect a little better than a harder wood. Inevitabily, you'll be holding something up to get a better look and drop it. ;-)
Puckdropper
--
If you're quiet, your teeth never touch your ankles.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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Scritch wrote:

When you get lots and lots of etceteras, sand down that 4" top to, say, 3 15/16. Or even 3 7/8.
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Finally got the top on the base last night. Not actually bolted on, just sitting there. It's pretty heavy. I figure about 150 lb. Now I need to get the vises on, bolt it to the base, then flatten the top. I haven't decided yet whether to just use hand planes or if I should set up the router sled. The only real hitch to setting up the sled is finding two really straight 6' boards for the sled rails, but because of lots of reversing grain and a few knots it will probably be worth it.
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"Scritch" wrote:

If you truly want to get a flat top, use a commercial drum sander.
Lew
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Because we all have one of those sitting around. It's in the closet with the full sized plywood veneer press, behind the autobody dipping tank, right next to the portable sawmill. :-)
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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"-MIKE-" wrote:

Depends on how close one of the companies listed in Wolley Segap are.
In my case, it is less than 20 miles.
They have a 3 drum, 75HP unit complete with a 20HP, bag house, dust collector.
Less than $30 and you are good to go.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Wha? Is this a regional thing. A business listing or what?

Is this a coop? Or a industrial woodworking company that takes in work?
Yeah, 30 bucks might be well worth it.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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-MIKE- wrote:

Check around with your local cabinet shops. I'd be surprised if you didn't find one willing to provide the service.
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Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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"-MIKE-" wrote:

Yellow Pages spelled backwards (Wolley Segap)

Commercial drum sander.
Check with a local top or cabinet shop to find who they use.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Don't I feel like a toidi.

Learn some thing new every day. I will definitely keep that in mind for future needs.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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-MIKE- wrote:

You mean above the elephant barn?
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J. Clarke wrote:

LOL. I actually get to be in one of those on a regular basis. The inhabitants LOVE watermelon and coconuts.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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I am trying to visualize how you used the gluelams but if the upward facing part is edge grain, which I suppose it is, then you really won't get much movement in the Fir.
You could just put whatever sacrificial material on there you want. If you use 3/4" thick anything, you can just do some counter bored or counter sinked holes and screw or bolt it down. If you used ply or MDF then no need to account for movement (if Fir is edge grain). If you use a panel or slats of hardwood (which seems odd), then the outer hold down fastners should be in slots or oblonged holes.

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