I am going to open up another can of worms. I have 2 calif black oak
planks that I plan on using for a bench top 16" X 2 1/2" X 9'. This
bench will be a shaker type.
Now for my question--- can I glue these edge to edge or would it best to
cut them and laminate them to form the bench top?
Richard L. Rombold
489 N. 32nd. St.
Springfield, Or .97478
"Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for thou art crunchy and taste
good with ketchup"
As much as I'd hate to have to cut up planks that wide, I think I would
rip them into narrower strips and then reglue alternating the annular
rings. Of course you might need to revise your bench plan or get
another planks due to the wood lost in sawdust from ripping.
Seems there's little point in going to the trouble of building the
bench only to have the top go nuts on you. Ideally you would make the
top from QS oak to reduce the movement but I know how dear QS oak is.
Nonsense. If oak is too hard, what is hard maple? Or beech? Red oak is
about 1290 on the Janka scale. Hard maple is 1450, yet it is the ideal
of most bench builders, American beech, IIRC, is around 1300.
If you're "bruising" wood on a workbench, it's time to look at your
Being a rather mature woodworker but fairly new at this 'groupie' thing
i see some members really get involved in these messages. My point was
why make an item which is harder than your piece of work. i cover my
floor with wood in case i drop a piece, (and to save chisel
sharpening). I only use pine mallets, not beech for the same reason. As
for Janka, in 25 years of furniture making i have never heard of or
needed to know of it. Come on Charlie save the aggression for the tree
I would glue it up.. and forget the alternating the rings.... There are
camps for it and against it... alternating causes wavy tables..
Ok, I am going to say oak will do fine, but the open pores of the grain
will haunt you. It will not clean up as well as maple or beach... These
have tighter grain and no open pores. So glue can be cleaned up easier,
finish, dust, other microscopic annoyances. So I would resort to maple
beach, and use exotics if you want to dress it up some, but stay away
from the open pores... Again, my opinion thought you might want to hear
from the devils advocate.... I always want to know the problems, so I
can make my decision or figure out away around the problems first...
Easily enough solved by using a paste filler and finishing the top...
I always figure making a bench is worth using what is available---after
all, it's only a bench. (I know, that's heresy to some.... :) )
I think I'd just use them as they are, provided you can joint and plane
16" pieces (or are you going to hand plane them?)
As long as they are well supported underneath it should be ok. And if
it does warp in a few years, you could always take it off, cut and joint
it and reglue it.
Sounds like it will make a nice bench. And the best thing is, you
already have the wood -nothing to buy!
2 1/2" thick isn't enough for a 16" wide board.
If they're flat sawn, I'd rip them and re-assemble. If they're quarter
sawn I'd keep them for furniture.
BTW - What's "California black oak" like ? I'm not familiar with it.
I liked the note about the acorns taken to the UK...
Available at some of the more adventurous hardwood suppliers in Norhtern
California, at least intermittently. Mt. Storm in Windsor, CA (Sonoma
County) had it the last couple of times I was there.
What I saw was not as pink as the run of the mill 'red oak' (which covers a
multitude of species and sources, of course.)
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