In the buildup to my new shop, I had a pecan tree that was (kind of)
in the way (leaning way over where the shop would ultimately be --
thus the smart thing is to get it down now). Since one of my first
real projects once in the shop is to build me a decent workbench, I've
decided to use this tree as the 'foundation' for it. Have cut the
upper portions into some decent, 4 foot 'blanks' for the legs and have
left the bottom 15 feet or so now on blocks to keep it up off the
My initial plans were to make the top out of maple (have got about 200
bf in storage) - your classic 'butcher block' construction - but,
tinkering around with some small pieces (upper limbs, etc) of the
pecan, I think it might actually make some decent sense to use the
What we're talking about is a log about 15 feet long - around 16"
diameter at the base and about 12" diameter at the top. My initial
thoughts were to get a local portable sawmiller to come and slice the
thing into 2" slabs and then take it from there once in the shop. Some
research (including here, I think) indicates that pecan can be a
little contrary as to warpage, etc -- need to weight it down heavily
1) Would it be better to have it cut into 1" thickness?
2) Should it be sawn soon or would there be better results to let it
season as a whole log for a bit?
3) I'm not completely concerned about warpage - as, with a butcher-
block top construction, I see no reason I couldn't just cut it into
shorter lengths to get straight portions and end-joint them in the
buildup (top dimensions are planned to be about 20" wide (width of my
planer) by 5' and 8' long). With the butcher-block buildup, just
staggering the endjoints in adjacent 'strands' would seem to be a
workable approach. Any flaws in that reasoning?
4) Any other points the collective here can offer is appreciated.
5) While saving for some furniture project might seem more plausible,
we're out in the country - with about 40 or so pecan trees here on the
farm -- I can always cut some more if I need to. Additionally, there
is some worm damage in some of these samples I've squared up - expect
more in the tree -- so a workbench is actually a good use of the
material (better than sawing up for the fireplace).
Thanks for any responses.