Southeast Michigan Woodworkers

Gather, share, learn and enjoy with other woodworkers!
It is currently Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:45 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:41 pm 
Offline
Obsessed

Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:12 pm
Posts: 1839
Location: Ypsilanti
This is a continuation of my last comment under a recent thread about workbench ideas, and also follows from some previous posts over the years about my idea for marketing a "workbench kit".

Below I have listed some lumber that I (mostly) milled intending that it be used for workbenches, especially workbench tops. Generally, there is also plenty of other smaller lumber of the same species (often from the same tree, or from the same load) for the other workbench parts such as legs and stretchers.

The lumber is in various states of airdrying, in my yard up north under tarps. If you want more details about any particular one, ask. Prices will vary, in part depending on if you want to come to my place up north (between Cadillac and Ludington) and help unstack it, or if I have to hire a guy to help move lumber for you. Some of the pieces are very heavy (300# or more). Much of this lumber has one or two natural edges (as is usually meant by "slabs") and thus all numbers on width are approximate and there may be wider and narrower portions. Thicknesses are generally full measures; 4" means 4" not 3-1/2", 2" means 2" or even 2-1/8" (also called 8/4). I do have the ability to saw these edges fairly straight, and also to plane this stock (up to 25" wide), though I'm not sure it is worth planing the ones that are still partially green.

This material was handstacked in big mixed piles on stickers. Getting any particular piece out might take two guys half a day. There is not a way to restack these piles by machinery (even if I had a tractor or forklift, which I don't) because the piles are too close together. It's a hand-labor operation. And sometimes, even to clearly see a particular piece would require some unstacking. That said, it's a nice place to work. I saw two bald eagles fly over this morning while I was looking at this stock.

In addition to what is listed below (most only partially dried), I have other big heavy slabs, including pine and walnut, that are fully dry. There may be advantages to a pine workbench for some, especially if you are hand-planing it gallout-style. It's the access (unstacking) that is the difficulty in my operation, but summer is coming.

Lastly, as I said in the other post, I have more milling to do this summer, and if you want red oak (up to 20-24") milled to your specs for making a green workbench top, let me know. I have a 20-24" RO log to mill, some smaller RO and poplar, possibly sycamore or more locust. It'll be lots cheaper for you to spec a green slab and then I can deliver it to you and I won't have to handle it again. I don't really "need" more lumber and I am just milling these windfallen logs because I don't like them to go to waste.

Red Oak for laminating benchtops
I have 3x6, 3x9, 4x4 and 4x6 generally sawn 4 sides. 8-9' long. There are several of each size. Easy to move individually except they are on the bottom of a pile of other stock that would have to be restacked. Milled before 2014, I estimate that these are not fully dry all the way through, but getting there.

Black Locust Heavy slabs -- milled fall 2015 from wind-fallen trees. Not fully dry yet. Nice yellow color, I expect. Listed as harder, denser, and more-stable than red oak, white oak, or beech in my reference books, I think it will be excellent for benchtops.
4" x 11-14-17"w x 7-1/2-8-1/2' long approx ten pieces
4x13x12 one piece
5x11x12 2 pieces
5x14x10 1 piece
5 x 8-9" x about 8' long 1 piece
3-1/2--4" x 8-9 w x about 8' long 3 pieces
3 x 8 x about 8' long 3-4 pieces

Hard Maple -- milled fall 2015 from wind-fallen trees. Not fully dry yet. Creamy white color.
3-1/2 x 10-12-14" w x 8' three pieces
2-1/4 x 14-20" w x 8' long seven pieces "en boule" (stacked consecutively from the log)

Red Oak, fully dry, milled 5-10 years ago. It is as dry as it will get in my airdrying conditions, usually 11-12%. Also stacked "en boule" (consecutively from the log) but the three center pieces were ripped up the center by the sawmill so that they wouldn't split along the pith.
QS full 2" x 8-9 x 11' long 6 pieces, each has one natural edge that is fairly square.
full-width flatsawn slabs full 2" x 13-17" w x 11' long, 4 pieces. Each has two nat edges at sharper angles so your width will decrease when you square-up the edges.

Post here or PM or e-mail me your questions.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:33 pm 
Offline
Master

Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:39 am
Posts: 132
Location: Plymouth
I'm very interested in the red oak you're planning on milling this summer. A 20" - 24" wide slab that is 3" - 4" thick would be amazing. I don't know length yet, but it would be in the 60" neighborhood, give or take 6" probably.

_________________
- Nathan


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:58 pm 
Offline
Master

Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:39 am
Posts: 132
Location: Plymouth
jayed_coins wrote:
I'm very interested in the red oak you're planning on milling this summer. A 20" - 24" wide slab that is 3" - 4" thick would be amazing. I don't know length yet, but it would be in the 60" neighborhood, give or take 6" probably.


Dave, now that the threads on my crummy little "hobby" bench vice are in a bad way, I am really looking to get setup to build a new bench over the winter. The bench I have is to thin and light, and racks too much for handwork to be worth fitting a new vice in, so I'm going to keep slogging along with it as it is through fall, in the hope of using winter to focus on the new bench build and be done with it by mid-spring.

Do you have any slabs like this? To recap:
- Length: 60" (+ or - 6")
- Width: 20" (finished, so a bit larger nominal)
- Thickness: 3" - 4" (finished, so probably at least 13/4 nominal)

If something like this would be available between now and Thanksgiving, I'm ready to talk price, save up some cash money, and plan a visit. A drive up that way late summer or into fall would be a good excuse to enjoy the mild weather and work in a stop down in GR for some Founders beer...

_________________
- Nathan


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:13 pm 
Offline
Obsessed

Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:12 pm
Posts: 1839
Location: Ypsilanti
Nathan, I still have what I described in the same conditions (a bit dryer than before, as the months pass). I have not milled the big RO yet but I am getting closer, hoping for September now. I can easily save a slab of that for you, but it'll be green (a windstorm felled the tree in July 2016). I just hired a kid to help move stuff, and hoprfully he starts tomorrow.

Also, if you might be interested in Pine, I can look at the pine stacks and see if they meet your specs. And if you want to come up here, September or October is good for me.

For others, let me know what you are interested in because it's a lot more worthwhile to unstack a pile to get several pieces out, than to unstack a pile to just get ont one piece.

Lastly, you will have a lot more flexibility if you are willing to make your benchtop out of 2 or three pieces glued-up, than making it from a single slab. Although I do have some stock that is 20" full-width, most of it is less. And because of the frequent splitting of wide planks along the pith, I have usually ripped the widest, most-central, QS pieces in half.

Prices will be reasonable, especially if you help with unstacking. And don't forget that fall is a good time to bring (partially) airdryed wood indoors, so it can finish drying in the low-humidity, warm conditions in your shop or house. Stand it up behind the woodburner, or put it under the bed...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:45 pm 
Offline
Master

Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:39 am
Posts: 132
Location: Plymouth
Hi Dave,

Thanks for the reply. Do you think the big red oak can yield a slab large enough to end up finished at 20" wide and at least 3" thick, without having too much pith? If so, that's what I'm after. If not, understood.

I'm not opposed to doing a lamination, but in that case, I think a bunch of smaller pieces jointed and face glued is probably better than two or three big timbers.

I will admit, I really like the research that Chris Schwarz has done on the usage of slab tops for benches and the way he builds those things is very appealing to me as an activity. The flattening and big joinery is attractive work to me; a bunch of face gluing less so. And I'm not too proud to admit that I just plain like the idea of a slab bench as a project and a symbol, being able to say I took the route -- difficult as it may be -- that masters of hundreds of years ago took. We all have at least a little vanity...

_________________
- Nathan


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:34 pm 
Offline
Obsessed

Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:12 pm
Posts: 1839
Location: Ypsilanti
Nathan/Jayed: Yes, it looks to me like the biggest RO will yield that big. Do you want 3" thick, or full 4" ?? As I said, this slab will be relatively green. I usually mill natural edge, but I can square the edges, or partially square the wany edges, for you if you like. I will need to know this before milling.

Do you also want other parts for the bench like 4x4x for legs, and other stock for stretchers, etc? I have stock for that, that is less-green, partly dry, as stated above. (It would be interesting to have the mortises in the slab-top shrink a bit and lock around the less-dry leg-tenons... if that fits your intended plan.)

As of yesterday, I have engaged a helper and have hauled most of the smaller stuff, and plan to be moving the bigger stuff in prep for milling in September.

Anyone else want a slab like Jayed described? The RO log is about 24" x 10', but it has some heartrot at the butt and a crotch at the top, so it can't be 24 x 10' slabs. 20" x 4-5-6' long x 3-4" thick, yes, I think at least two pieces, while avoiding the heartrot, pith-center and crotch. Maybe more, or you might find some of those defects livable.

Also there is another RO log (2 logs?) to mill, still standing now as an over-20'-tall "stump" (a windstorm sheared off the top of the tree) that is maybe 20" diam at the butt that might be higher-quality lumber but I have not got it down yet to see it. I intend to mill that in this load, too. I'll know better the diameter and quality of that one when I get it down and cut into two 10' (12'?) pieces. Both were killed by a storm July 30, 2016.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:34 pm 
Offline
Master

Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:39 am
Posts: 132
Location: Plymouth
Hi Dave,

Definitely 4" thick if you can do it without it being really pithy. And might as well saw it as close to square as possible, I'll be handworking most of this once it's in my basement. So I think the sawn dimensions I'm looking for are 4" thick, 21" wide, 60" long. That'll allow me to have it finished at well over 3" thick, 20" wide, and 60" long.

You're exactly right -- I want the legs and stretchers to be made from dry stock so that they act as a frame the slab dries around. I'll have to flatten the top a few times in the first couple years. I am concerned about how wet the legs and stretchers are, so I will probably look elsewhere for some kiln dried pieces, unless you've got some.

For clarity, here's a PDF of what I want to build, with the one difference being that I don't have space for an 8' length, so I'm going with the 5' length. :)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9nCDU ... sp=sharing

Let me know what you're thinking on timing, price, and terms. I don't want to be presumptuous, but assuming we agree on price, I'd be more than happy to do something like pay half now and pay half at pickup. Or something else, again, not trying to be presumptuous, just trying to convey I want to be flexible and fair, your help here is tremendous.

_________________
- Nathan


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:20 pm 
Offline
Obsessed

Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:12 pm
Posts: 1839
Location: Ypsilanti
After a lot of anticipation, I milled today: two 10' x full-4" thick x roughly 20" wide Red Oak slabs for workbench tops. One is for JayEd/ Nathan, and he gets first pick. The other is available. These were from a tree that was felled by a windstorm in late July/early August 2016. They can be considered "green".

Note: there is some heartrot/insect damage in the butt end, and some crotch-grain figure/bark inclusion in the other end. Depending on your tolerance for these, you should be able to easuly get a 6' benchtop out of these 10' slabs. You may have to do a little patching / insert a "Dutchman" to fill some of these spots. But, of course, you can put the worse side on the bottom. There is a bit of pith, but most of the pith is removed. (We took an 8/4 plank out of the center of the log, and it got most of the pith.)

Right now they are sitting on sawhorses in my yard up north. They have a partially-milled-square (partially wany) edge on one side, and a natural edge (but fairly close to 90 degrees) on the other side, And they are a bit over 20" wide. But because of a slight curve to the log, they will be under 20" wide if both edges are milled fully straight. And since I don't know how you might want to get a 6' benchtop out of this 10' timber, I am reluctant to mill the edges straight and reduce the overall width.

4" x 20" is 80 square inches, cross-sectional area. That means there are over 6.5 bdft per linear foot. The 10' piece is over 65 bd-ft. At $1.50 / BF, I think $100 is a fair price for those who want to make a Roubo or similar bench with a heavy green slab. And I can tell you, these are heavy. But I can bring them to the Ypsi area this month, maybe next week for the meeting, or on the 28th at the latest.

Next to come is another log, 6' long (really 74-76") x 22-1/2" DIB (diameter inside bark) at the butt end, and 17-1/2" DIB at the little end. This is an entirely sound log with none of the heart-rot, insect damage, or crotch-ness of the one described above. The only defect is the taper, and the fact that natural wane will reduce the widths from the maximum diameters described. Still, this is also great benchtop wood. I plan to mill it (to 4") tomorrow Tuesday, and have two tapered benchtop slabs available here. Note that squaring-up the sides would reduce the widths considerably. Same $1.50 / BF green.

I had originally thought that the sawmill would be here for several days. But we got a lot done today Monday, and it seems likely that he will be gone after Tues afternoon, thus removing the possibility of squaring/straightening the edges of any of these (the 10-footers at the very top OR the 74" pieces below) on the sawmill.

If you want some dry-er 4" x 4" RO for legs, or maybe 8/4 RO stock for stretchers, let me know ASAP while I have helpers around that can unstack the piles that have held that stock for a while. I can also get some moisture meter numbers, but they are just estimates in stock that thick. A higher price TBD for dry-er stock that I have been holding (and drying).

There will also be two more 4" x 10' pieces from the first log, narrower, waney-er, and I might square them up on the mill, they don't have the heart-rot/insect damage, and probably do have the crotch figure in the other end, and I think they have a flat face of at least 14" on the narrow side (and of course the 20"+ face on the wide side, before squaring). They might be good for a wide, two-board workbench. (You could make a 5' x 28" two-board workbench top out of one of these.) And, of course, there could be the other pieces cut from the 74" log, too.

Sorry for the short notice; milling is going much faster than I expected. Please speak up here ASAP if you want something. Or try to phone me if you have my number (which I don't want published here).


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

Forum hosting by ProphpBB | Software by phpBB | Report Abuse | Privacy