Portable Work Bench (Part 10) Quarter Sawn Oak

Selection for the top surface of the glue up took considerably longer than we had anticipated. Flipping boards both side to side and end to end. Ranking the quality if the quarter sawn oak so that I would have the nicest looking pieces closest to where I think I will be working the most. End result is quite spectacular, despite nearly two hours of actual production time lost. Now if I would have just remember to take a picture of them.

End view of 3 pack glue up.
End view of 3 pack glue up.

Once selected, it was a matter of cutting the pieces just like the other layers of the top. Its kind of putzy work but its reasonable filler while we wait for the glue to set up in the clamps. We glued up sections of three, then jointed them and did a plank glue up. While this worked, it felt clunky on the jointer, sets of 3 where to narrow for the paddles, so I had to angle them. On edge, it was too narrow to comfortably hold by hand. I don’t think I will be doing three packs on the jointer unless really needed. We only ran one side of the bench for glue up since we were being extra cautious for the top surface, I really want it to look nice.

Top view of 3 pack glue up.
Top view of 3 pack glue up.

Between glue ups Brad and I thought through how we were going to attach the legs to the top. We are going to put two pegs in per end of the plank, which makes eight pegs in total. While I think round pegs could be the easiest, we are going with square ones, just to be difficult. They will be just under two layers deep into the bench top, which will be about 1-1/4 inches high. I will use the typical thickness of the wood we have, which will be close to 3/4 inch square. The peg will be tapered slightly allowing it to slide on easier and a bit more self centering. One of the holes in the bench top will be slightly elongated to allow the bench to expand and contract a bit. Also we are going to put one nut and bolt per end of each plank, totaling four. They will both be fully captured, so I wont be able to loose them or worry about them falling out. There will be a hole for a hex key to fit in for tightening. But it will only need to be tight enough to hold the top on when someone picks it up.

Ok, so I really doubt that someone will be picking up this bench alone, which includes me. I’m not always going to be the one moving it, so I would feel much better knowing that the top wont fly off while a bunch of others are moving it. We also planned a bit for the dog holes, placement and construction.

Full view of the glued up planks.
Full view of the glued up planks.

I also did the final cleanup for the patch job I had to do on the front legs. It was just a quick cut on the band saw and a few passes with a hand plane.

So a good weekend of progress, plus some well needed planning. Next time we will continue more glue up for the top.

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