The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:




TimberKing Sawmills




Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Forest Products Industry Insurance


Norwood Industries Inc.


Sawmill & Woodlot Magazine



Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades


Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

Woodshax Outdoor Vending Solutions

FARMA

Forestry Forum Tool Box

Author Topic: Still making benches  (Read 2234 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline WV Sawmiller

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3538
  • Age: 64
  • Location: Hinton WV
  • Gender: Male
    • Green's Sawmill Services
Still making benches
« on: August 20, 2017, 08:11:35 pm »
   Well, I keep piddling with my mortise and tenon, live edge benches. Learned several tips from people here and still trying more. I made my first walnut benches from a few outer edge slabs I had put up. A couple I have been working on have been cut and in the barn 15 years or so. I have started sanding them and even sanded and applied tung oil to one below. What I see is the tung oil is not nearly as obvious on the ash as it is on the walnut. I still have a lot to learn on the sanding techniques and see a few marks on my first  walnut bench. next will try Kbeitz coffee grounds fill technique where there are gaps where the tenon comes through. I have also tried using square legs and some are bark-on legs made from the right size limbs and tops. I have a small sweet cherry I and going to cut into quarter rounds for legs and try with some of my wild cherry slabs.

   I tried one small walnut slab with a crotch but messed it up putting a leg on a thin spot. I cut it down to about 2' long and my mom wanted it so it has been living in Fla for a week now. It actually turned out well but it is almost as costly and difficult to make a 2' bench as a 6' one.

    A local store sold a small bench a week or so on consignment for me. The buyer in that case liked the bark on legs. Others prefer the square legs. To each hi own. I will take the lady one of the walnut benches next.
 

 
 

 
The ones in the middle are unfinished. Both outer benches have tung oil. Note the difference in the effect between the walnut and the ash. The 2 darker benches in the middle are sanded but no tung oil yet.
 

 
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline WDH

  • Forester
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 25994
  • Age: 63
  • Location: Perry, GA
  • Gender: Male
  • April 1998 - August 2008
    • hamsleyhardwood.com
Re: Still making benches
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2017, 09:12:43 pm »
I see that you turn the live edge under on many of the benches.  I have not done that.  I like to show it off. 

You are getting into the swing of things for sure.  A fine finish can really make a piece more beautiful, and therefore, more valuable, but it requires a good bit more time investment.  It is not unusual for me to spend up to a couple of hours sanding a bench through the sequence of grits. 
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline elk42

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 321
  • Age: 75
  • Location: Crossett, Ar.
  • Gender: Male
Re: Still making benches
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2017, 10:04:46 pm »
WV Sawmiller 
   Like your benches and here is one I made out of sweet gum 2 1/2" thick
 

 
Machinist Retired, Lt15 WM 25 HP, Stihl 044, Stihl 311, Kubota M2900w/FEL, KUBOTA L4800 w/FEL,
Lincoln Ranger 10,000, stihl 034,

Offline WV Sawmiller

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3538
  • Age: 64
  • Location: Hinton WV
  • Gender: Male
    • Green's Sawmill Services
Re: Still making benches
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2017, 10:19:12 pm »
Danny,

   All of the walnut benches were made with first cut slabs so the bottom/round edge is still round. The flat sawed portion is the bench top.

    The ash benches show the EAB borer tracks.

    I can easily see where it does take several hours for the sanding. Not sure the ash will sell for enough to use that much effort so may restrict detailed finishing to walnut and cherry and such.

   The last log I sawed for my customer yesterday was a 5' red oak with a crotch. The customer suggested 4/4 boards till I told him it was just aching to become benches and they agreed so I got 5 - 2" thick live edge bench blanks about a foot between the sapwood. I turned the crotch up and trimmed it to 22" so I could get it between my blade guides. I even left a knot on one side because of the character it added. We got the natural red color plus the figure from the crotch plus the knot and I would love to see the finished benches. I even offered to take one home and make it for them but they declined my offer.

   While the standard practice is to cut the log at the bend to maximize quality lumber the more crooked the log the better bench it makes so if there is a serious bend I immediately think benches.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline WV Sawmiller

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3538
  • Age: 64
  • Location: Hinton WV
  • Gender: Male
    • Green's Sawmill Services
Re: Still making benches
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2017, 10:23:01 pm »
Elk,

   Good looking bench. Are those Logrite legs or your own design?
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline elk42

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 321
  • Age: 75
  • Location: Crossett, Ar.
  • Gender: Male
Re: Still making benches
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2017, 10:37:12 pm »
   Yes they are logrite legs. I have some RO slabs that is ready to finish so I may take
those legs and use those on the RO or take the time and fab some new ones.   
Machinist Retired, Lt15 WM 25 HP, Stihl 044, Stihl 311, Kubota M2900w/FEL, KUBOTA L4800 w/FEL,
Lincoln Ranger 10,000, stihl 034,

Offline WDH

  • Forester
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 25994
  • Age: 63
  • Location: Perry, GA
  • Gender: Male
  • April 1998 - August 2008
    • hamsleyhardwood.com
Re: Still making benches
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2017, 07:10:48 am »
Howard, now I understand. 

Elk, that is a great use for the sweetgum.  That is a very nice bench. 
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline WV Sawmiller

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3538
  • Age: 64
  • Location: Hinton WV
  • Gender: Male
    • Green's Sawmill Services
Re: Still making benches
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2017, 08:17:15 am »
   I applied tung oil to 3 more last night. Will need to apply several more coats before the desired finish is achieved. My next step will be to try putting polyurethane on there. I see my original walnut bench got scratched and I had to apply more tung oil and hope the polyurethane with provide better protection.

    My concern is how well the polyurethane will stick to the tung oil finish. Anybody ever tried that? Any advice on such?

    I sawed some small sweet cherry logs/tops into quarter rounds for bench legs and will cut the tenons on them today. They are slightly lighter in color than the wild cherry but may work well together. I plan on putting them on some wild cherry live edge planks and crotches I have in stock. Several of them had black ants which resulted in unusual figuring that may make nice benches. No good for structure work but fine for benches and such. We will see.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline grouch

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1140
  • Location: south central KY
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm recyclable!
Re: Still making benches
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2017, 09:53:52 am »

    My concern is how well the polyurethane will stick to the tung oil finish. Anybody ever tried that? Any advice on such?


I haven't tried it but my guess would be that it will not stick, or at least not for long. Like dissolves like so the solvent in the polyurethane shouldn't have any problem with the tung oil. The problem will likely come from the polyurethane not being able to go poly. It depends on forming long chain molecules. All that I've used has warnings against thinning. Thinning reduces the number of long chains that can form, so that the end product is less cohesive.

Won't hurt to test it, but don't be shocked if it starts peeling or flaking if it solidifies at all.
Find something to do that interests you.

Offline Clark

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 724
  • Location: Duluth, MN
  • Gender: Male
Re: Still making benches
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2017, 06:07:51 pm »
...I still have a lot to learn on the sanding techniques and see a few marks on my first  walnut bench...

Or put sanders down and learn to use a card or cabinet scraper. I don't say this to be sassy, for me it is simply a better way to finish wood.

Clark
SAF Certified Forester

Offline WV Sawmiller

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3538
  • Age: 64
  • Location: Hinton WV
  • Gender: Male
    • Green's Sawmill Services
Re: Still making benches
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2017, 09:10:25 pm »
Clark,

  Short of picking at me about Ponderosa pine you will have to work pretty hard to hurt my feelings. I had never heard of a hand or cabinet scraper. From what I can see they look pretty neat. Do you use them on wide stuff or just on narrow boards/beams?  Most of what I will be working with for benches or mantels or such would be from 8-16 inches wide and 12-13 inches wide more common. Many will have crotch wood on at least one end. How difficult is it to match up the marks when dressing the wood? Do you use a handle with the card scraper or is it just held at the correct angle in your hand? Several I saw on line just looked like a beveled piece of steel.

   I am intrigued by this possibility.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Magicman

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 33619
  • Age: 74
  • Location: Brookhaven, MS
  • Gender: Male
  • A "Traveling Man"
Re: Still making benches
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2017, 10:19:06 pm »
Mostly they are "sharpened" with a burnisher rather than a file.
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline WV Sawmiller

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3538
  • Age: 64
  • Location: Hinton WV
  • Gender: Male
    • Green's Sawmill Services
Re: Still making benches
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2017, 10:28:46 pm »
MM,

   I saw that in some of the comments about them but do you use a handle or just the piece of steel?
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline grouch

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1140
  • Location: south central KY
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm recyclable!
Re: Still making benches
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2017, 05:25:22 am »
Take the blade out of a utility knife and scrape a piece of wood with it instead of slicing. Now get a piece of steel of about the same thickness, but not so brittle. Square off one edge. Flex it so it has just barely a curve and try pushing and pulling it across some wood to scrape it. You can't get as fine a finish with these quick and dirty scrapers as with a scraper with a burnished edge, but you can get an idea of how a cabinet scraper works. It may cause you to use sandpaper only as a last resort. :)
Find something to do that interests you.

Offline grouch

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1140
  • Location: south central KY
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm recyclable!
Re: Still making benches
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2017, 06:47:22 am »
Found a decent example of burnishing a scraper like Magicman was talking about. (Not so sure about this guy's initial filing, but apparently it works for him).
Find something to do that interests you.

Offline WV Sawmiller

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3538
  • Age: 64
  • Location: Hinton WV
  • Gender: Male
    • Green's Sawmill Services
Re: Still making benches
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2017, 08:43:07 am »
Grouch,

   Thanks for the info. I will keep investigating this possibility.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Magicman

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 33619
  • Age: 74
  • Location: Brookhaven, MS
  • Gender: Male
  • A "Traveling Man"
Re: Still making benches
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2017, 09:31:00 am »
Google "wood scraper burnisher".  Here is an example of a burnisher.  Anything harder than the scraper will work such as the back portion of a chainsaw file or drill bit, but you would not have much working room.
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline Clark

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 724
  • Location: Duluth, MN
  • Gender: Male
Re: Still making benches
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2017, 10:14:58 am »
WV - Dodgeyloner turned me onto the possibilities of a card/cabinet scraper. He had a bed set posted on here and claimed to use one sheet of 220 sandpaper on the whole thing. Most of the finish work was done with a card/cabinet scraper. Or at least, something to that effect.

For the size of project you're doing I'd recommend a cabinet scraper. Stanley #80's are very common, you can pick one up on eBay for less than $20. It uses a beveled edge with the bevel turned into a hook which, in my experience, is an easier way to "sharpen" these tools. You only get one edge per side (vs. 2 with a card scraper) but it is simple and easy.

The beautiful thing about a cabinet scraper is you can take a piece of wood that is somewhat rough to the feel and scrape it down to a surface that is basically ready to finish. Best results are obtained when starting with a better surface but the idea is that you only need one tool to finish the top. The #80 has a screw adjustment that bows the blade out which creates a very shallow cut in the surface. It might be difficult to obtain the perfectly flat surface but you can get close.

On most projects this is how I use it: Run the slab through the planer getting a surface that is 80% of what you want. After assembly you can come through with a cabinet scraper working the top to a surface that is 98% of what you want. Any areas with difficult grain can be worked with a card scraper (the ability to hold it at different angles makes it more versatile and better suited to tough spots) then you can take some fine grit sandpaper and work out any remaining ridges from the cabinet scraper.

The benefit to these tools is that you spend considerably less time sanding which also means less money spent on sandpaper. Your lungs will also thank you. The unexpected benefit is in using these tools. The satisfaction that comes when you see these super thin shavings come out of the tool leaving a surface that can be finished is eye opening and makes you want to use the tool more and more. I've never had that experience with a sander.

Clark
SAF Certified Forester

Offline Larry

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 5629
  • Age: 69
  • Location: NW Arkansas
  • Gender: Male
Re: Still making benches
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2017, 10:34:46 am »
I've used a lot of things to burnish a scraper.  The shaft of a big screwdriver does work, but slowly.  The best I've found is a knife steel.  Its the thing grandpa used at Thanksgiving sharpening the knife before carving the turkey. ;)  Grandpa wasn't happy. :D
Larry

Nine out of ten trees recommend wood for your building project.

Offline grouch

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1140
  • Location: south central KY
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm recyclable!
Re: Still making benches
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2017, 01:59:31 pm »
For initial scraping, I don't even burnish. I just draw file the edge square and start scraping. An old plane iron rotated 90 degrees makes a good scraper. Just don't try to flex it too much.
Find something to do that interests you.