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Author Topic: Still making benches  (Read 2342 times)

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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

Offline WDH

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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. 
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Offline elk42

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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
 

 
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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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

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

Offline elk42

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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.   
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Offline WDH

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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. 
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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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

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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.
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Offline Clark

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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.

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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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

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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.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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

Offline grouch

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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. :)
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Offline grouch

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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

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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

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Offline Magicman

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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.
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Offline Clark

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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
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Offline Larry

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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
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Offline grouch

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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.
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Offline rjwoelk

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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2017, 02:16:22 pm »
Are corners left square or a bit of a rounding to keep them from leaving a mark?
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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2017, 02:43:22 pm »
Bowing the scraper keeps the corners out. I round the corners and burnish for final scraping, though.

Never bought a scraper; always made one from things on hand.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2017, 04:30:14 pm »
   Took a load to the local flea market today and sold 3 then dropped another off at an antique place on consignment to replace one she recently sold for me.

   One customer bought 2 heavy/4" thick prototypes that I tried but no longer make. I was glad to get rid of them and can use the space and make more now. One thing I see I need to do is get a can of furniture polish to dust and shine the finished benches especially the walnut ones.

   For transport and storage I find the 4' benches nest well between the legs of the 6' benches. I assume all would nest in 8' ones but that seems longer than most people want to buy.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2017, 06:38:27 pm »
I use cabinet scrapers
They work great
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2017, 08:13:39 pm »
   I cut some live edge slabs out of a chestnut oak at my son's place last week. The log had a serious curve in it and I cut 4-2" slabs out of it then cut some 3X3's out of a 9" log for legs. Cut the legs to 22" long, put them in my vice, rounded off the corners with my drawknife then cut tenons on the end with my lumberjack tenon cutter. The wood actually cut much easier than I was expecting. One of the slabs cracked badly when I trimmed it on the radial arm saw and I likely won't use it. Below is one of 3 I have made so far. I still need to finish them. I did get some cabinet scrapers and am liking the results. I sand the bench with 80 grit sandpaper on a belt sander then scrape with the scraper to help remove any high spots.

   I think I will hold out and sell these as a set because they are just aching to encircle an outdoor fire pit. I can see a family with kids sitting on them toasting marshmallows for smores or hot dogs.
 

 
These make a real nice circle when put together.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline WDH

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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2017, 08:22:51 pm »
Very cool.
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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2017, 07:20:32 pm »
   I finished sanding all 3 of the curved benches as last shown. Used my 3X21 inch belt sander with 80 then 120 grit belts then cleaned the dust off and painted and 3 with a good coat of polyurethane and left them drying in the shed. I did not try finishing with tung oil or linseed oil like I do with my walnut or cherry and some of my ash benches. I will see what they look like in the morning. The can says one coat is all that is needed but I will see if it looks like I need another coat. I plan to take them to a flea market Saturday and advertise them as a set. They do make a nice circle.
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"

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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2017, 12:54:04 am »
I cut a curved Bench like yours.  I call it my Thinkin Bench. ;D Got it next to the Mill sitting on to Halves of a stump.
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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #28 on: September 17, 2017, 08:27:17 pm »
   I took a load of benches to 2 flea markets this weekend. First one was a bust - lots of lookers, oohs and aaahs and people taking pictures saying they are sending them to a friend, spouse or relative but probably taking them home to try to make some themselves. Some even said "Oh, those are easy to make." They are if you have a sawmill, logs, tenon cutter, vice, a large high torque drill to run it, belt sander and time to finish them.

   Today I sold a couple. The most rewarding was just a small unfinished bench made from an ash crotch. A lady saw it and fell in love with it for a coffee table. I never thought of using one that way but should work well. She also wants me to make her a couple of matching end tables out of live edge, 2" ash. Only difference is the size and height. She is to call back with the sizes.

   One thing I noticed on my set of 3 curved benches as shown above, was that they want to tip over because he center of balance is so much off center. I decided to re-work them and brought them home and added a 5th leg in the center on the back side of the curve. I made 3 new legs from my bench leg stock and cut new mortises and installed them and trimmed the excess on top and put back on the mill and cut the new leg to the same length and angle as the others. They are much more stable now and I am no longer reluctant to sell them. I just could not stand the thought some kid might get hurt on one of them.

   When I went to sand the top around the new leg with my 3" X 21" belt sander I found the polyurethane gummed up in places. I finally ended re-sanding the whole bench. I will re-do the polyurethane later. I ran out of daylight with 2 more benches to re-finish.

   Is there an easier or better way to remove the polyurethane? Sanding a small bench like that is not an overwhelming task but...

    Any suggestions or advice on refinishing the other 2 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 Magicman

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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2017, 09:15:02 pm »
Re-finishing is one of the advantages of using Tung Oil because the finish is in the wood rather than on the wood.
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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #30 on: September 17, 2017, 09:52:53 pm »
Lynn,

   Are you suggesting that I sand the other 2 benches then use Tung oil instead of Polyurethane next time? I don't know what Tung oil looks like on Chestnut oak. I know it does great on Cherry and Black walnut. On ash it gives it  nice shine but not make the same "Pop" that it does on the other 2.

   Ever try it on Chestnut oak? The poly looked good, any idea how Tung oil compares?
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

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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #31 on: September 17, 2017, 10:11:22 pm »
Tung Oil will never have the "built up" glossy shine that Poly gives.  I just happen to prefer the more satin finish that Tung Oil gives, plus the ability to refinish if an accident happens.

It is all that I used back when I was doing woodworking.  I have also seen a few of Danny's benches that he finishes with Tung Oil.   :)

I would finish one with Tung Oil and see how it compares, but you are selling.  You must use what the customers want and that might very well be Poly.
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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #32 on: September 17, 2017, 10:23:52 pm »
   These 3 benches were the first time I had used Poly (Except for the quart I poured into my ant nest Cherry Crotch bench which promptly leaked out). I expect there is a very good chance these 3 benches will sell as a set and will be used outside in someone's backyard around a fire ring especially since they are a white oak and more weather resistant than the other woods I have been using. I want to be sure to use the treatment that will hold up the longest/best under those conditions. Suggestions?
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2017, 07:41:57 am »
Poly will not hold up outside in the elements.  Spar varnish is better.  However, both will turn black over time and peel.  100% pure tung oil will impede water penetration into the wood and can be easily re-applied as additional coats over time to maintain the finish.  The more oil the wood can soak up, the better the weather resistance. The wood will darken to a dark gray brown due to exposure to the elements and the UV rays.  Not really anything that you can do about that. 
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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #34 on: September 18, 2017, 05:35:18 pm »
Danny,

   Thanks for the info. I went ahead and sanded the other 2 today and put the first coast of pure Tung oil on. If first appearances hold true it promises to leave a real nice finish. There is a good but of quartersawn figure showing on the benches. I'll put a few more coats on over the next few days.
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"

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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #35 on: September 18, 2017, 09:41:17 pm »
Howard,

I only use Pure Tung Oil that I have to order on-line.  The "Tung Oil Finish" that I can get locally only has a very little bit of tung oil in it plus a bunch of other stuff.  This is where I get it.

https://www.realmilkpaint.com/shop/oils/pure-tung-chinawood/
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #36 on: September 19, 2017, 07:20:29 am »
Danny,

   Thanks for the source. I'll check them out for my next re-supply.
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"

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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #37 on: September 20, 2017, 07:55:00 pm »
   There's a big 3 day flea market coming up with potentially lots of upscale clients so my son suggested I take a load of benches over. I figured I needed more stock so spent the day working on making some more ash benches.
 

 
   I cut up a bunch of 3X3's into 21" leg blanks. On the right is a stack of cherry quarter round leg blanks awaiting tenons. The drill has the Lumberjack tenon cutter attached and a blank is in the vice for trimming. Everything is sitting on a stand I built on to the front of my pole barn mostly for planing lumber. I added a power plug right behind the stand. Behind and to the left you can see, Blackjack, my quality control department manager inspecting the operation.
 

 
I clamp a leg into the vice then partially round off one end with a drawknife so the tenon cutter will slip over. I built a few then stopped and sharpened both the drawknife and tenon cutter blades using my little Dremel tool type chain saw sharpener. They both cut much better when sharp.
 

 
The next step is to cut the tenon on the end while the leg is still in the vice. My cutter leaves a 3" long X 1.5" dia peg with a 60 degree shoulder as shown.
 

 
This took several hours but I finally finished 7 sets of legs before I ran out of blanks and stopped.
 

 
I moved my 3 piece curved oak set out of the shed and added another coat of Tung oil finish. Note the 5th leg I added at the back side of the curve because of the off center balance. Without this extra leg these benches wanted to tip over backward.
 

 
Next i went to my stock and selected some 2" thick X 14' long X 15"-18" wide live edge ash slabs and cut 4-3' long pieces. This left a 2' long piece I need for a future project.
 

 
I next painted the fresh cut ends with anshorseal.
 

 
One by one I started cutting the 1.5" mortises near each corner angled slightly outward with my drill and a spade bit. As each penetrated they tried to hang reminding me of the dangerous tool thread currently active.
 

 
Blackjack conducts a spot inspection. Actually he and Trigger his horsey companion are eating the white oak acorns as they fall off the overhead tree.
 

 
I glue and insert a set of legs using the baby sledge. If the angle is not quite right I use a large pipe wrench to rotate the leg to a better angle. The tenons and nearly always slightly angled one way or another plus the mortises are hand drilled at the best guestimated angle. The Japanese pull saw is used to trim the excess from the top - another tip from another FF member that works well.
 

 
Shows the typical excess tenon length to be trimmed off.
 

 
I finished 4 benches before I ran out of daylight. Tomorrow morning I will cut the next 14' slab and make 3 more 4' long benches.

    The only step not shown yet is to take the benches to the mill, turn them upside down on the mill, clamp them securely, set the band wide and make one pass at 17" high and this will cut all 4 legs on each bench at exactly the same height and angle.

    They are ready for sale as unfinished or for sanding and staining. One lady bought one like this for a coffee table last week and I'll use the 2' leftover pieces to make her a couple of end tables if she calls back as promised.
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"

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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #38 on: September 20, 2017, 09:22:22 pm »
The middle leg on the curved benches is a nice solution. 
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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #39 on: September 20, 2017, 10:07:53 pm »
Love the Race Horse.  ;D
I'm thinking......

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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #40 on: September 21, 2017, 07:41:19 am »
That tenon cutter looks like a candidate for the scary tools thread.

Your spade bit won't hang if you stop drilling when the point first comes through and then finish the hole from the other side.
Find something to do that interests you.

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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #41 on: September 21, 2017, 08:03:00 am »
Danny,

   Yes it works well. Keep that in mind if you ever happen to make any with serious curve in the wood.

Dave,

   Had him 20 years. He was my wife's 20 year anniversary present. He is great at teaching you patience.

Grouch,

    It definitely could be a candidate. I keep thinking one of these days I will get a good deal on a big high torque drill press and mount it there. It will nearly break your wrist when it hangs in the wood although the worst danger is the spade bit hanging on those angled cuts in the slabs when they exit the backside.

    After I sharpened the blades yesterday I tended to run it on a higher speed than manufacturer recommendations but was real careful to just feather it into the wood so it cut very small chips instead of big curlycues and less binding involved.
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"

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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #42 on: September 21, 2017, 08:31:27 am »
Howard, I admire your benches, and hopefully you will soon have to make more.    8)
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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #43 on: September 21, 2017, 09:40:46 am »
Great work and thanks for the step by step!

Could you lay the bench top on a backer board when using the spade bit to keep it from grabbing when it exits the bench?

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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #44 on: September 21, 2017, 04:00:53 pm »
Sam,

   I will try that on the next ones. I have to a degree but not enough. I did find I can sharpen the spade bit and it works better. I bought a 6" file a few minutes ago which should work for my drawknife and spade bits. That ash eats up the edge on the bit pretty fast.

MM,

   Let's hope so. I finished 3 more and put all 7 on the mill this morning. Will make a couple more to take with me this weekend. Actually think I will use up one more 14' slab to make 2-5' and one more 4' ash benches. Will look through my cherry and walnut stacks for more there too. Need to cut one more ash log for leg blanks. Likely will cut a 6X6 for crib blocks out of the middle and get some 3" side lumber for legs. May be quarter round but that will be fine. Some customers prefer that over square stock.
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"

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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #45 on: September 21, 2017, 07:15:03 pm »
I use linseed oil on the benches I make that are for exterior use .
You can add extra coats to get the finish you like
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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #46 on: September 21, 2017, 08:37:14 pm »
Bruno,

   The only time I used Linseed oil was on a couple of ash benches and they turned very yellow, almost orange. I am scared to try it on walnut or cherry because I know the Tung oil does a beautiful job bringing out the chocolate color in the walnut and the red in the cherry. The Tung oil also did a good job on the Chestnut oak benches too. Have you tried it on Walnut or cherry and know what it looks like with them?

   I made another 4' walnut bench this afternoon from a slab I had in stock. I did most of the initial sanding and used part of the sawdust mixed with wood glue to fill a gap or two around the tenons. It should be ready to finish sanding in the morning. I'll complete sanding and start the first of many coats of tung oil.

   I also sawed up about a 13"X8' ash log into 3X3's for more legs so i should have enough bench leg stock to make several dozen more benches. I'll try to make at least 3 more ash benches and maybe another walnut and/or cherry bench from materials I already have on hand. First i need to confirm I can get a spot a the flea market which starts tomorrow. i just want to take a load over and come back Saturday.
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"

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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #47 on: September 21, 2017, 08:38:59 pm »
Howard, don't stack/display all of your benches at the same time.  Keep a good portion away from sight and then if someone wants to choose, let them.  An abundance of benches indicates that there is no shortage and invites bargain hunters.    :-\
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Re: Still making benches
« Reply #48 on: September 21, 2017, 08:59:45 pm »
Lynn,

   Thanks for the suggestion. The problem here is I am mostly going to be selling off my truck/trailer and need to take enough stock so I don't run out. Right now I have a couple of 4' cherry and may take my project bench with the ant nest I have not had time to fill with epoxy yet. I have several 4' and up to 6' walnut benches and several of each size from 3,4 & 6 foot and may may 2 - 5' unfinished ash benches and one finished 4' ash bench tomorrow. I also have the 3 piece oak set.

   I'll leave most on the trailer and set out a decent selection but I can't totally hide the others. I figure I'll also take several rough cherry and pine fireplace mantels. Most of the time these flea market trips are more advertising for swing than selling lumber or benches and such. This one is mostly out of my normal sawing territory and I'd prefer not to commute that far for mobile sawing jobs - although I will if they want to pay the mileage. 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"