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Which is most efficient - square full length or required?

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orchard

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Probably a doofus question, but i'm new to this, so please forgive me :)

So, I took a look at the C6x6 inch rough sawn oak beams i'll be using for my bench legs and noticed quite a lot of twist, and wondered whether it would be best (in terms of hand planing time and material) to square as a whole length, or as individual legs. Or would there be no difference?

I've opted for individual legs based on the assumption that it would be more efficient for material preservation.

Cheers!
 

AndyT

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Yes, cut to length then plane to size unless you're making something very short where a single piece would be difficult to hold and work.
As you say, it's more economical of wood and effort.
 

Ttrees

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You will definitely end up with thicker stock squaring components rather than the beam
as a whole.
If your crosscutting the beam in half, it will make the biggest difference as your effectively halving the amount of twist or bow.
Ripping stock for parts is your call as you don't mention what tools you have for the job, nor mention what the moisture content is, and whether the timber is green and kiln dried/air dried and where it has been stored.
Has the beam been in the workshop for long?
What dimentions are you ripping the stock down to?
This might cause issues if the beam had a planed face, and you were depending on it for tenon faces.
It might have to be orientated around to counter movement if your making large joints to counter twisting.

If it's green then it would be advisable to seal the ends if green straight away!with whatever you got...
candle wax, old glue would be two choices for me.
The thicker the stock the longer it takes to dry
The olde rule of thumb in England is, an inch per year plus a summer.
This might go out the window with thicker stock past say 4 inches though.

MikeG makes stuff from green oak, so he can give you his opinion on what he would do in your shoes.
He will most definitely have probably the best advice for you.

Tom
 

orchard

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Thanks Andy!
Most of my stock's rough sawn, and with using hand tools, knowing this will be very valuable :)
 

Osvaldd

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6x6" oak workbench legs :shock: can't wait to see what your whole bench looks like.
 

orchard

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Ttrees":wtphzs50 said:
You will definitely end up with thicker stock squaring components rather than the beam
as a whole.
If your crosscutting the beam in half, it will make the biggest difference as your effectively halving the amount of twist or bow.
Ripping stock for parts is your call as you don't mention what tools you have for the job, nor mention what the moisture content is, and whether the timber is green and kiln dried/air dried and where it has been stored.
Has the beam been in the workshop for long?
What dimentions are you ripping the stock down to?
This might cause issues if the beam had a planed face, and you were depending on it for tenon faces.
It might have to be orientated around to counter movement if your making large joints to counter twisting.

If it's green then it would be advisable to seal the ends if green straight away!with whatever you got...
candle wax, old glue would be two choices for me.
The thicker the stock the longer it takes to dry
The olde rule of thumb in England is, an inch per year plus a summer.
This might go out the window with thicker stock past say 4 inches though.

MikeG makes stuff from green oak, so he can give you his opinion on what he would do in your shoes.
He will most definitely have probably the best advice for you.

Tom
Thanks Tom.
Air dried oak, been in the shop since February though, I didn't get the moisture meter out ( :eek:) though, but seems dry as a bone.

No ripping, except tenon and dovetail joints, although i'll probably have to counter bore the front legs for holdfasts.
I fancy having the mass of the large legs, the top's a flattened 3 inch slab of air dried oak (was 4inch but had significant cup), and i have kd maple for stretchers.
I'm aiming for a rustic Tarule bench with a sliding deadman, no vice, although i do have a Moxon vice to make and use for finer work, eventually.
:)
 

orchard

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Osvaldd":2uch0v7u said:
6x6" oak workbench legs :shock: can't wait to see what your whole bench looks like.
Haha, rustic, probably :(
Having to get to grips with my sharpening routine fairly quickly though :)
 

Ttrees

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I can't find a Tarule workbench, can you post a pic or link?
Sounds hefty :)
I would seal the ends straight away to be safe with that thickness of stock.
Really hope you post a picture or two of it when its finished
Good luck
Tom
 

Osvaldd

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Pardon my stupidity, Ttrees, but why is it necessary to seal end grain? To trap moisture in?
 

orchard

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To slow down moisture loss to even the drying process - most efficient route for moisture is via the end grain, but this will warp and check the wood severely if not inhibited.
 

orchard

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Ttrees":wxhjgb4p said:
I can't find a Tarule workbench, can you post a pic or link?
Sounds hefty :)
I would seal the ends straight away to be safe with that thickness of stock.
Really hope you post a picture or two of it when its finished
Good luck
Tom
The only record I can find of it is in the Scott Landis book where I found it. Imagine a simple interpretation of a Roubo, with a slab for the top, pretty much like Schwarz started doing later. These both have leg vices, whereas i'm just going to use a sliding deadman to effectively use the bench like Siemsen does.
I made a Roman bench over Christmas and like the simplicity (it'll become a sawbench/daughter's once i've completed this).
I haven't taken dimensions from anywhere, and the legs will be disproportionate, i just oversized them expecting a lot of movement, but i think i'll keep them as big as possible to add mass.
 

AJB Temple

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It's not just about adding mass. Stability is also gained by getting plenty of weight low down to lower the centre of gravity. I shall be interested to see how it turns out. 6" legs will make it seriously heavy especially if you are doing a thick top.
 

orchard

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AJB Temple":cpu0m30z said:
It's not just about adding mass. Stability is also gained by getting plenty of weight low down to lower the centre of gravity. I shall be interested to see how it turns out. 6" legs will make it seriously heavy especially if you are doing a thick top.
Good point, which would really come to the fore when cleaning up knotty rough stock (like i am currently, but sitting astride the bench/timber) and using a frame saw at a later date.
 

Woody2Shoes

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Out of interest, whereabouts is the pith (centre of the tree) in these timbers? If it's there, I'd lay money on eventual checking/cracking - which would be unlikely to be a problem strengthwise, or even aesthetically, but may a be a surprise.

Cheers, W2S
 

orchard

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Yes, the pith's in there, as is the checking! Bought as structural boxed heart, so no surprises, but thanks :) I'll just need to think about the joinery. I don't know whether it's standard, but the pith and checking are on one outside edge of what was both both beams.
 

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