Doug Fir Roubo Benches > 3 yrs old
#6
  
Those of you who built your benches, specifically the tops, from Douglas Fir or other softwood three or so, or more years ago, has the resin in the tops hardened yet.  What other changes have you noticed?  Still happy with your wood choice?
Thanks,  Curt
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#7
  Re: Doug Fir Roubo Benches > 3 yrs old by cputnam (Those of you who bui...)
(06-26-2019, 10:04 PM)cputnam Wrote: Those of you who built your benches, specifically the tops, from Douglas Fir or other softwood three or so, or more years ago, has the resin in the tops hardened yet.  What other changes have you noticed?  Still happy with your wood choice?

Mine at home is laminated up from 2x6s (milled down a bit so maybe 4.25" thick) from the Home Depot. Not fir but no issues, very happy.

At the KCWG shop we built three using Douglas Fir beams as the source material for the top. Recycled beams from a warehouse. Even though they smelled fresh once cut, they've been just fine. 

Legs are a combination of laminated and solid beams. Also no issues.

I mixed up a batch of 1:1:1 minerial spirits, BLO and the cheapest polyurethene I could find and have coated them all twice in their first year. Nothing since.

Probably time after 7+ years to do a little maintenance on them.
Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things. -- G. Carlin
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#8
  Re: Doug Fir Roubo Benches > 3 yrs old by cputnam (Those of you who bui...)
No direct experience with douglas fir but since you asked about other soft woods....

Built mine out of southern yellow pine maybe 7 or more years back. Resins at least near the surface are long since dried. I have flattened it 3x I think. One when I made it, once about a year later and once after an out of state move where it spent a couple weeks in POD type container between houses. Has been good in flatness other than that.

Overall I have been happy with the choice of SYP here are things I like dislike and would do differently next time:

It doesnt dent projects as much as a harder wood might.

I made mine with a soft maple wear strip on the front edge. This has worked well.

Because it was construction lumber it was still moist when I made it. I drilled all my dog holes as soon as I made my bench. They became a bit oval when it finished drying not enough to give problems for hold fasts and lee valley products but enough that my dogs had to be redone. Might wait a season next time or go with mostly square dogs so I could just plane an edge flat.

I did through tenons on the surace and this is awesome! This lets you pound directy on supported end grain.

Doesnt have to be super wide but make it at least 24". Made mine only about 21 inches wide and since its also my assembly area I find there is lots of stuff I make thats 24 inches wide in one dimension. Someday I will have to address this one way or the other.

Drilled my dog holes with a spade bit. Next time I would use an auger. the spade can wander a bit and cause a less than straight hole.

It has worn well for my hobbiest usage. Has seen an whole kitchen worth of cabinets, dining table, laundry room cabinets, and on and on.... wear has not been a significant issue.

If I were to build another I would look at what woods were inexpensive where I live now in Georgia. I might also look at ash, or poplar here as they are very inexpensive in thick dimensions here compared to where I was in Florida where I built the bench I have now. This will vary by your location.

Benchcrafted hardware has been nice but I want to rellace the pin with the cross mechanism for front vice. I find I switch wood dimensions more than some people, or maybe I am just lazy.

If you go with the pin method on a front vice leave plenty of meat on the edges. I have split the pin board when I had the pin in the wrong spot and it was in the outside hole. my mistake for making it so narrow.

attached 2 pics from today so you see what it loks like after my usage.


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#9
  Re: Doug Fir Roubo Benches > 3 yrs old by cputnam (Those of you who bui...)
(06-26-2019, 10:04 PM)cputnam Wrote: Those of you who built your benches, specifically the tops, from Douglas Fir or other softwood three or so, or more years ago, has the resin in the tops hardened yet.  What other changes have you noticed?  Still happy with your wood choice?

Hi Curt- My bench is a Nicholson pattern and uses DF 2X12's for the top (so 1-1/2" thick ). Its probably 10+ years old, seen hard use, and been disassembled packed into a variety of vehicles for many road shows and is still in good shape and serviceable. Front corner is breaking down a little. 

The boards I chose for the top were sawn very close to the heart and I tried to pick the tightest ring spacing I could find.  Yes the resin is pretty hard, but not a problem.  Oh, and I've never re-planed it.

BTW: Used a CS trick. Bought 16 footers and sawed them in half in the Home Depot parking lot. 16's are clearer (less knotty) than 8's
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#10
  Re: Doug Fir Roubo Benches > 3 yrs old by cputnam (Those of you who bui...)
I cheated with my SYP bench top. I bought 4 x 12 lumber and made one joint. I had to use handplanes to joint them, but that was a nice challenge.

It's held up well. No issues with sap. It's a little soft for pounding on metal items directly on the bench, but then it isn't designed to take that kind of abuse.
"Mongo only pawn in game of life."        Mongo
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