STL198: How much lumber is too much lumber?
John, Barry, and Ben discuss workbench stretchers and basement shops vs. garage shops, and a new chapter begins in the round vs. square mortise debate
I’ve been offered what seems to be a deal too good to be true. A gentleman from my church has 600bf of rough sawn cherry, 1000bf of walnut, and 70bf of white oak. The boards are 8ft long, the vast majority are 4/4 with about twenty boards of cherry and walnut at 12/4. The lumber is 40 yrs old stacked beautifully in his barn. He’s offered it all to me at $4.60/bf. I’m a novice woodworker that is trying to step up to the next level. Is this a miracle or is it too much and going to bog me down?
I have built a ‘first’ workbench. It was roughly inspired by Bob Van Dyke’s bench but has some variations. I used only one set of front and back stretchers, attaching them using large bench bolts after watching a video of one of the bench builds out there on the FineWoodworking website. The stretchers are installed up about 1/3 of the way from the floor. It seems very rock solid so far. Down the road, do you think I will regret having only one pair of stretchers? Will the 5 3/4 inch wide stretchers serve well, or would you have built and installed another pair of stretchers at the top?
Segment: All-Time Favorite Technique
John: Flattening a slab with a power planer
Ben: Drawing a line and cutting to it instead of using the CNC
I’m a first-generation woodworker, but I’ve caught the bug bad. My current shop situation is a mess, dragging tools out of a bulkhead to work outside, but I’m closing on my first house soon. Now I have some options and I want to improve my shop situation. I have a two-car-under garage, 22×22′ and I have 600sqft of finished basement.
My two options are:
- Take about 200+sq ft of the basement, rip up the carpet, partition, and create my shop down there
- Work out of my garage where I’m wheeling tools out and stowing them when complete. I live in New England and taking over even part of the garage permanently is not an option for me in the winter.
While it is nice to have a dedicated shop space, I thought maybe I could take some of the savings from not doing the basement job and get a SawStop with the mobile base that I can wheel out easily and do some major work. I covet that saw and would probably want it in the basement at some point, I may just be trying to justify the purchase a little earlier to myself. I would really appreciate the opinion of some pro’s, I don’t have many woodworkers to ask in my life.
So like most people, when I need a run of the mill mortise, I start with the drill press or router to remove the bulk of the waste. When left with the round ends, I square them up with a mortise chisel. Do I have to? I know it doesn’t take that long but if the shoulders cover the round ends of the mortise, how much strength am I losing? It’s end grain to edge grain so it can’t be all that great of a glue surface. The shoulders should still be able to do their job mechanically, albeit with less contact but in the case of say, an apron into a leg, with a sizable shoulder what’s the deal? Thoughts?
Barry: Get a task light
John: Go observe frogs because they’re awesome