Wasting Wood


img_0458Perish the thought.

We don’t waste anything here at the Bronze Oak Leaf.

This was a fun little project I conceived when I saw this plank come off the top of a red oak log I was having sawed.  This was a squaring cut, and when I saw it was 2″ thick, I knew what I would use it for.

As I’ve written before, I love these simple little quick-turnaround projects.  They’re perfect for the Dad-on-the-go.  There’s just never quite enough time for the full-blown complex project, so I have no problem building something a little less refined.

Actually, this was a great reminder for me that what we do as woodworkers can be very simple, when we let it be.

I really liked the shape of this plank, and it just screamed “three-legged bench”.  So when I looked around the shop, I spied a couple red oak logs I kept from the firewood pile because they were fairly straight.

Since building the Windsor chair, I’ve been happily experimenting with some of the skills I learned, and having a lathe is kinda helpful, too.

I split the leg blanks out, shaved them on the shave horse, then set to turning them down on the lathe.

I wanted this bench to be sturdy, strong, and bulky, so I decided to go with 1-1/4″ tenons.  I happened to have a 1-1/4″ bit, but no tenon-cutter.  Well, time to learn to use that lathe.

It wasn’t so bad.  I turned the tenons down to a heavy 1-1/4″, then put them in the crock pot full of sand to super-dry them.  The idea is to make them drier than the seat so that when they’re installed, they eventually absorb moisture from the seat and expand to make a nice, tight joint.

After the legs are attached, I just cleaned it up a bit.  I wanted it to still look rough, and it does.

Well, nothing gold can stay, and that includes most things I build for no real purpose.  My brother took one look at the bench and decided it would make a good horse for shaving powder horns.  So much for that.

Anyway, this little project opened the door to a much better, more refined project, coming soon to a blog near you.  It’s a doozy of a project, and I think you’ll like it.

Stay tuned…

About Sam

Young, good-looking, manly--you get the picture. Novice woodworker with just too much rolling around upstairs to keep to myself. Random thoughts, philosophical questions, the occasional flash of insight or just dumb luck that needs to be shared with anyone who cares.
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2 Responses to Wasting Wood

  1. And it just so happens to be the EXACT creation I’ve been wanting for my sitting room….hmmmmmm…hint hint….

  2. Dad says:

    I like that you thought to super dry the legs so they would absorb moisture and swell to make a tight fit. Common sense like that ain’t so common anymore. Good job!

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