Re: Work bench top
After you cut the strips, look at them closely and lay them out to get a good pattern/look for the whole top. Do this on a couple of saw horses so when you get it like you want, you can draw a big triangle on the underside to use in referencing the boards during glue-up, to end up with the same pattern.
If possible, place the boards so that all the top grain runs the same direction. If you should decide you want to use a jointer plane to flatten or ,later on, resurface the top, having all the grain running the same way will eliminate tear-out during planing.
With that thin of strips, you may want to cut the boards so that they are quartersawn (looking at the ends, the grain lines will run vertical or close to vertical.) This will give the most stable top and reduce any cupping or warping of the finished top.
When gluing up, use cauls to keep the top surface flat. If the bottom is a little out of alignment it won't be a problem to smooth it where you have the base supports.
I made mine of white oak and cut the boards 4" wide and splined them all except the front and back aprons. In retrospect, the splining was a lot of unnecessary work. I also splined the end aprons, but they are installed to float, so are not glued to both the top and the apron. I glued mine into the end of the top boards and left the unglued groove in the apron, but vice/versa also works. This will allow the top to expand and contract as temp/humidity changes. If you have a good glue joint, titebond glue will be as strong as the original board. To get my glue edges perfect, I laid the boards in their side and stacked them up vertically. Looking toward my garage (er.. shop, excuse me) door with the sun coming in, I could easily see all mismatches in the glue joints and corrected them with a hand plane. This worked so well that I placed them on edge and stacked them up for the final glue up. It was easier to clamp and also easy to see any misalignment and adjust the cauls to correct it before the glue dried. Also, unless the splines and grooves are perfect and a press fit, they won't by themselves ensure a flat top. If they are a press fit, you won't get them in once you put glue on them, because they will swell slightly with the wet glue. Dowels or biscuits work better for alignment.
The last comment I would make is not to build it until you have any vise hardware on hand. To get all the clearances for the vise mechanisms to work, you will find that the spacing of the base attachments to the table, placement of any dog holes (especially square ones, etc) are all going to be determined by the size and placement of the vise hardware. If you build from plans, and the vise dimensions of yours and the designers are not the same, you may have to do some creative designing on your own to make things fit. After you have cut and glued your boards, it is too late for design changes.
Have fun. It is a rewarding project.
Last edited by Gofor; 10-19-2007 at 07:06 PM.
Practicing at practical wood working