View from the Garage

September 4, 2005

Another bench

Filed under: House work, Woodworking — thefusionguy @ 12:18 am

This bench is cedar, 3 inches thick. I cut part of it off and made the supports which are glued directly to the studs through a bridle joint.

After trimming the plank for the supports, I set the remainder on my bench for a few days. When I moved the plank, I found a small indentation which lined up with a hole in the planck. I think there was some boring insect in the board. I did some research on the web which said that the insect larvae–probably powder post beetles–could be killed by freezing the board for 3 days or by kiln drying to at least 140 F. Well, my freezer is far too small, so I set up instead a plastic tent around the plank in the strong July San Diego sun. This got the surface, at least, to 175 F! Next day I flipped the plank and repeated. So sign since of the bugs…

I planed the board flat with a jack plane, sanded smooth with a belt sander and random orbit sander, and finished with wipe-on/wipe-off polyurethane. Here’s how it looks:

The thick board had a few checks in the ends. I added some purpleheart dovetail keys to reduce the tendency to split. I think they look pretty good, and they are very easy to set into such a soft wood as cedar.

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