Live Edge Bench - the first bench I've made - need tips - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-24-2010, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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Live Edge Bench - the first bench I've made - need tips

Ok, so I bought this wormy funky group of 9 walnut boards - mostly 3/4" thick x 9" to 15" by 8' long for 50 bucks.

This is the first piece I've put together. It's about 50" long, the legs are from the same board of wood.

Now, there's a crack which seems stable on one end of the top. Is it considered "bad form" not to address it with a bowtie or something else? Or, is it acceptable to leave it alone so long as the crack is stable? Personally, I don't mind it. I think it adds character.

Also, on the edges, should I clear all the bark? What do you all think?

Now, I have to pivot the legs inward because the material is so thin and I needed to support the middle even with the rail coming down center.

I value all your experience and advice. Thanks for taking a look!
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-24-2010, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Better pictures.
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-24-2010, 03:28 PM
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nice looking bench. Personally, I'd go with a bowtie both for aesthetics and to be sure the crack doesn't get worse. Poke around in the forum and look for some of Daren't bowties ... he really does nice work and maybe it'll give you inspiration.

You can never have too much pepperoni on your pizza or own too many clamps.
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-24-2010, 07:55 PM
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Nice bench, I like the design. I have made benches out of rough lumber with cracks and although the wood is thicker have not had problems later.

As for the bark I have a chair that I built at least 10 years ago that still has bark on it.
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-25-2010, 04:53 PM
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Great table and with respect to the design - if you like it that's all that matters. Like the other guys I'm inclined to think you might want to check that crack. Below is a link to a piece I did using butterflies. In this case is was purely aesthetic, but you'll get the idea of how visually attractive they can be when using contrasting wood.

http://brendancarpenter.com/featuredproject-2.html

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post #6 of 16 Old 06-26-2010, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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That's for the input.

I've done one bowtie before as a practice run and I've already cut one to place in the crack.

Now, I don't have a router/plunge router. So, how do I make the cut into the hard wood? I am thinking chisels all the way but if you guys know another way please tell!

Thanks again
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-26-2010, 02:22 PM
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drill out everthing you can before you go to work with the chisels.

You can never have too much pepperoni on your pizza or own too many clamps.
www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-26-2010, 04:19 PM
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-26-2010, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the link Daren.

I've begun working on cutting the to accept the bowtie. But, there is blowout underneath. I have the pieces to glue back into place and re-sand.

How do I prevent further damage?
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-27-2010, 02:50 AM
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Try working from both sides to the middle. Try drilling small holes through just inside your lines to transfer your layout to the other side.

Practice on scrap first.

Good luck, Bret
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post #11 of 16 Old 06-27-2010, 08:47 AM
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As many others said I like the design nice work!
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post #12 of 16 Old 06-27-2010, 10:13 AM
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Great looking bench.
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post #13 of 16 Old 06-27-2010, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Ok,

So I've fitted the bowtie. I know it'll look better when sanded down and patched a bit more. They are very challenging! I'm always anxious when I see something looking sloppy -you know? I had to shim it in several(!) places. Ughhhhhh.

I used another piece of walnut from some cutoff from the same board.

I really hope it turns out well. Practice makes perfect.
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post #14 of 16 Old 06-27-2010, 01:48 PM
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Nothing wrong with that. You can fill any tiny gaps with glue/fine sawdust. Sanded down I think that will look just fine.

I do however like to make my bowties long grain, they are much stronger. (the grain running the length of the butterfly)








.

Last edited by Daren; 06-27-2010 at 01:50 PM.
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post #15 of 16 Old 06-27-2010, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Good point - to stop the tie from splitting if there is a weakness in the piece.

Well, I have another board with a near 12" split in it so I'll be getting plenty practice this coming week.
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post #16 of 16 Old 06-27-2010, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Here it is. I'm not especially happy with it but can't go back now.
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