picking lumber from home center - Page 2 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #21 of 34 Old 07-28-2020, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by furnacefighter15 View Post
When you make all those dados like that for the crossovers, did you gang cut, or one at a time? And table saw or other?

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When there was time they were done on a CNC. When the CNC was too busy I cut by hand on the tablesaw with dado blades. We had a Unisaw dedicated to dado blades....just ganged them together.
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post #22 of 34 Old 07-30-2020, 08:24 PM
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David Marks has an excellent video on building a torsion box.


He teaches woodworking and makes furniture for a living. He uses MDF throughout for his torsion box. The good news is that it's inexpensive. The bad news is that it will be really heavy.
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post #23 of 34 Old 07-30-2020, 08:40 PM
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David Marks has an excellent video on building a torsion box.



He teaches woodworking and makes furniture for a living. He uses MDF throughout for his torsion box. The good news is that it's inexpensive. The bad news is that it will be really heavy.
I like Marks but it is heavy. You can use an inexpensive plywood as long as its consistant in thickness....

Last edited by Rebelwork; 07-30-2020 at 08:43 PM.
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post #24 of 34 Old 08-02-2020, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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We always used dado in our torsion boxes unless we were making something too big...
That is what I would like just not so fancy. I think I am going use either 3/4" MDF or 3/4" Plywood for the inside torsion slat part, 1/2" plywood for the outer frame around the inside torsion slats then for the bottom 1/4" plywood or maybe 1/2" depending on whether I attach it to a fixed frame work for a workbench or this is a stand alone top. For the top, I was thinking 1/2" plywood (sanded) and then an overall boarder of sanded plywood finished with Polyurethane (I read some where that Polyurethane was not a good finish for a workbench surface. I will post picture/sketch of my design to give a better idea of what I am looking for.

Does anyone think that if I get the plywood or MDF, Home Depot will cut down a 4x8 sheet into 2" wide boards? On each board I need very straight edges so I can do finish cuts on my table saw. I do not think I can run a 4x8 sheet through my table saw cutting 1" strips for the slats and getting a good clean edge on both sides so the top is not wavy. I would love to be able to find nice straight pine boards and use a joiner and planer to get nice even boards.

I have no idea how to do this with the tools I have in the space I have. Lord help me!!!
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post #25 of 34 Old 08-02-2020, 02:47 PM
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in a very limited capacity, I would rough cut the 4x8 into manageable
pieces in the driveway on sawhorses.
then - the fine cuts on the table saw. just be careful and plan accordingly.
if you over think it ~ it will surely be over thunk.

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there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks.
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post #26 of 34 Old 08-02-2020, 03:56 PM
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Home depot will not cut that narrow. I think around 10 inch is as narrow as they go. Your mileage may vary. I think it depends on whom is cutting. I think I had them cut 8" strips for me once. But that was many years ago.

But they would definitely cut it to a manageable size.

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post #27 of 34 Old 08-02-2020, 08:48 PM
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I think HD has 1 or 2 free cuts, after that it's about 50 Cents a cut or something like that.

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post #28 of 34 Old 08-02-2020, 08:56 PM
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I would not use plywood for the torsion box slats. A torsion box design is based on good glue contact with the slats. Plywood just don't cut it on end grain. MDF will, but much heavier.
I would use at least 1/2 ply for the faces although I never used less that 3/4". The box itself will be heavy if you consider 3/4 ply weighing in at around 70 lbs per sheet and 3/4 MDF coming in at around 90 lbs per sheet. the torsion box will remain stiff regardless of the what it is resting on. Any irregular corners could poke through 1/4" ply for sure.

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post #29 of 34 Old 08-02-2020, 08:57 PM
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Every torsion box I have seen has been made with 1/2" baltic birch plywood. Much flatter and more stable than cabinet grade plywood. Baltic birch has about twice the veneer layers and the outside veneer is the same thickness as the others. It is also usually made with waterproof glue. https://kingsfinewoodworking.com/blo...y-is-it-better
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post #30 of 34 Old Yesterday, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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I have now attached my design of what my torsion box workbench top will look like. The one thing I did not add is a frame of either walnut or maple going around the outer edge. I am not sure why the image looks rotated; it does not look that way in my pictures folder.

This coming weekend, I am going to get the materials I need and hopefully I do not ruin anything. Doing this from scratch without anyone around to help or give advice kind of scares me. I look at videos of others making these things and love thinking that I can do it but I am not exactly a self-confident person when it comes to working with my hands. I can design anything you want but getting my hands to work at the same level as my mind...we usually spend a lot more for a less quality looking project.
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post #31 of 34 Old Yesterday, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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I like Marks but it is heavy. You can use an inexpensive plywood as long as its consistant in thickness....
I like Mark's torsion box also but I have a couple of issues. First, he uses a Compound Miter saw, jointer, and a planer to get his assembly area flat. I do not have any of those things. In a cluttered garage, I have a table saw and a very small work table (not a workbench). I am just starting out and each year I save money to buy my next big tool. I have been saving for a planer for about two years. When I get close, either an appliance or car needs repairs. So I am making my torsion box on my cellar floor, hoping it is flat enough to make a workbench, so later I can make a desktop for my daughter's bedroom.
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post #32 of 34 Old Yesterday, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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I watched Steve Ramsey make a desktop but his torsion box was to plane some pine boards flat and then glue them so the long face was glued to plywood and placed inside his frame. I does give support however, he still used a planer which I do not have.
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post #33 of 34 Old Yesterday, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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If I had a planer, I might just think a butcher block would be easier. I want to be a good woodworking but it is not looking good at the moment.
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post #34 of 34 Old Today, 09:56 AM
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You can use the factor edge of a piece of plywood as a circ saw guide to rip the strips.

You can establish a flat working surface with a couple 2x4's across sawhorses, levelled and made planar using string & shims. Then lay a sheet down and start building. Cover with wax paper or plastic to keep glue from sticking.

After the top/bottom is secured, flip it over and do the reverse side.

If you're using MDF, its a good idea to size the ends of the parts before gluing, then apply another coat right before nailing.

MDF can get very heavy. That's a consideration if you're working by yourself. I've built a few using 1/2" ply for the web and top/bottom can be 3/4.

IIRC Marc Spagnolo aka The WoodWhisperer has an good video on setting up check it out. Also Mike Farrington he uses MDF.

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