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post #1 of 7 Old 04-24-2015, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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help with warped beam joinery

hey guys. I am building a bench out of a reclaimed beam. I tried to clamp two 4 1/2 foot long 4X8 beams together but the ends were just too warped stay together. About 7 inches in on each side, the pieces begin to separate until they're about 3/8" separated at the very ends. This wouldn't be much of a problem if I were planning on painting it. I could just use some wood filler or something and paint over it. However, I was hoping to stain the seat since it's solid wood. Is there a good way to fill those gaps and still make it look decent with stain? Maybe epoxy or something? Or is it too late for me and I just need to paint it?
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-24-2015, 10:45 PM
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Did you plane the joints in a jointer??? From the info I'd guess you skipped that step. IF it's already glued and stuck and since it's reclaimed I'd treat the cracks as a "log check" and put a butterfly type bowtie across them to prevent any further spread AND make it look as "planned".

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post #3 of 7 Old 04-25-2015, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice, Tim. My benchtop jointer isn't really meant for boards of this length. The blade also needs to be replaced. Ran some ebony through it and it just gnawed that blade up. I just didn't do enough to correct the issues with it. But I was just hoping I could correct it through clamping. I did try planing it but I don't have a very good plane. These are all just bad excuses for sub-par workmanship. Haha. I like the idea of butterfly bow ties. I think I've got some padauk on hand, which would probably look pretty good against the pine.
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-25-2015, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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I've never attempted butterflies. Any advice? The wood is four inches thick. How thick should the butterflies be? My padauk is 3/4" Thick. would that be good? Should i fill in the rest of the gap with wood filler or anything? Maybe I can route a 3/4 inch deep dado all the way down the joint where the boards are glued together, as well, just for aesthetics. What do you think of that?
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-25-2015, 07:59 AM
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In the "world" of rustic and reclaim...the "showing off" of flaws is what it's all about. I personally wouldn't fill the crack BUT that's a personal taste opinion.

The correct thickness of a bowtie compared to the wood thickness is ???? The ones I've seen and few I've used were more for stopping the spread and beauty. I personally would only do the face side BUT I've seen others do both sides on thicker slabs BUT I'm not sure what thickness of butterfly they were using.

The 3/4" should be fine and most woodworkers outline them with a pencil and router almost to the marks then chisel the rest out. I like mine to stand up about 1/16 to 1/8 inch for accent BUT as a bench you may want close to flush for seating purposes.

Please post pics as you build, we ALWAYS like to see projects in motion!!! This also helps with questions AND shows how each step/stage of build looks for others learning.

There's others here that could give the correct thickness ratio IF it's critical for both sides.

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post #6 of 7 Old 04-27-2015, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Tim. I'll try and get a couple of pictures of the seat today. I've never really posted pictures to a forum before so wish me luck! Haha. Well I also found some cutoffs that I had of a few types of wood but they're only about 1/4" thick. I had a couple pieces of walnut in there which I'd really like to use. But oh well. I doubt 1/4" is thick enough when we're talking about holding together 4" deep pieces. But I'd really like to use that walnut if I could. Although I DO love the look of the padauk and it will probably also contrast well against the pine. I'm curious, though, if I need to change the color I was going to use to stain the top. I had originally thought of painting the base black and staining the seat a dark cinnamon brown but I don't know if that would look alright with padauk bow ties. What do you think? I'll try and get those pics up later.
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-27-2015, 01:59 PM
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4 1/2 Ft long X 4" thick...right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billyfontaine View Post
hey guys. I am building a bench out of a reclaimed beam. I tried to clamp two 4 1/2 foot long 4X8 beams together but the ends were just too warped stay together. About 7 inches in on each side, the pieces begin to separate until they're about 3/8" separated at the very ends.
Hand planes have been used to "correct" and straighten boards and beams for years before power jointers. These arent that long or wide that you couldn't take a sharp hand plane to the ends and reduce the "warp" ... or twist at the ends.

You can start with a straight edge clamped to the surface where it still has continual register and mark a line. Now you can use a circular saw and straight edge guide to make a rip cut on the line. Now you have a "reference" surface to hand plane down to. Do that on both boards best side up and you can get a pretty good mating surface and maybe won't need any butterflies.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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