Poplar butcher block bench - help - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-03-2014, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Poplar butcher block bench - help

Have been commissioned to build a solid wood bench 10' in length by 21" wide and a depth of an inch and a half. The bench is going to be mainly used to sit on to remove boots, down in a customers mudroom. The bench is going to be built into a set of locker cabinets. My planer and drum sander are smaller bench top models with a capacity of 12". Trying to feed a 10 foot glue up through the planer sounds like a bear. Would I be better off doing 4 smaller sections?

The plan is to use poplar (customers choice) face glued with edge grain exposed on the top.

Do I need to worry about grain direction with this type of glue up or would the wood movement all be in the same direction?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, as I have done smaller glue ups but this would be by far the largest.
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-03-2014, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by aplan82 View Post
Have been commissioned to build a solid wood bench 10' in length by 21" wide and a depth of an inch and a half. The bench is going to be mainly used to sit on to remove boots, down in a customers mudroom. The bench is going to be built into a set of locker cabinets. My planer and drum sander are smaller bench top models with a capacity of 12". Trying to feed a 10 foot glue up through the planer sounds like a bear. Would I be better off doing 4 smaller sections?

The plan is to use poplar (customers choice) face glued with edge grain exposed on the top.

Do I need to worry about grain direction with this type of glue up or would the wood movement all be in the same direction?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, as I have done smaller glue ups but this would be by far the largest.
I would do it in 3 or 4 sections, based on your planer size. Grain direction for this shouldn't matter much, but I would make sets of pairs if you have any bowed pieces.

Glue up three 7 1/2" or 8" sections and then plane them down to 1/32 greater than your finished size. Joint the four mating edges, if possible, and alternate the orientation of the edge pairs going together when running them through the jointer to insure best possible match [=]aa[=]bb[=]

For the final clamp-up, I would use biscuits to minimize shifting, and plenty of cross blocks to keep everything straight and square. Then you can just use a scraper for the glue (wait for it to harden somewhat-1 hour, but not get rock hard, as it will take chunks of wood with it). Block sand the rest, and it shouldn't take much, as poplar is easy to work.
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-04-2014, 10:24 AM
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You could probably do the whole length glue up if you had enough roller stands on each side of your benchtop planer. Grain direction shouldn't be too much of an issue with poplar, but make sure you don't have any knots or funky grain showing, and make sure your planer knives are sharp!
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-04-2014, 11:07 AM
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You could glue up the entire slab and flatten with a router sled...
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-04-2014, 12:48 PM
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Flatten and plane your stock to thickness before glue up. Then use cauls during the glue up to keep everything flat and aligned. It should only take a little sanding to level and smooth things nicely.
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