SMALL - espritmodel.com SMALL - Telemetry SMALL - Radio
Reply
Thread Tools
Old Oct 28, 2012, 02:02 PM
Registered User
Niko03's Avatar
United States, WI, Mt Pleasant
Joined Sep 2012
25 Posts
Question
Woodie Build Table options

So I'm back in it after 20 years. Bought a foamie, but it wasn't for me. Called my folks, and found out my old Aquila with a clipped wing was still in thier basement. I picked it up and am repairing it. I also just ordered an Oly III from Ray at Skybench, and am starting to get things ready for a winter build. Which brings me to my question on build surfaces.

When I was younger I had a 6ft folding table my dad picked up. I never thought about how true it was, I just threw a ceiling tile on it and started building. Well I was reviewing options for my build this winter.

I do have a 6 ft x 2 ft x 1 1/2" laminated maple bench top in my garage that I've hung on to for a few years. Super Cool, I thought, it must have been destined for the Oly III build. I took a straight edge to the top and Awwwgghhh. It has about an 1/8" crown when tested lengthwise or across.

I thought about laying some shims and then clamping a sheet a plywood to it? Thought about picking up a hollow core door, but they just seemed to flimsy to me. Most of them were pretty flat though. It just seems like a waste of my bench top. I asked at the local Hardwood shop about running it through their giant belt sander, but since the top had screw holes in the bottom from the old legs the owner wouldn't let it touch his machines.

What would you do? What do you use? I'd really like to utilize my top if I could. Any thoughts?

Thanks - August
Niko03 is offline Find More Posts by Niko03
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old Oct 28, 2012, 02:48 PM
I need some building time in t
scaflock's Avatar
United States, AZ, Douglas
Joined Nov 2007
1,617 Posts
Well not knowing just where you're at it's hard to say what options are open to you. However, if you're near a lumber yard that has milling equipment I'd take the Maple over to them and see if they could true it up for you. A couple of passes through a 24" planer and then a good sanding should fix it right up.

Another option could be to go to Harbor Freight and pick up one of their wood work bench tops. Again, not knowing where you're at makes it hard to say. There may not be a Harbor Freight in your area.
scaflock is offline Find More Posts by scaflock
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 28, 2012, 02:49 PM
Always room for one more!
chawkins's Avatar
United States, MI, Midland
Joined Jul 2012
214 Posts
Well, heres my 2 cents worth. I had a simular problem and this is how I did it. Got me a 3/4" piece of MDF the same size as the bench top. Layed it on the bench top and shimmed it until it was level and solid. I went with MDF cuz I figured that the wood bench top would go out over time even if I took the time to level it.
I used a level with a light to ensure I had a level top.
Anyhow, welcome back to the woodie side of life !!!!! Good Luck !
chawkins is offline Find More Posts by chawkins
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 28, 2012, 03:22 PM
Registered User
Niko03's Avatar
United States, WI, Mt Pleasant
Joined Sep 2012
25 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by scaflock View Post
Well not knowing just where you're at it's hard to say what options are open to you. However, if you're near a lumber yard that has milling equipment I'd take the Maple over to them and see if they could true it up for you. A couple of passes through a 24" planer and then a good sanding should fix it right up.

Another option could be to go to Harbor Freight and pick up one of their wood work bench tops. Again, not knowing where you're at makes it hard to say. There may not be a Harbor Freight in your area.
Just south of Milwaukee, WI. I did try one lumber yard, a specialty hardwood mill, but the owner was protective of his tools since the top was not "virgin" and did have screw holes on the bottom. Can't say I blame him. I suppose I could try some other lumber yards. The top does have a pretty good coat of poly on the top, but the bottom just has a thin coat. So I'm not sure if that might be an issue as well.

Thanks.

Any other ideas?
Niko03 is offline Find More Posts by Niko03
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 28, 2012, 03:42 PM
I need some building time in t
scaflock's Avatar
United States, AZ, Douglas
Joined Nov 2007
1,617 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niko03 View Post
Just south of Milwaukee, WI. I did try one lumber yard, a specialty hardwood mill, but the owner was protective of his tools since the top was not "virgin" and did have screw holes on the bottom. Can't say I blame him. I suppose I could try some other lumber yards. The top does have a pretty good coat of poly on the top, but the bottom just has a thin coat. So I'm not sure if that might be an issue as well.

Thanks.

Any other ideas?
I can also understand his position. Those knives are not cheap and are a pain to replace. Even so, they should have had a metal detector of some kind on hand. You may want to look for a lumber recycler in your area as they would have the equipment to locate any left over screws or nails before planing. If I was local to you I'd have been more than happy to check it out for any stray metal and plane it down for you. I think Arizona is a bit far though.

Edit: once you do get it planed back to flat, be sure to give it a couple coats of poly to seal the wood to prevent it from warping on you again. No sense in going to all that trouble and having it go out on you again.
scaflock is offline Find More Posts by scaflock
Last edited by scaflock; Oct 28, 2012 at 03:44 PM. Reason: additional thought.
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 28, 2012, 06:13 PM
Registered User
Niko03's Avatar
United States, WI, Mt Pleasant
Joined Sep 2012
25 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by chawkins View Post
Well, heres my 2 cents worth. I had a simular problem and this is how I did it. Got me a 3/4" piece of MDF the same size as the bench top. Layed it on the bench top and shimmed it until it was level and solid. I went with MDF cuz I figured that the wood bench top would go out over time even if I took the time to level it.
I used a level with a light to ensure I had a level top.
Anyhow, welcome back to the woodie side of life !!!!! Good Luck !
Thanks, I also thought about this, wasn't sure if putting weight in the wrong place would cause a dip though. I'll probably revisit this if I can't get it planed.
Niko03 is offline Find More Posts by Niko03
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 28, 2012, 09:47 PM
Registered User
United States, MA, Waltham
Joined Dec 2001
7,112 Posts
I think 1.5 inches is actually a bit thin for something that long. You could make a really rigid and flat frame to screw it to, maybe a bit of shimming.

Hollow core doors aren't necessarily all that flat. I've glued 3 together, glued a thin layer of styrofoam on top, and I keep telling myself I'm going to hot wire it flat. Previously I had a hollow core door which I had filled and sanded to be flat, but it needed to be supported just right, because it wasn't really rigid enough.

Thinking I might make a bench top by vacuum bagging two relatively thin sheets of plywood on either side of a thick piece of extruded styrofoam. But it would be hard to get exactly flat unless I wanted to go with the hot wire trick or if I had a flat, rigid surface to vacuum bag it to while gluing.
lincoln is offline Find More Posts by lincoln
RCG Plus Member
Old Oct 29, 2012, 09:46 AM
≡LSF8067≡
dwells's Avatar
Bedford, TX
Joined Oct 2007
2,845 Posts
I picked this up for a song at a crapping little furniture store. It's 1/2" iron glass and flatter than a flitter. I build right on top of it using little weights instead of pins. I flip my plans and back light it for wing #2. Makes both wings identical .
dwells is offline Find More Posts by dwells
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 29, 2012, 09:57 AM
Making wood fly since 2007
Windependence's Avatar
USA, MN, Rochester
Joined Mar 2008
2,505 Posts
August

Contact some of the custom cabinet shops in your area and see if any of them have a wide format belt sander. It will do the exact same thing as a planer but there is no risk of dinging knives like in a planer. They can be up to 36" wide and will true up the top.

Wayne
Windependence is offline Find More Posts by Windependence
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 31, 2012, 10:06 PM
Registered User
Niko03's Avatar
United States, WI, Mt Pleasant
Joined Sep 2012
25 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwells View Post
I picked this up for a song at a crapping little furniture store. It's 1/2" iron glass and flatter than a flitter. I build right on top of it using little weights instead of pins. I flip my plans and back light it for wing #2. Makes both wings identical .
Sweet, I saw that in the I'm getting a woodie thread. Also thought of that option. Seems like a lucky find though. One gets those every once in awhile.
Niko03 is offline Find More Posts by Niko03
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 31, 2012, 10:07 PM
Registered User
Niko03's Avatar
United States, WI, Mt Pleasant
Joined Sep 2012
25 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Windependence View Post
August

Contact some of the custom cabinet shops in your area and see if any of them have a wide format belt sander. It will do the exact same thing as a planer but there is no risk of dinging knives like in a planer. They can be up to 36" wide and will true up the top.

Wayne
Thanks, I'm going to have to do some more leg work.
Niko03 is offline Find More Posts by Niko03
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 15, 2013, 11:20 PM
Registered User
Niko03's Avatar
United States, WI, Mt Pleasant
Joined Sep 2012
25 Posts
Just build a new bench

After calling in vain, I finally gave up on having my maple top sanded flat. Best offer I had was a 75 mile drive one way and $40 to buy a belt, since my top was finished. The guy said it probably wouldn't work since normally the pressure pushes it flatter and normally shaves off less. I took the hint that he didn't really want to do it and I didn't feel like wasting half a day for disappointment. Instead I thought I'd spend a lot more money and waste more than half a day and build a new bench.

There was a sale at the local Menard's for 3/4" Maple veneer plywood so I was set. Tried to design it for one sheet, but couldn't quite make it fit. Bought 2. Did all the cutting with a circular saw and miter saw. Used one factory cut edge of a plywood sheet for a cutting guide, after checking it for trueness. Table top is 6ft by 30". Support frame for the top is made of 4" x 68" and 4" x 24" with 12.75" spacing between short frames glued and screwed. The completed frame tests true no matter how I lay the level across with no gaps between frame and level. The legs are 3 layer plywood laminate - glued and screwed. Height is 37". For some strange reason I wanted it just a bit taller than standard counter height of 36". I thought so it would be more comfortable to build standing, but probably so it wouldn't line up with any other bench or counter I have.

Finished all that last weekend when mother nature was kind enough to warm up Wisconsin from 15-20F to 40F so I could get my garage up to 55F. Just need to add the vertically aligned trestle brace running between the legs to brace up the structure lengthwise. Width wise it is solid. Then I need to give it a few coats of Poly. I will do that this weekend.

Then it's on to the bird!
Niko03 is offline Find More Posts by Niko03
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 16, 2013, 09:39 AM
Kurt Zimmerman ≡LSF 4461≡
kzimmerm's Avatar
Montrose, NY
Joined May 2003
1,373 Posts
August;
Are you using 2"x4" or 1"x4" for the table top framing?

Kurt
kzimmerm is offline Find More Posts by kzimmerm
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 16, 2013, 02:00 PM
Registered User
Niko03's Avatar
United States, WI, Mt Pleasant
Joined Sep 2012
25 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by kzimmerm View Post
August;
Are you using 2"x4" or 1"x4" for the table top framing?

Kurt
Using the plywood for the frames. It'll be much more stable then standard 2X4's. Of course now that you mention it I wonder if I should have laminated the plywood double thickness. I could also laminate on the face around the perimiter.

But you look at most tables, even solid wood well made ones and they will only usually have 1"x dimensional timber for the table aprons and that's the only support. for the top.

I somewhat copied the method that "Canoecraft" espouses for building a strongback for canoe construction, with the frame support being shallower since the surface is somewhat less. And for a strongback they are looking for a rigid true base as well.
Niko03 is offline Find More Posts by Niko03
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 16, 2013, 02:25 PM
life long racing nut & modeler
granada don's Avatar
Granada Hills Ca.
Joined Nov 2009
1,994 Posts
Hi August

If you wan't to finish off your table in style, put a formica top with the butcher block pattern.

My 18' bench and 4 by 8 table has that pattern and it has 1" wide light & dark stripes that are perfect for lining up and gluing the wing parts together and keeping the spar straight from end to end.

I built them before i got into gliders and i was happy to have put on the butcher block pattern on them.

G Don
granada don is offline Find More Posts by granada don
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Yippee! I'm getting a woodie- woodie builds :) atmosteve Thermal 17244 Oct 21, 2014 01:05 PM
Discussion Building table for precise indoor foamies?? jhicks Indoor Pattern/F3P 18 Nov 08, 2012 01:37 PM
Cool ///////Building my new work table\\\\\\\ Diceman89 The Builders Workshop 18 Sep 25, 2012 10:36 AM
Question 1st build Beginner / Intermediate Pilot Woodie Kit Selection Fickle flier Sailplane Talk 5 Jun 09, 2012 10:27 PM
Discussion CC Super-extra-woody option? patmat2350 Dock Talk 3 Dec 04, 2008 05:42 PM