After the miracle of the cupping and bowing with the red oak plank I bought for the leg vise (I’m calling it “curly red oak” now) I was resolved to get a piece of 12/4 something and avoid any worries about gluing up a thick enough leg. I have time this weekend and a few days off work this coming week and I want to finish my bench.
I stopped by Global Wood, Southern Lumber and Jackel Enterprises — the three main hardwood yards in my area, but no joy. Southern had 12/4 Poplar, but at $9 a board foot I would just feel taken advantage of. Global had 12/4 Mahogany, but it was $18/bf. More than I wanted to spend (for reference, the chop needs about 6 bf total). Anyway, I struck out at all three places, so I’m proceeding with Plan B.
After letting the curly red oak planks acclimate (“warp”) for a few days I machined them flat again. The thick board hadn’t moved much at all, just a slight cup. The thin board had a twist and a cup. I jointed the face of both, then thickness planed them to make sure they were flat on both faces. I also dimensioned a piece of Claro Walnut that I bought on a whim six or eight months ago. Then it was time for lots of glue and clamps.
I oriented the growth rings in opposite directions on the curly red oak, used more glue and more clamps, and will leave this sit at least 24 hours. The finished stack is exactly 3″ thick.