Oh. My. God.
Yesterday started off innocently enough. I was up at the crack of dawn, had my usual six cups of coffee, read all of my favorite blogs and dealt with a few issues from work. I grabbed a quick shower and drove down to Jackel Enterprises, the local specialty lumberyard, to pick up a plank to make the leg vise. I wanted something nicer than a hunk of the typical new growth green doug fir that I’ve used for the rest of the bench. I picked out a piece of 8″ wide 8/4 S2S Red Oak. At $7.50 a board foot it was more than I really wanted to spend, but I figured the $90 board would give me a beefy leg vise and a piece for the chop on the end vise.
Back in the shop I cut two 35″ lengths and jointed one face and one edge. They were actually very flat already, no rocking on the cast iron jointer face, but I made a pass just to be absolutely sure as I wanted to laminate the two together to make a thicker blank for the leg vise.
Boards Faced for Laminating
I poured out the glue, Titebond III which I’ve used for almost everything I’ve made, and rolled it out to get an even coat on both faces. Maybe I should have used a touch more? I had a good even coat though, and a a bit of squeeze out all around, so it seemed right.
Then I clamped it up and left it for three hours. I probably should have left it overnight, but I wanted to make progress…
In the Clamps
I pulled the clamps and machined is square on all six sides, It looked pretty good, and it was time to call it quits for the day. This morning I went out to the shop to start laying out for the vise hardware and found this waiting for me.
What happened? Clearly I should have waited longer for the glue to dry. Maybe I should have used a bit more glue. Maybe the glue went bad? And I guess I should have given the board time to acclimate to the shop after milling it. But still. The board was flat to begin with and I took a really light cut from the face.
More importantly, what do I do now? Do I work more glue down into the gap and clamp it?
Or do I saw it apart at the glue seam, mill both parts clean and square, let them acclimate, and re-glue it? I suspect that’s the right answer. It’t more work, and I’ll lose some material all around, but will probably have a better result. Maybe fresh glue too.
I checked the outer faces of the boards, and they are both cupped outwards. More on the thinner board, and of course more where the gap is widest. What a nightmare. Lesson learned I guess. Let the stock acclimate, rough mill it, let it acclimate more, final mill it. Sigh.
In other news, I ordered the Benchcrafted Criss-Cross Guide. I looked through my metal stock with the intent of making something like this and decided it wasn’t how I wanted to spend my time. It would take me at least 3 or 4 hours to layout, cut and machine the steel stock for this guide and at about $100 for the Benchcrafted version I’d rather just buy one ready to go.
Hopefully it will arrive by next weekend so I can get this show on the road. Today I’ll be re-sawing and acclimating my leg vise stock.