I needed a new bench. OK, I guess I didn't "need" a new bench, but more-
so I wanted a new bench. However, during the midst of a pandemic, where most of lumber - especially construction lumber is 2-3x the price... it wasn't the most economically sound idea to create while on a budget. So I waited. And waited.
Did you know, that the cost of lumber did not go down. HAHAHA.
As time progressed, I started to look outside of my local Home Depot and Lowe's and decided to look into possibly some nicer hardwoods instead. Enter: Advantage Lumber.
Advantage Lumber is a mill shop that specializes in Hardwoods / Floor Decking materials. I was looking around their site and stumbled upon various Ipe, Cumaru, Teak, and Tigerwood. Tigerwood was definitely within my price range. When I say my "price range" I mean: as expensive, if not cheaper, than Poplar. Don't get me wrong, Poplar is really beautiful at times, but their coloring is so highly inconsistent. The Tigerwood was BEAUTIFUL... and I learned a lot about this species. I learned about their shine and oiliness due to their high silica content from the way they're raised in nature. Once I saw it, and their price - I bought.
6 pieces of 1 x 4 x 7 feet
3 pieces of 1 x 4 x 1 foot
Plywood was that cost. 'nuff said.
1) I started with first sanding all the pieces down: front, back, edges.
2) I then measured every piece to make sure that it was 7ft long. They weren't. I had to slice off 1/8" to 1/4" of each side to ensure a nice clean edge and to make it 7ft long.
3) I then measured and marked where I was going to place the legs. I wanted to do a dado cut for the 1ft slabs to sit into the material. After measuring, I decided I wanted it 10" from the edge of the slabs and then 1 joinery directly in the middle. So I measured and marked and went to cutting.
4) I did repeated cuts on my tablesaw using my crosscut sled. (I just accidentally typed out Crocs typing that.. haha). A table saw is not necessary. You could clamp them all together and use a circular saw and make repeated cuts and then use a chisel to clean it all out. However I know for a fact that my hands aren't as steady with a circular saw, so it would be safer and easier on me using my table saw.
5) I used spacers to figure out the space inbetween. I found out that with 6 slabs at 3/4" width (because nominal dimensions lie) equates to 4.5". and that would mean I would need a total of 7.5" of space inbetween divided by 5 spaces which would equal 1.5". Luckily I had a few spare pieces of 2x3 which is actually 1.5" in width. I didn't have enough to go all around, but I did have a few spare pieces of Dunnage leftover from when I raided the trash bin at Home Depot - they gave it to me for free. Dunnage there is basically 2x3's but with an excess channel. I sliced off the channel and what was leftover were some lovely scraps of 2x3 lumber I could use as spacers.
6) layer a slab, spacer, slab, spacer, etc until the slab was end to end with the joinery piece.
7) dry fit the above, then clamped and glue.
8) Attach your legs (I used legs I got from a friend and used leg attachments to add them on).
9) Marvel at what you built.
Or you can watch the whole video build here.
Happy Building, Reading, Watching, what-have-you.