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Working with wood, what am I getting into?

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Working with wood, what am I getting into?

Old 11-25-2008, 06:30 PM
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Default Working with wood, what am I getting into?

I haven't really ever done any work with wood at all other than a bit of light framing. Take a look at the following link(s) and tell me if it is something a novice should even consider. I do have all of the tools that I think I would need, including a variety of clamps, miter saw, jig saw, drill, ect.

The idea is to build this for my father for a Christmas present. I know I could easily pull off a similar cart using treated lumber & 4x4's for corner post, basically building it like a deck. Looking at about $150 for that version. I would be a bit more utilitarian looking, but also probably better as far as leaving out in the weather uncovered.

http://www.nakedwhiz.com/cart.htm
Old 11-25-2008, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Working with wood, what am I getting into?

Go for it - nothing too complicated, but challenging enough to give you a great feeling of satisfaction. I've done a lot of woodworking, and can tell you that nothing in this project is beyond your ability. Enjoy!
Old 11-25-2008, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: Working with wood, what am I getting into?

Nothing difficult about that project, pretty straight forward actually.
Old 11-25-2008, 11:54 PM
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Default Re: Working with wood, what am I getting into?

I don’t see any need for using 4x4's, unless you want your dad to cart around rocks, sacks of potatoes or dead bodies.

That’s a nice project for you to wet your teeth on, you’ll have fun. Here’s a few pointers that will make your life easier:


First Pic:
When making the profile indicated by "A", your design doesn't have to be like theirs, it could be anything you'd like. Either way, whatever profile you decide on, make one up and use it as a template for all the rest.





Second Pic:
The quickest, easiest and with the best results, cut all your slats with the miter saw as shown. Then clamp them all together side by side and then round them off to your profile line using a belt sander. By doing this all your slats will be matched.





Third Pic:
Jigs are a man's best friend and in this case a jig will allow you to reproduce multiples of one piece easily and accurately. Since this jig is so simple you can move the screwed down scrap pieces of wood anywhere you'd like....for different tasks.





Forth Pic:





Is this unit going to be left outside in the elements year round?
Old 11-26-2008, 03:26 AM
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Default Re: Working with wood, what am I getting into?

Garett - 11/26/2008 2:54 AM

Is this unit going to be left outside in the elements year round?
Yes, and knowing my dad, the chances of it getting covered is probably nonexistant. What sort of woods should I consider. I would like to keep the materials budget @ around $200 or less.
Old 11-26-2008, 04:13 AM
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Default Re: Working with wood, what am I getting into?

Ipe' deck boards would be a good choice for their stability and density. But it doesn't much like glue.

I suppose cedar would also be fairly weather resistant.
Old 11-26-2008, 04:19 AM
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Default Re: Working with wood, what am I getting into?

I'm like you, to the extent that I don't feel I'm very good at woodworking. But I think you should go for it. It doesn't look THAT complicated. And after all, what's a better gift than one made with your own hands?
Old 11-26-2008, 04:33 AM
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Default RE: Working with wood, what am I getting into?

It looks simple enough to build. If he leaves it outside you can always buy him a large grill cover from Clemson's student store. I would go with cedar and polyurethane the heck out of it.
Old 11-26-2008, 04:39 AM
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Default Re: Working with wood, what am I getting into?

my thoughts behind using pressure treated wood was the weather resistance of it. I was thinking along the lines of 4x4's for the corner post, 2x4's for the frame, and the 5/4 x 6" decking for both table tops, and not worry about the tile on the top surface. To protect the lower shelf, I would use a 2' x 2' paver or a piece of slate sitting directly on top of the shelf, similar to the one shown on the Big Green Egg website.
Old 11-26-2008, 05:10 AM
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Default Re: Working with wood, what am I getting into?

PT sucks, I wouldn't use it. Teak would be nice but it would also be a budget buster. Western Red Cedar is easy to work with and well within your budget.

Looks like a nice easy project.
Old 11-26-2008, 05:15 AM
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Default Re: Working with wood, what am I getting into?

Glue or not glue? Also, what guidance can you all share in terms of fastners as far as screw length & size.
Old 11-26-2008, 05:56 AM
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Default Re: Working with wood, what am I getting into?

Pressure treated wood may contaminate food. White oak is a better outdoor wood than to red oak. I wouldn't varnish/varethane/urethane any outdoor project because it will eventually crack and peel. After a few years, it will begin to look blotchy and ugly. To repair it, you would have to completely remove the finish, sand and refinish it. I would use an oil finish. It won't peel but will have to be maintained (reapplied) every couple of years.

Paul
Old 11-26-2008, 06:02 AM
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Default Re: Working with wood, what am I getting into?

I would use Ipe' and square drive SS deck screws. You can plug the holes if you want to get fancy. Gorilla glue the joints and anchor seal the end cuts. No finish. It will turn a nice silver gray. Looks like teak but more durable and well within your budget.
Old 11-26-2008, 08:44 AM
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Default Re: Working with wood, what am I getting into?

I'd use more resilient materials as suggested - as designed, that's not at all meant to be kept outside. For starters:

(1) even in the slightest bit of rain the lifesaver wheels will start to dissolve
(2) that paper umbrella won't withstand the elements for long.
(3) I'd expect the popsicle sticks to begin to soften over time



Old 11-26-2008, 09:06 AM
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Default Re: Working with wood, what am I getting into?

If you go with Ipe, buy plenty of blades for your tools.
Old 11-26-2008, 10:05 AM
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Default Re: Working with wood, what am I getting into?

3/4 mahogany decking yellow pine frame or cedar frame 2" square drive for decking Use a battery drill and turn all the heads into the same direction with a hand driver for your finish Of course this means you must layout your screw pattern and predrill every piece of decking (make a jig for this) Lineseed oil or a tougue oil and it will be an awesome look Some of the new oils used in the fine firearms shops have UV inhibitors as well if you want to look around some
We use a router for cutting circles with a jig set up I have clean and very consistant This might be above you learning curve for now but food for thought for next year's project
Old 11-26-2008, 10:10 AM
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Default Re: Working with wood, what am I getting into?

RI Builder - 11/26/2008 12:06 PM

If you go with Ipe, buy plenty of blades for your tools.
sounds like that is going to be the case. A friend of mine owns a mill that imports & cuts south american hardwoods, at the time of my original post I had completely forgotten about that option. I think there is enough scrap stacked up behind his house for the project. Definitely will bring the budget to a tolerable level.
Old 11-26-2008, 10:55 AM
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Default Re: Working with wood, what am I getting into?

Be careful.

I watched my father start working with wood on a similar small project.

Now his shop looks like he robbed Norm from "This Old House".

It's a disease.

LOL!!
Old 11-26-2008, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: Working with wood, what am I getting into?

autobaun70 - 11/25/2008 7:39 PM
my thoughts behind using pressure treated wood was the weather resistance of it. I was thinking along the lines of 4x4's for the corner post, 2x4's for the frame, and the 5/4 x 6 decking for both table tops, and not worry about the tile on the top surface. To protect the lower shelf, I would use a 2' x 2' paver or a piece of slate sitting directly on top of the shelf, similar to the one shown on the Big Green Egg website.
PT wood is good for decks and fences. Technically what you are building is a piece of furniture, so use woods accordantly to the project, but that’s only my two cents.

IPE wood is nice, but my concern with it would be how’s it dried and will your slats check (crack) after you’ve built the unit? Aside from the risk of checks the wood if VERY hard and therefore hard to cut, drill and work with, but it finishes nicely and would look very good.

Cypress, red cedar or even white cedar, mahogany, white oak and pine being my last choice. All of these will stand up to the elements and should stay within your budget......I don’t know your pricing down your way.

I too would finish the project with an oil - Tung Oil. Several coats of Tung Oil will stand up better than any of the various poly products. One of the greatest properties of Tung Oil is it’s ability to repel water. The only down side to Tung Oil or any oil is that one will have to apply another coat every so often.....the more coats you give wood the better it looks.

“I” would not put a paver or slate over top of a wooden slat shelf and leave the unit outside in the rain. Water will find it’s way between the two materials and it will eventually rot away the wood because the wood will never have a chance to properly dry. All you need is cleats on your side rails to carry the small amount of weight the paver of slate will offer.

5/4 x 6 for the tops I wouldn’t go with. IMO the 6 wide boards will have a strong tendency to cup. I’d go with 3 as my max width to greatly reduce the chance of cupping.



autobaun70 - 11/25/2008 8:15 PM

Glue or not glue? Also, what guidance can you all share in terms of fastners as far as screw length & size.
Glue or not to glue? Well it all depends on your design. In some spots you will want to use glue, in others you will NOT want to use glue. Wood furniture that is left outside can experience moisture variations from 17-18% moisture all the way down to 6-7%. What that means is the wood will expand and contract accordantly to the weather and seasons. Well what glue does is “try” to stop the wood from doing what it naturally wants to do. In return all the glues does is cause the wood to show signs of premature failure. Allow the wood to move when and where it wants to and the project will look good for many years to come.

Type of glues to use? Brand name really doesn’t matter all that much, “providing” that the glue you buy is “Water Proof” glue. NOT water repellant glue

Your average PVC glue (white or yellow carpenters glue) will wash away in no time when exposed to the rain. Water repellant glue will eventually break down do to exposed to moisture, whereas a water proof glue will not break down to even being submerged in water for years. My thinking is, why use a glue if the glue isn’t going to do what you want it to do? Yes a PVC glue does aid in the assembly process but I would want the glue to do more then that.....I would want the glue to be holding for the life of the project.

Fasteners: Well if you don’t want rust stains streaming down from your fasteners then there is no choice but SS. Not in saying that, I wouldn’t be buying SS screws for places that one will never see or see the effects of a rusting screw.....coated deck screws will be good enough for those spots.

One can either use the exposure and placement of screws to enhance the appearance of a piece of outdoor furniture or one can hide the fasteners.....back or underside screwing. If this project was mine to build, I’d fasten everything from the underside or back side so my fasteners didn’t show. By doing this little extra one not only improves the appearance IMO but one also isn’t building in a place where water can enter the wood. I would also pre drill all my screw holes before hand so the wood has no chance of spliting.

Earlier I mentioned that natural wood wants to expand and contract. Because this project is going to be an outdoor piece and the piece will be subjected to the elements you will want to elongate all of your screw holes so the wood has a means to expand and contract. See pic below.




When glueing natural wood boards this is important. Some will argue that no glues is best.

Old 11-26-2008, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: Working with wood, what am I getting into?

Go for it. I as a carpenter in a past life before I went corporate. This is a strait forward job that you will be able to accomplish. Its a great project, enjoy

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