Inching closer to the slabs glue up. The 4/4 glue ups from the other day seem to be fine, though on one of them, one of the pieces of maple had some tearout I didn't notice. It must've been when I was ripping the maple to width. Jameel Abraham had an article on the Benchcrafted blog for dealing with just such a situation, so I decided to give it a try.
It wasn't strictly necessary, but the opposite side of that piece has an epoxied knot in it that I would've preferred to keep on the bottom. But, depending on how the fix looks after everything is flushed up, I may end up putting the knot on top.
I brought all the 8/4 beech down final thickness and I was going to rip them all to final width on my table saw. I don't have a cast iron top, so I have the Grip Tite featherboards with the auxiliary fence. I used this setup (along with a Freud heavy duty rip blade) when ripping my 8' stiles on my sliding office doors. It's definitely much better than nothing, but I got the feeling that my jobsite table saw just doesn't have the "oomph" for 8/4 long rip cuts. A lot has to go right for me to get a clean cut the full length (i.e., my feed speed, my feeding technique, etc). I usually have to clean up the cuts with a hand plane afterwards.
So, last minute, I decided to go back to my band saw and bring the boards down to an 1/8" above final width and then run them through the planer on edge - which I had never done before. In retrospect, this was definitely better because some of the skip planed boards had a slight cup to them, so it was safer to do the cut on the bandsaw.
Everything went well for the most part, I got more consistent results than when using the Grip Tite featherboards, so if I ever find myself on another project that requires 8'+ rips, I'll definitely be doing it this way.
As I was closing in on the final thickness of the top, I just happened to notice one of the boards had a cup along the edge (technically, crook?) Either I didn't joint it properly, or it moved a bit and I didn't notice. It was about an 1/8" off , but luckily I spotted it before I got too close to final thickness.
By this point it was after 9PM, and I don't like to run power tools after 8PM out of respect for my neighbors, so I was done for the night. Then I remembered the whole purpose for building this bench - getting more into hand tools! So some shavings later, I got pretty close to the line. It's not perfect and a bit out of square, but I can give it a quick pass over the jointer tomorrow to get everything back to square. It was a real joy to make those long shavings...
You can see the plastic picnic table I used as my bench. Even with the other boards on there for weight, the table was swaying quite a bit. Many times I was holding the table back with one hand while pushing the plane with the other. If not for the sway in the table, I would've been able to get full length shavings. I need this bench built yesterday.
Before I called it quits, I figured out where each board would go in the slabs. I really hope to get them glued up tomorrow!
Yes, thanks guys. I hope no one is offended I went that route after asking for advice. I figured I had the store down the road, worst I would be is out a couple hours of time, with the potential to save a few hundred dollars for the same result.
Everyones opinion and experiences are greatly appreciated, and didn't fall on deaf ears.