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Love Your Saws with Matthew Cianci

  Building the Super Sawbench, p. II - Roughing Parts

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If you read my post on ripping one of my 6×8 oak beams in half then you may remember me mentioning that I’m planning on making a new, super-duper saw bench.

I’ve decided that its time to take things to the next level with my saw appliances… my little saw bench is nice, but it feels under built for my work. I want my new saw bench to be bomb-proof… I weigh about 240 and I’m clumsy… I’m not very nice to inanimate objects.

So, this new design will be built entirely from one of my oak beams, which, since my big rip, is now two 8 and 1/2 foot long 4×6 inch beams, actually. So the next step is to rough out all of the parts.


Matthew Cianci
Visit my blog: The Saw Blog

I start by cross cutting both 4×6 beams in half to make them more manageable. I’m using one of my 20 inch panel saws here because with the beam trestled up on the floor, I’m pretty sure the teeth of a full size saw would be biting concrete as much as wood…

You can see that I’m using a little cross cutting guide here to make the cut. It’s essentially an upside down bench hook with 180 grit sand paper glued to the underside to grip the work. I place it directly next to the cut line and stroke away. This low on the ground and kneeling makes for some inaccurate work. So, I figure when making a big cross cut like this, if you can’t bring the work to the bench hook, bring the bench hook to the work. It works like a charm! Here’s a close up…

The nicer of the two cross-cut beams will become the top…two side by side, 4 foot lengths at 4 inches thick and 6 inches wide…lots of real estate to hold the work!

For the legs of the bench, I’m thinking I need four 18 inch lengths. My current saw bench is around 20 inches tall and I want this one to be about two inches taller. With the added height from the four-inch thick top, I should have plenty to work with.

So I switch to my new favorite cross-cut saw…the old Disston #7 that I made a new handle for here, and mark out my cuts. Up on the bench, its much easier to track a line, so no need for the cross-cut guide. I will kerf in the top and side of the cut to give me a two-dimensional guide however.

To do this, I start on the top of the work, line up the saw teeth parallel with the face of the wood and stroke slowly back and forth to establish a shallow kerf the whole width of the cut…


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