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Reclaimed Roubo - How Rustic is ok?

Kevin McDaniel
Wed, 17 Aug 2016 18:50:35 GMT

The concept is simple. Use reclaimed wood given for a work bench. The white oak came from bridge deck and was exposed to elements for many years, so it started with dirt, moss and grime deeply embedded into the top surface. I power washed the lumber to get the first layer of grim off, which worked well. After laminating the legs and cleaning them up I now have s4s leg stock ready to mortise. But before I start drilling, I have a choice to make. Which side should I face out. Originally I was excited by the "rustic" look of the top side. While surfacing the stock I realized that these aren't just small surface cracks, some are deep and the surface might not be so gentle to future work pieces. Since this is a work bench, and not a rustic "reclaimed" furniture piece, I'm leaning towards facing the less rustic side out. Note that this is great looking white oak with bolt holes and such. Pictures attached. All opinions welcome. [RouboLegsLessRustic](//muut.com/u/lostartpress/s3/:lostartpress:qIWD:roubolegslessrustic.jpg.jpg) [RouboLegsRustic](//muut.com/u/lostartpress/s3/:lostartpress:Xrdi:roubolegsrustic.jpg.jpg)

Paul Sidener
Wed, 17 Aug 2016 19:03:23 GMT

For the legs, I wouldn't worry about it. Use it however you like. For the top I would worry about the cracks. That being said. It depends on what kind of work you are doing too. Are you going to make small boxes or a dinner table. Nice looking wood.

Adam Wilson
Wed, 17 Aug 2016 20:09:35 GMT

I'd place the underside up and use the holes for holdfasts or dogs.

Ralph McCoy
Wed, 17 Aug 2016 22:00:00 GMT

Kevin, I agree with Adam. Also somewhere i seen a guy put "bowties" in the larger cracks, to prevent them from becoming larger. Then with some sort of resin with saw dust, of the same wood, he filled the other cracks. He planed the boards and the looked great. I believe the the repaired sides faced up. Ralph '

Kevin McDaniel
Wed, 17 Aug 2016 22:08:05 GMT

Thanks Paul, I actually have different wood for the top. I was all set to use the oak for the top, but after ripping the stock for the legs and stretchers, it's not a good choice. Some crack are deep and full of dirt, which does wonders for a new bandsaw blade. I have some maple from old church pews to laminate for the top. Keeping in the reclaimed theme.

Kevin McDaniel
Wed, 17 Aug 2016 22:15:04 GMT

Ralph, I'm familiar with using epoxy resin with fillers, sawdust to match, graphite or india ink to contrast. If I had a wide belt sander, that would be a possible cool solution. But I'm sticking to as few machines as possible, right now a bandsaw only. And I've sanded plenty of resin by hand while making a sailboat and will pass on that option this time around.

Ralph McCoy
Wed, 17 Aug 2016 22:17:27 GMT

Good luck Kevin

Adam Wilson
Thu, 18 Aug 2016 09:36:06 GMT

I don't really think you'll have any problems either way really and it'll just boil down to aesthetics in the end. If you've got a pristine bench top, it might look a little odd with rustic legs but I'm sure it'll hold work just as well anyway.