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Part of the tree which was cut for the Split-top Roubo Workbench had a beautiful Y in it. I ripped a book matched straight edge on one side and had to glue a little bark back on. It was a bit of a surprise that the bark stayed on the rest of the sides considering it was the ash-borer beetle that prematurely killed this tree. I had to hand plan and sanded the entire bench as it would not fit thru the 15" planer. This had proven very difficult due to the highly figured, multi-directional wood grain. Tear-out was frequent, so a majority of the work was done on the belt sander.
I had never used dutchmen before (also called bow-ties) in any work. I thought it would look nice to have a highly contrasting material like black walnut. The idea of dutchmen is to prevent further splitting of the cracks. The opposing grain and "V" shaped inserts are meant to pull the opposing forces the crack naturally creates and prevent it from further separation. The slab is just under 8/4 (2") and the dutchmen are about 5/4 (1.25") deep.
The surfaces were all finished with General Finishes Exterior 450 water based poly. One brushed coat and 4 sprayed created a pretty nice finish. It's likely I put a few more on in the near future to make it a little smoother.
The due to the plight of ash trees in our area, I was able to get this wood for a very reasonable price. After having the rough-cut kiln dried, I started the process of S4S (smooth 4 sides) the lumber. I had to primer the panel without the rails and stiles on so that is there was any movement (which there typically isn't with ash) it didn't leave any little unpainted areas. after getting a good coat of primer on the raised panels, I assembled all the rails and stiles. After another coat of primer, mostly to cover the rails and stiles, I put 3 coats of General Finish Antique White Milk paint on. Then it was 4 coats of the General Finish's Performance top coat. I never sprayed paint before, actually, I never build cabinets before, but I was also new to HVLP spraying. Let me tell you general finish sprays NICE! I really love it.
This was a Christmas gift to my father. I really like the gain pattern on this. I used a laser engraver to etch his initials into the underside of the lid. I build it to fit a full size Beretta PX4 storm. I mounted Go-Magnets in the bottom to help hold the firearm for moving around. These are crazy strong magnets, I definitely recommend them for concealed mount points.