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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

I joined about two years ago and you all helped me out deciding which router to buy and I purchased a factory reconditioned Bosch 1617EVSPK-RT 12 Amp 2.25 HP Combination Plunge and Fixed-Base Router Kit from CPO. I spent that summer making a small decorative fence for my back yard bird feeder area, learning by trial and error. Hard to believe how much time I spent on making a template for that project and several porotypes to get the proportions right for the spacing between the rails, etc. I also make a small dust collection system.

So now on to my next project which is a small bonsai stand and I did the initial design in SketchUp and below is a picture of it.

I would like some guidance/suggestions as to wood and router bit selection.

I initial planned on making it with dimensional lumber from Lowes or Home Depot and then started thinking that maybe some other type of wood might look nicer. Maybe even a different color wood for the top. Our life style is based on keeping things simple and easy to manage so I am not looking for anything exotic.

I planned on cutting the S curve for the sides with a jig saw and then realized that extending that curve along the end of the top piece might be a little beyond my current talents. So that is when I decided to post this this request.

Legs are 3.5” x 3.5”and 22.5” tall.
Top is 1.5” thick, 16” wide and 34” long.
Sides are 1.5” thick, 3.5” tall and 34” long.
The brace between the legs are 3.5” tall, 1.5” wide and 9” long.


Thanks,
Harry
 

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Harry I would suggest western red cedar or redwood for the whole job but either of those plus pine or spruce would probably look nice too but neither pine nor spruce weather that well.

I have a 1.5" round over bit and it would come pretty close to that curve but be aware that a good quality bit that size can cost well over $100 and it is as large as any router is capable of running (table only, 3hp router preferred). You can also do it for next to nothing. I've sanded curves like the ones on the ends with a drum sander and the long pieces on the ends could be sanded too. You could also plane and sand them to that shape. If you do them by hand I would make a profile gauge out of some 1/4 to 3/8 ply to the shape you want and use that to gauge your progress with. Remember that it only has to look perfect, it doesn't actually have to be perfect and the difference can be the difference between simple and impossible.
 

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I wonder how popular would hold up? I have seen it last for years on houses and barn sides and it had no finish.

There is also white oak.
 

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My vote would be Mahogany...straight tight grain, deep rich color...

I would rough cut the profile with jig saw or bandsaw or jig saw mounted upside down on table (of sorts) then orbital sander to final profile. Rough cut with whatever you have available...
 

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Keeping it simple is very appropriate for Bonsai. For outdoor stuff I often use Redwood, particularly if it is going to be exposed to moisture. My reason is that it is a 120 mile round trip to get more exotic stuff. The end grain has to be as close to straight up and down as I can find if I don't want it to warp.

Since you're not using much wood for this, you could use one of the Oaks described above, or even order a few feet of something exotic online. You're only going to need 6-8 feet of 6 inch wide stock, which you will glue up to make the top.
 

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...just had another thought on the curve (must have been my sandwich - LOL)...

"if the mountain will not come to Mohamet, then Mohamet must go to the mountain"

That more means to profile your top first, then match the s-curves to it...might be easier than going the other way around...
 

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I don't recommend poplar for exterior use. I learned the hard way. Years ago I used painted poplar for rose arbors and trellis's. After about 2-3 years the poplar began to rot. Once it started it deteriorated quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well I really appreciate the above feedback concerning wood choices and the various techniques for executing the curve. I knew I would get some good suggestions so now on too wood research.
Thanks,
Harry
 
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