I'm working on a 7' long hanging bench with no support under the middle. I have 9' by ~6" rough sawn 4/4 white oak.
My initial design idea involved making a lamination / beam consisting of 3 boards ripped to 4" and cut to 7', making the beam dimensions 7' by 4" by roughly 2.625" thick.
However, despite the fact that I currently have 9' boards, I decided to go down this rabbit hole of looking into whether it would be feasible to cut the boards to a shorter length (e.g., 3.5' each, half of the needed stretcher beam length), then glue them up / join them to make the 7' stretcher from them.
This may seem ridiculously arbitrary, but I have 2 practical reasons for exploring this:
- shorter boards are more available (incl scrap between projects)
- shorter boards are much easier to S4S
I started looking into scarf joints in timber frames, and I also had the idea to glue the 7/8" thick boards all up in an overlapping fashion, so the beam would not contain any through-joints, only overlapping boards of varying length.
Am I barking up the wrong tree or is this something commonly done? Is there a way of achieving the same dimensions without losing double digit percentage of strength / load bearing capacity?
Note: I plan to use only wood and glue, no metal (e.g., brackets, etc.)