I'm planning a sturdy but inexpensive workbench.

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Gino wrote:

with 'junk'

stuff that

with SPF from

Well, it's not exactly SPF, but I built my workbench mostly out of SYP 2x4's and 2x12's. And to tie into the original poster's question, why not just make the extra effort and have a stable bench that will last? I built mine with the idea that I'd build a "dream bench" later, but now that I've used it for a few years, I expect I'll keep it indefinitely:
http://uweb.txstate.edu/~cv01/bench03.jpg
Chuck Vance
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Nice looking bench! I like the leg vise. Is that what you would use on another bench? Where did you find SYP in 2x4? All I can find here (Atlanta) is 2x8 or larger.
I built a sharpening table of 2x4 SPF laminated like your bench, which is fine for its purpose, but not as hard as I would like for a bench.
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alexy wrote:

SYP is relatively hard, and has served nicely as a top (even if it does make Lar dizzy). It can be difficult to find decent 2x4 stock here (I'm in Texas), but if you pick through the piles, you can sometimes find enough resonably straight material to use. The top was made by ripping 3" strips off of 2x12 stock. The way most of those boards are cut, there is a good strip of tight-grained wood on either edge of a 2x12. I ripped two from each board and then face-glued them to laminate the top.
The leg vise has worked out just great. It handles wood of all different sizes and shapes. The only modification I can see making would be to make me a "board slave" (free-standing board support) for jointing long boards by hand.
And if I ever decide to make my "ultimate" bench, I'll probably turn this one into a sharpening station or carving bench.
Chuck Vance
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I'm still using one I built around 1978.
It had a 2 X 4 frame with a top of two layers of 3/4 mdf. There was a back 8 inches where there was only 1 layer of 3/ 4 mdf in order to have a depression for small parts. I sealed it with polyurethane. It has been spilt on, pounded on, and moved cross country in a moving van with stuff stacked on it about 3-4 times.
Ugly but still going strong and I have never replaced the top. It has a bottom shelf and a double back rail with slots for putting bladed tools down into. Works for me.
RonT
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