pine or spf for beginners bench? prices, etc.

Hello,
(Apologies in advance if this is a really dumb question.)
I've been looking at wood for my first workbench, and I'm looking for recommendations on wood to use. Most of the beginners bench plans recommend using standard framing lumber, so I'll stick to that or other softwoods.
I've managed to find quotes for 4x4 posts in both SPF and #3 pine, but the price discrepancy is large. The SPF stuff is about CAD 0.90 per linear ft at a local (in-Toronto) lumberyard, and #3 pine, S4S (with corners) is CAD 2 per linear ft at a REAL lumberyard waaaaaaaaay out in the countryside.
Is pine inherently more expensive than SPF? I looked at tables listing strengths of softwoods, but the numbers vary by exact species, are all quite close, and I'm not sure how to interpret them. Are there any characteristics (warping, hardness, etc) that would favor one over the other?
(I like the pine, as it all comes with un-rounded corners.)
Thanks!
- Daniel
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On 7 May 2004 11:38:28 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net (Daniel) wrote:

You didn't mention whether you have the tools to properly dimension your lumber before building.
Assuming you own a way to joint, plane and square your stock, I'd suggest building out of the cheapest crapola you can find.
My basis for this suggestion is your specifying that this is your _first_ workbench. Cool. Have a ball. You're going to make some mistakes, and you won't cry over a wasted tubafor.
I made my first workbench out of _pressure treated_ 2X stock, because it had the one characteristic I was looking for. It was free. Glued up the legs and rails giving me almost 3 inch thickness, half lapped all the joints, glued and screwed it all together. Made a top by laminating 2 inch-and-a-half thick _conference room doors_ that were on their way to the landfill. Even cut down to about 2X6', the top weighs a ton.
It's a real frankenbench, but the only thing wrong with it is... it's indestructable.
It won't die. I can't even get it to rack. If I could, I could justify throwing it away and making one that looks good, but this one appears to be here to stay. 'Sides, it's so ugly it's cute. :)
And did I mention it was _free?_ Free is good.
Michael
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SPF stands for spruce/pine/fir or more perhaps more accurately: one of the above, we neither know nor care what species.
What wou are likely looking at is pine vs. pine. The difference my be in that 2-by lumber is generally not dried to the same specs. Consequently 2x4's tend the pretzel if not turned into a wall quickly (or some other structure like perhaps a bench) which will counteract the tendency of individual boards to warp as they please as they acclimate from their generally wet state to the current environment.
The S4S is likely to be much more dry to start with. I'll bet that it has fewer knots too.
I have used plenty of 2-by lumber for shop stuff, but I generally use stuff which has been around for a while and then joint/plane it.
-Steve
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Daniel wrote:>(Apologies in advance if this is a really dumb question.)

Sorry, but what's SPF?(sun protection factor? Something pressure formed?Southern pine fir?) First bench? Use the standard framing lumber, not the S4S, and if you can get kiln-dried, more's the better, less the warpage. Let your _second_ bench reflect more of your "personality".Tom Someday, it'll all be over....
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I didn't know what SPF is either. I suppose that is because I seldom buy lumber at the BORG. :-)

not
warpage.
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My current bench was built with a SPF equivalent. It's about ten years old now and will probably outlive me.
--
Mike G.
snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net
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snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net (Daniel) wrote:
For the bench support I don't think it makes a big difference what you use. For the bench top I would consider plywood or MDF. Use a double thickness of 3/4" material and glue the pieces together. You will not have problems with gaps on shrinkage. The top will be much smoother. Add an edging of hardwood to reduce the chips at the exposed edge.
Dick

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You may if you want some FREE pine check with your local glass place, they get large wooden packing crates for metal doors. I have picked up 2' x 12' x (4',6',8',10', even on occasian 12' long pieces. The only draw back is you have to be a Sampson to lift some of them, and dismantle them when at your shop. So bring along a friend or two to help lift this FREE wood. Offer them a six-pack or two only after returning to the shop. don't want an accident. Soak the nails in vinagar to make a great stain.

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