What would you use?


I'm picking up some KD maple this weekend to finally build a workbench. The guy has about 150 BF of 8/4 and plenty of 4/4. Originally I was going to get all 4/4 but after thinking about it I can't see any reason except the $.30 difference not to get 8/4. The main thing steering me to the 8/4 is thicker stock means less glue up. I can't seem to find any single thing that would make 4/4 a must have.
I'm building something fairly simple. A Veritas Twin-Screw on one end and a front vise of some sort. Round dog holes and a simple mortise and tenon base. Most likely a tool tray of some sort.
Does anyone have an opinion or experience of his or her own to share that might help me decide?
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joeD wrote:

This one is a no brainer.
8/4 allows you to get some quarter sawn pieces, 4/4 does not.
There is nothing quite like the look of quarter sawn lumber, IMHO.
Lew
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I'm failing to see how 4/4 does not allow the boards to be quarter sawn. It can be quarter sawn just the same as 8/4. Can't it?
-j
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J wrote:

Yes, but you often und up with small pieces.
Easier job with 8/4 stock.
Lew
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Lew,
I'm all for QS wood. All of the things that are good about it structurally apply to a bench as well. However, if you take 24 flat sawn 1x3 boards and laminte them to make a 3-inch-thick by 24" top, you have created what is essentially one big honk'n QS board.
My point is that to end up with a QS top you need flatsawn boards, because the laminations a turned on edge.
-Steve

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Stephen M wrote:

That works for me.
Laminating 1x stock will yield a better top than laminating 2x stock; however, I was looking past the bench at other possible projects.
Lew
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8/4. You're going to have enough flattening, straightening, aligning and mortising to do, without buying yourself more. Besides, the heavier stock is traditional on a workbench.
Of course, at my shop, glued-up 2x construction lumber, with an oops door from the door shop is traditional.
But I won't be posting any pictures to FWW Current Work of that bench. ;-)
Patriarch
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Ahh, they don't know what they are missing. <g>. I'm a proud owner of a door (birch I might add) workshop table. SH
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Me too. Mine was part of a closet door from a few moves ago. I have a Sjoberg work bench, but it is always getting buried with stuff. When I need to, I pull down the closet door from its overhead rack, put it up on horses and I have a nice clean work surface. When I am done, it can be put away.
Steve

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It's pretty easy to make round dog holes - all you need is a drill - but if you use 4/4 at least for the parts of the bench that will have the rows of dog holes, it's even easier to make square ones: just don't put any wood there.
Given what you're looking at... I think I'd go with mostly 8/4, and use 4/4 where I wanted dog holes.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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3/4" thick, easy to saw out the slats with 88 ends and integrate them into the gang gluing between the 8/4 pieces. Might do that! DING!
--
Alex - newbie_neander in woodworking
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
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One consideration is for glue up, you'll be able to pull in 4/4 stock easier with the clamps if you have any bow, etc. and need to clamp out the gaps. 8/4 will be a lot harder to make behave. If you do it, I'd suggest pipe clamps with crank handles so you can really get some squeeze wher you need it.
When I do edge grain cutting boards or cutting board tops I mix it up with 4/4 and 6/4. I do sort of a random mix just to add interest to the piece. When I am building a wide piece (like the 2 - 2"x24"x36" I just did), I glue up several 8 to 9" wide slabs first. Then the next day I glue up the slabs into the final piece. Maple is notorious for bowing and trying to glue up a 24" wide slab of sticks in one shot would likely end up with some un-closable gaps out in the cenetr; even with the best jointing.
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When I did it, I had 5/4 Maple. The boards were as thick as I could make them getting 2 sides surfaced. That is anywhere between 7/8 and 1-1/8 that lent a little bit of randomness.
I glued up 4 6-inch subassemblies, and rejointed those before final glue-up.
A whole top at once sounds insane to me.
-Steve
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