where can I find some beech for a workbench top?


Hi guys, I'm trying to make a workbench top and I'd like to use some beech. I can't find it locally near Green Bay, WI. I don't suppose anybody happens to have a good internet supplier. :) I can find maple in a 5/4 for 3.29/bd ft. right in town. Would that be a good substitute? Thanks
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I was looking into getting a solid wood table top for a work bench. I found that I could but ready made 6 and 8 quarter maple tops for about the same price that I could get the wood for. I know Grizzly has some, so does Woodcraft. I went to my local hardwood supplier, where they give me a wholesale price. You may be able to get them through Home Despot, or some of the other bigger stores. robo hippy
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Yeah, that's exactly what I'm trying to figure out. I can buy one from Sears with two vises for $279 http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&vertical=SEARS&pid965547000&tabήl#tab
or I could make one and put exactly the vises I wanted on it, plus make it the exact size I need.

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Pete:
At woodfinder.com there is a listing for a Co-op timber company out on Washington Island a short drive from GB.
They list as having Beech, but just a small bit of info about the place at www.woodfinder.com so be sure to call ahead for how much beech they have.
BTW: Beech wood bench top is more of an European thing. More important than the wood species of the bench top is the top being flat and stable. Maple would be my choice just for the $$$. Ready made bench tops as mentioned in post above, are very stable. But do watch the cost of shipping that much weight.
Phil

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I've been looking around at some of the benches that are commercially made and they mostly seem to be made from beech. They also seemed to be of a European flavor as well, at least the ones I saw. I figured if a bench that cost over a grand used beech, they must know what they're doing so it would be great for my little homemade deal too. But, now armed with proper information, I think I'm going to make my own and do it with the maple option. Thanks for the help. Pete

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Blew this once. I'll try again. You're not making do. You're doing better. The beech workbenches you see are European red beech, for the most part, a wood that is more stable than American beech. In the U.S., and Canada, hard maple is the way to go.
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On Mon, 23 Jan 2006 00:39:07 GMT, "Charles Self"

I agree.
I have a local dealer who sells "European Steamed Beech" and I have a purchased European beech bench.
Maple is cheaper in the US, and better for benches. I believe euro benches are beech because they don't have access to reasonably priced North American maple.
European beech is good, North American maple is better!
Use maple!
Barry
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American beech is not really stable enough for a fine work bench top. Here, hard maple is better. European red beech is a whole different tale. It's very stable.
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Pete,
Maple works well. I went that route. My lumber guy sells "sap maple" for about that price. He also sells "brown maple" It's the same species (sugar/hard maple) but it has some dark heartwood showing. Technically, it is a lower grade of lumber because of these cosmetic defects. IME, it works just the same and he sells it for $1.90/bf. I use it for all of my shop stuff.
Ask around you could save quite a bit of $$ if you can find a similar deal.
-Steve

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It would be a better bench. American beech is a different animal, uncooperative when drying, anything but good-looking with wide unremarkable sapwood, and likely to do a break dance in a damp basement come summer. In the UP you can't give it away. Pallet lumber or pulp is what it's used for.
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and $8.95 a b/f for the same purpose in a bench top, so, you have it good.
--
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
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Thanks for the great info, guys. Now I just have to actually make a decision on whether to buy the ready-made one or if I want to make my own. Decisions, decisions.... Thanks again Pete

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wrote:

Maple makes a great top. I made mine from hard maple about 15 years ago. It's still in great shape and probably will be until long after I've left this earth.
Some will point out that buying a top is possible, or even buying a ready to go bench.
Those are good alternatives, but I must point out that building your own from rough lumber allows practicing the skills that you'll use when you make the furniture you'll put on the bench. Plus, you can get the features you want. Take a look at a book by Landis, "The Workbench Book." In it the author shows several styles and the evolution of workbenches. You could pick and choose the kinds of vices and the various helpers benches have used. Things like a board jack or holdfasts. The particular features you choose should aid you in the type of work you do or plan to.
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Just a little information. Kettle Moraine Hardwoods, located in Hartford, WI carries beech. I know that may be a little far for you, however, they do have a web site and I know they ship. Do a google search for them, they have all their prices posted.
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I am not sure where you are from, but The Wood Rack in Branford CT ha beautiful european steamed beech , and it is cheap 3.75 bf. 4/4 and 8/4
pawel

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