Wood for a Workbench.

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Ba r r y wrote:

Way back when Builders Square was still in operation, they supplied kiln dried lumber, but I would bet at least 90% of the construction lumber in SoCal is "wet", but NBD.
Stack it up in the SoCal sun for a couple of weeks and it is bone dry and hasn't warped.
At least the stuff I buy hasn't warped.
Coming from the Midwest where kiln dried lumber was standard, I asked about why the SoCal lumber was wet.
The answer I got was that Doug fir could be used wet without problems, but not Spruce which is why so much of it shows up back east.
YMMV
Lew
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Out here around Balmore/Washington DC all the constrauction grade lumber is kiln dried to ~ 12%. Green lumber would rot on the shelf.
'Kiln dried' lumber is not all dreid to the point of maximum stablity. COnstruction lumber, even when kiln dried, is typically NOT kiln dried to stability, as cabinet lumber would be.
As OP noted, that is usualy fine for utilitarian workbenches and sawhorses.
--

FF


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They'll do that. I made my router table and work bench out of standard 2"x4" framing studs from the crappiest place in town, and they have held up just fine. Two caveats to this- first is that I selected straight lumber from the stack (which took a while) and second is that the upper and lower frames were bolted to the legs using lag screws. To keep the lad screws from stripping out where they bored into end grain, I drilled out 3/4" holes and glued in hardwood dowels to accept the screws. Everything is still nice and tight.

2" x 4" is plenty thick, if you double it up.

Only suggestion besides the two mentioned above is that you rip 2" x 4"s to a 3" width using two rip cuts to remove the rounded portions- especially if you are laminating them for a top. I handplaned my entire benchtop without doing this, and really wish I had thought of that beforehand...
Don't worry about the naysayers- most benches are made of framing lumber, and almost all of them work just fine.
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Douglas Fir or Hemlock that has been Kiln dried works fine. Sort through the pile of higher grade 2x at the borg for the knot free stuff and go for it.
My first ww project as a newbie was a bench. Didn't want to trash cash wreaking maple, so I did the pine. Worked up my own plans combing two bench ideas that I liked. Made mine longer, deeper, no tool tray, etc.
http://www.terraclavis.com/bws/beginners.htm http://www.popularwoodworking.com/features/fea.asp?id 69
After a year it's still flat. Sure it's more susceptible to dents but who cares. It's my first bench and can be planed again if need be. Some day when my skills have increased, I will take on a new bench.
Warren
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