Workbench Lumber

Page 2 of 3  
Josh wrote:

Chances are good it will be %18 moisture. That's just the way it is for construction lumber. If you can get Southern Yellow Pine construction lumber where you are, that would be far superior to spruce. Also, you may want to consider buying 2x12s instead of 2x4s, then ripping them to the widths you need. The advantage of this is that 2x12s tend to be clearer and straighter.
Let it sit for a week and you should be fine. The boards that are cooler to the touch are wetter...use them for the legs. Use the driest boards for the stretchers, and the rest for the top. This way the legs will shrink more than the stretchers and the mortises in the legs will tighten down on your stretcher tenons.

It is a very reasonable plan. I highly recommend buying/borrowing Christopher Schwarz's recent workbench book. It discusses what a workbench needs to do and different ways of doing it, along with two (three if you get the CD) workbench designs of very different styles. Very well written.

Probably overkill. A single row of dog holes near the front, with widely spaced holes 6" in from the back for use with holdfasts/holddowns will likely work better. The end vise should be right at the front edge, with a thick (3" or so) wooden jaw containing a single dog hole in the middle. Put a row of dog holes in the workbench about 4" apart in line with the hole in the vise, and you're set.
Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Green Doug Fir is also far superior to kiln dried spruce. Doug fir is supposed to be exceptionally stable when drying, unlike other woods. THAT is why it is about the only lumber that is routinely sold green.
It will shrink as it dries, but is not supposed to cup as other woods will. Kiln dried spruce construction lumber will only be kiln dried to about 18% moisture content and would probably move worse as it dries than will the green Doug Fir. than the
Doug Fir is about as hard as Southern yellow pine.
I'm not surprised the lumber company will exchange kiln dried spruce for green Doug Fir.
I would too!
--
FF

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Josh wrote:

Be aware that spruce is very soft. It's not really a good choice for a bench top. It's light, strong for its weight, and nice to work with, but it's very, very easy to knock a dent into it. Try pressing your thumbnail into a piece of spruce, then into a piece of fir, then into a piece of the soft maple that Home Depot sells and you'll see a significant difference in hardness. If they've got some cutoffs, try banging a corner of each into the other and then imagine what your bench is going to be like after a few years of that.

Do you have a Workmate or the Stanley FatMax project center that's the same idea? If not, you might want one--they're very handy things to have around. If you look closely at the file you linked you'll notice that a Workmate appears in many of the photos.

Because when you're done with it you'll have something that's going to last. I think you'll also be surprised at how much easier it is to work with cabinet-grade maple than with construction-grade fir.

You still put a racking load on the vise, which unless the vise is purpos-designed to accept such loads is eventually going to wreck it.

Do you have the Scott Landis book? Chiseling the dog holes is doing it the hard way if you're going with square. He shows a couple of alternative methods of making them IIRC.

I wouldn't call it a "major waste of time"--it's going to be far more useful than the floor--but considering the time you're going to put into making it, using better materials and a better design would be worthwhile. Yeah, get some spruce too, cut it to the same dimensions as your maple, and use it to check your setups before you cut the maple or birch or whatever you decide to use.
If you need a set of plans to work from, Lee Valley has three nice sets and sells all the hardware needed to make them. They tell you everything you need to know and as long as you remember to measure twice and cut once, and do a dry assembly and mark what goes where before each glue up you should be fine.
--
--
--John
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
J. Clarke wrote:

There's also a school of thought that says make a cheap first bench and learn as you go, use it for a few years and change it around to see what you like, then make a better one once you know your preferences.
A softer top does have the advantage that if you accidently drop a workpiece on the edge of the top it's less likely to damage the workpiece.
Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Chris Friesen wrote:

I tend to concur w/ the latter view -- one thing that is pretty effective and inexpensive for a first bench is to use the construction lumber then lay a piece of masonite or similar hardboard on top--a couple small brads countersunk can hold it down but not be a problem w/ edges and if it gets destroyed it's easy/cheap to replace. It's surprisingly durable as well as smooth...
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Don't knock the workmate, you can do a whole lot with them. Including build a workbench.

Why, indeed? Build what you are capable of building Now with the least expensive materials that will do the job and *not frustrate you* by being difficult to to work or warping within weeks. When you know you want to continue woodworking and know the type of woodworking you like doing, Then build your ultimate bench. You may even find you have already built it.
The suggested books are still worth reading Now, as they do have tips on Simple work benches. The Landis book, IIRC, even has a chapter devoted to the workmate.
LD

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm slowly putting together ideas for a new (small) bench to fit beside the old bench in our cramped garage. I thought a hardwood butcher-block top would be nice until I started checking prices. Guess where I found reasonably-priced butcher-block tops? Ikea. They make them in various sizes for kitchen cabinets, and one is perfect for the size bench I'd like to build and way cheaper than anybody else I've seen. I might slap a sheet of plywood underneath it to be sure it will support a couple of vises with no problems, but I think I've found the top I wanted and it won't need drying.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
DGDevin wrote:

The main problem with that is that the butcher-block top will expand and contract with humidity changes, while the plywood will not. As long as you plan for this, you shouldn't have any problems.
Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Why don't you double the top up with 3/4" plywood and with a 1/8" masonite top that you could turn over when the top gets beat up? I would also band the edges with 2" by 3/4" hardwood.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I appreciate everyone's input. Based on other websites and forums, people that have built this bench seem to be happy with it and use it for many years to develop their skills. I'm sorry if I've offended the purists here :-) . I can appreciate their views because I'm the same way with guitars and musical instruments.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Josh I think you have the right attitude. Listen to the purists and take them with a grain of salt.
Build it.
I have the killer euro-maple-bench but it took me a long time to get there. Developing you woodworking skills is an iterative process as is upgrading your tooling to match your skills.
Others have mentioned the Landis book; buy it. It addresses all types of benches spanning European, Japanese, Plywood and even a chapter on the workmate. Live with the tubafor bench for a couple of years and you will have a better idea of the style of bench that will best suit your needs for the long term. That book will give you a broad selection of designs from which to draw ideas.
-Steve
--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That occured to me but I'm not sure how to address that. If the idea is to in effect make the top thicker and tougher to support vises without danger of cracking, what would be the best way to go about that provided I want to stay with the butcher-block top?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
DGDevin wrote:

I"m guessing that expansion slots in the plywood for screws routed in the direction that's across the maple grain would take care of the expansion/contraction. And no glue on the ply/maple surfaces.
But is that enough to hold the ply to the maple?
--
Tanus

This is not really a sig.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I don't know if this is any cheaper or better, but in the current Woodcraft sales flyer[1] that arrived in the mail today, I see they've got laminated maple bench tops on sale. I was going put up a URL, but Woodcraft's web site is still showing the old sales flyer. In case you don't receive it, here's what they're offering:
    24" x 60" 70 lbs    regular: $249.99    sale: $199.99     30" x 60" 88 lbs    regular: $269.99    sale: $215.99     24" x 84" 98 lbs    regular: $299.99    sale: $239.99
For those like me, with no Ikea near by, but have a Woodcraft store in the area . . .
--

If you want to reply via email, change the obvious words to numbers and
remove ".invalid".
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Grizzly sells laminated maple bench tops at
http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/2008/Main/270
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

While the woodcraft ones are of a different class the Ikea ones are 30 Bucks for some sizes.
Solid Beech Length: 48 7/8 ", Depth: 15 ", Thickness: 1 1/8 " $29.99
Length: 73 1/4 ", Depth: 25 5/8 ", Thickness: 1 1/8 " $59.99
Not too shabby. Put some 3/4" ply under that and you should have a nice rigid top.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40091673
This is the one I was thinking of, about 25 x 50 for $89.00, for some reason I remembered it being more like $50 but apparently that's for the 15" deep version which is too small for my purposes.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

While on that page, select 'oak' and zoom in on it.
Doesn't look like oak to me--looks more like stained rubber wood or ramin. The beech does look like beech.
--
FF

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

After selecting oak the page does claim that it is solid Oak.
product description & measurements Solid oak, Oil
I would guess that if it wasn't solid oak that they would be sued. IKEA would make a pretty big target for false claims lawsuits
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 27 Jan 2008 12:25:36 -0800 (PST), yugami

It doesn't say what KIND of oak. Oak is a bit like a DOG. just because you recognize one breed doesn't mean you recognize another. (think Jack Russel vs St Bernard)
--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.