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.
Out here around Balmore/Washington DC all the constrauction grade
lumber is kiln dried to ~ 12%. Green lumber would rot on the
'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
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
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
Don't worry about the naysayers- most benches are made of framing
lumber, and almost all of them work just fine.
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.
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.
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