I have been studying everyones work benches and noticed that most of them
are built out of maple. I understand that maple is very hard but I don't
think it is readily available where I live (Sask, Canada). Birch is very
common here but is it anywhere close to being as hard as maple? Does anyone
see anything wrong with using birch for a work bench? Regards. -Guy
If you have a Grainger near you they will sell you a 30"x72" maple bench top
for about $200. I bought one and glued one up. The one I made cost more.
BTW I thought the maple was the Canada national tree or something. Don't y'all
have a maple leaf on your flag?
I checked the Grainger website and they have complete work benches but I
didn't see just the maple top.........do you have to go right to a store to
buy the top alone? I think there is alot of maple in eastern Canada but not
here in Saskatchewan. Do you guys get maple shipped to you from long
distances or do you have some locally? Regards. -Guy
I am in Florida, we don't have any maple around me and that's where Grainger
sold me mine. It was pickup. They do have them in the catalog but shipping will
get you. These are Edsal products (printed on the box) and you can see them on
the Edsal web site. This thing came packaged with the back brace for the
workbench, just no legs. They assemble their workbenches on modules. Buy what
you want. I am using this as a kitchen island top. The one I glued up was the
matching peninsula but it was longer than I could buy and has an irregular
shape on one end.
I bought two of them. Would do it again, I have had them for about 2
years and they have worked well. I could not have bought the wood and
laminated it for the price I paid for the tops, even with shipping.
I got the rough maple for my workbench from the Windsor Plywood in
Langley BC. Check with your local Windsor to see if they bring in any
there. The wood I got was ~1" thick and a variety of widths and
lengths. My jointer, planer and table saw turned it into the top
If you're patient and have access to some hardwood pallets and a
There's lots of maple pallets out there. cut them into 2" slats and
laminate them up. It'd make a super solid top. Take the time to lay it
out properly and make sure you add holes for your dogs before you glue
it up (if you're using square dogs).
I am planning on going the pine 2 x 4 route but I would like to have
bench dogs as well and I am concerned about these prematurely
elongating. If I were to alternate in a few strips of hardwood at the
dog locations would I run into any significant shrink/expansion
problems? If so, any recommendation to counter it?
firstname.lastname@example.org (Bruce) wrote in message
email@example.com (daryl1138) wrote in message
Some folks recommend lining the dogholes with harder material, or
even drilling an oversize doghole, plugging it with hardwood and then
drilling your hole centered in the hardwood.
Personally, my top is made of laminated SYP (slightly less than 3"
thick) and I have noticed no signs of the dogholes elongating. (I've
been using it since February of 2001, so it's not old, but it's seen
almost daily use since then.)
I guess it partially depends on how you use dogs/dogholes as well.
I don't use them bearing against a face vise, rather I usually use
"Wonderdogs" in pairs, or little 6" clamps as hold-downs for planing
You could always start using the bench and see how they wear. If
it becomes a problem (most likely in *years*, not months), you could
either build your "ideal" bench, or retrofit your current one.
But leave us remember, there is pine and there is SYP, which is a LOT harder.
Anyone who doesn't believe that should try framing a couple rooms with the
stuff, using a hammer instead of a pneumatic nailer. It has been 20+ years, but
my hand still aches when I think about it.
Somewhat like framing with red oak, except that with the oak you expect the
"Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves."
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