Poll: Wood type
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bench wood species?
  Re: bench wood species? by mound (Is your bench made o...)
My main bench...
The frame is constructed of Douglas fir, dimensioned stock.
The top is laminated: 3/4" fir plywood, 3/4" particleboard, 1/4" tempered Masonite on top. After laminating, I hard edged it with 4/4 beech. 4' X 8' X 1 3/4"
I used to give some oil/varnish mix after every couple of years. I haven't done that for a while. If it gets chewed up, I patch with a dutchman or Bondo.
  Re: bench wood species? by mound (Is your bench made o...)
I am going to make mine with eastern Hemlock. I have a lot of it on my property and I have put a lot of it through my sawmill. I figure I might as well use what I have beside it is free.
  Re: bench wood species? by mound (Is your bench made o...)
(04-17-2017, 09:19 PM)mound Wrote: >> Is your bench made of softwood or hardwood?  <<


>>Which species did you choose and why?  <<

Primary wood is Douglas Fir.  The front edge of the bench, leg vise, crochet, and deadman are hard maple.  All these items take the majority of the abuse, and the hard maple holds up well.

But I wouldn't hesitate to build an entire bench from Douglas Fir.  I have a line on several 6" x 12" x 20' Douglas Fir timbers, and would use those for a bench.
True power makes no noise - Albert Schweitzer.       It's obvious he was referring to hand tools
  Re: bench wood species? by mound (Is your bench made o...)
I'm on my third bench top. My first bench top was QS sycamore. It was pretty but way to soft and not thick enough. My second one was hard maple. It was har enough but I wanted something a little thicker. I chop a whole lot of dovetails and I have to resurface my bench at least once a year. I end up with a chewed up spot where I chop dovetails. After awhile i need to take a little off the surface to flatten the area out. I usually just throw it on a CNC router and take about 1/8" off and it is good as new. My current top started out at about 4 1/2" thick. It is 35x84 so it is a bear to move but I love how solid it is.
  Re: bench wood species? by mound (Is your bench made o...)
Lately,  I've started to use a layer of plywood under the parts being chopped for dovetails and box joints......plywood can be moved until a new spot is used.    saves the top of my well used bench. Cool
Show me a picture, I'll build a project from that
  Re: bench wood species? by mound (Is your bench made o...)
Bandit, I've tried using plywood and several other methods but they are all a pain. I probably cut at least 10K dovetails a year on my bench so while I don't do much damage to my bench when chopping each dovetail it all adds up over the year. Using something under what I am chopping dovetails in just tends to slow me down and get in the way. In the long run I would rather just resurface my bench from time to time and save the hassle of the putting something under my work.
  Re: bench wood species? by mound (Is your bench made o...)
My workbench is made with Douglas fir 4x4's. It's great. I had a good thread on making it here on Woodnet once, but the thread fell victim to the old "one year without a reply and the thread gets deleted" rule. There's a summary of how I built it here: http://giantcypress.net/tagged/roubo/chrono

The two main criteria for picking a wood species for your bench are:

1. Cheap
2. Stiff

Stiffness is good for the top. But any wood can be made stiff enough for a workbench if the top is thick enough.

Overall, I like having my bench made with a softer wood. If I place a workpiece down on my bench, and something gets trapped between my workpiece and the bench top, the softer one will take the dent. I'd rather that be my workbench than the piece I'm working on.
Hail St. Roy, Full of Grace, The Schwarz is with thee.
Blessed art thou among woodworkers, and blessed is the fruit of thy saw, dovetails.
Holy St. Roy, Master of Chisels, pray for us sharpeners now, and at the hour of planing.
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