Workbench Build #5: I've Got Wood!

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Blog entry by Airframer posted 02-06-2013 02:20 AM 3216 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: More work on the vise plus a failed trip to the local mill... Part 5 of Workbench Build series Part 6: What have I got myself into! Oak Delivered Today.. »

I was on the phone with that lumber yard just down the street this morning just asking if they could get what I needed (they don’t have much on hand) and they called up their mill and it turns out they can get me some 8/4 6” -8” x 9’ – 10’ Red Oak stock for 4.50/BF. That was a smidge higher than I was looking to pay but they will deliver it to my house for free which saves me a lot on gas so it was a deal.

I placed an order for 60bf of the Red Oak and they will have it in on Thursday so it looks like I’ll be kicking up dust finally this weekend. I am going to go with Douglas Fir for the base since it is plentiful at my local orange store in various sizes and for cheap. I’m also planning to look at some of the exotic boards they had in the yard for some accents on the leg vise and end caps (why the heck not right?).

No progress pics of any kind just yet but it was an exciting day to finally get a supplier for the top!

Only thing left to do this week is make some room in the shop for the delivery and possibly make up a storage rack of some kind to keep it off the floor while I am building.

Now… I do have a question.. What kind of prep work on the wood will I need to do once I get it? I have only ever worked with big box wood before and never wood from a saw mill. I assume I’ll need to square an edge and plane to an even thickness then rip? Or square, rip then plane? How green is it usually? If it is green how long does oak typically take to dry enough to work? I guess I need to get a moisture meter. Any in particular on the market that don’t break the bank?

Sorry for the question spam I am just trying to prepare for Thursday.

Thanks for reading and keep those comments coming!

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

3 comments so far

View grfrazee's profile


388 posts in 2162 days

#1 posted 02-06-2013 07:35 PM

You may need more than 60 boardfeet. Just as a quick check, a 2’-0” x 4” x 8’-0” benchtop will is exactly 64 boardfeet in volume (4” x 24” x 96” / 144). You will lose thickness and width on those boards during milling. I probably would have gotten at least 70 boardfeet to be safe, assuming your benchtop is similar to the dimensions I just described.

Do some Googling for rough-sawn board milling and you should be able to answer your preparation questions. The green-ness of the boards depends on whether or not the boards are kilned/air-dried or not. If I recall correctly, oak is pretty wet when freshly cut.

-- -=Pride is not a sin=-

View Airframer's profile


3043 posts in 1976 days

#2 posted 02-07-2013 12:48 AM

The dimensions planned for the top are 4” x 24” x 72” which works out to 48/bf. I could also extend the length of it to 84” and it would still come in under at 56/bf but I think a 6’ length is just right for the room it’s going in.

I’m excited to receive my first actual wood order. I also can’t wait to finally start cutting wood on this thing! It’s going to be a learning experience all the way through and I know I will be bugging you guys with more stupid questions as I go along lol.

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1971 days

#3 posted 02-08-2013 06:50 PM

I just bought 3 red oak 9/4×10 x 18’ for $30.
they were clean to no knots any where.
Did I do alright?

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