Small Workbench #2: The Lumber

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Blog entry by Mike Lingenfelter posted 12-30-2007 09:12 PM 2009 reads 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The Design Part 2 of Small Workbench series Part 3: The Base »

I chose to use Douglas Fir for this bench. I’m considering using Douglas Fir on a larger workbench I’m planning to build, and wanted to see how it was to work with. The jury is still out for me. For the most part it was an easy wood to work with. Although I had a lot of problems cleaning up my mortises. The sides of the mortises running with the grain tore and splinter very easily. The end grain cleaned up very nicely. Maybe this problem was caused by the “quality” of lumber I ended up buying.

In my first attempts to find Douglas Fir, I was striking out. You would think I could find it everywhere, here in the Northwest. I ended up buying this lumber at a local lumber yard (Dunn Lumber). Since then, I have found a couple other places that sell higher quality Douglas Fir. The lumber I bought was regular 2×4s. I had to do some digging through the 2×4s to find what I did. All of the boards had knots and twists I had to work with.


I was able to layout my pieces to cutout most of the big knots. When I was done milling up the boards I ended up with some nice pieces.


I even had a few nice straight grain pieces.


2 comments so far

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

767 posts in 4201 days

#1 posted 12-31-2007 06:45 AM

For your next bench project, try looking through the 2×8, 2×10, and 2×12 boards. You’ll usually find better quality, straighter lumber and a more reasonable price. You’ll have to do a lot less trimming to get rid of the rounded edges, too.

Just a suggestion…

-- Ethan,

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3700 days

#2 posted 04-04-2009 07:01 PM

Nice start, I cant find Douglas Fir around here I will use Poplar for my next bench.

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