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.