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Novice Rambling Quickie #6: A new bench

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Blog entry by NewPickeringWdWrkr posted 1457 days ago 1789 reads 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: If you can't stand the heat ... Part 6 of Novice Rambling Quickie series no next part

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up the lumber for my workbench project.

Not maple, not beech, not birch, not even southern yellow pine.

That’s right, I’m making it out of local SPF – Spruce/Pine/Fir.

You see, to make a bench out of hardwood, the top alone is going to cost over $300 clams. I just can’t afford that right now, but I have a growing ‘honey-do’ list and I need something better than a piece of plywood on sawhorses because of my growing love of hand planes.

Searching around, I found a solution where a solid bench can be made from big box store lumber. Pop Wood has an article for a $175 workbench including vice hardware.

Tonight, my wife who is back home after surgery told me to go to the garage for a little while and that she would be fine. After making sure, and telling her I love her (ain’t she great?), I zipped out and started milling the 2×8 lumber down to size which has been acclimating for the last 2 weeks.

I managed to get all of the boards milled down to thickness, but only 4 boards glued together. With all the humidity, the glue was still gooey after an hour. Over night it will sit for sure to ensure drying.

-- Mike - Antero's Urban Wood Designs http://anterosurbanwooddesigns.com



7 comments so far

View wichle's profile

wichle

96 posts in 1552 days


#1 posted 1457 days ago

I have a workbench I built using a solid core institutional door. I bought it at a construction surplus warehous. It is heavy, flat, has a 1/4” thick birch surface. Cost – - -$10.00. You would be amazed at what treasures others call surplus.

Bill

-- Bill, Michigan "People don't come preassebled, but are glued together by life"

View Manitario's profile (online now)

Manitario

2265 posts in 1488 days


#2 posted 1457 days ago

there’s no shame in using SPF for projects!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View NewPickeringWdWrkr's profile

NewPickeringWdWrkr

338 posts in 1618 days


#3 posted 1457 days ago

Bill, I’ll have to check that out to see if there’s one nearby.

Rob – There sure isn’t. You just have to be very choosy on your board selection. Forklifts are murder on SPF and loose knots abound. I have a love hate relationship with shopping. I love the ‘getting the stuff home’, but the ‘shopping for stuff’ is a PITA IMO. I just don’t have any patience for it. Any thoughts on how to slow down?

-- Mike - Antero's Urban Wood Designs http://anterosurbanwooddesigns.com

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4340 posts in 1641 days


#4 posted 1457 days ago

Mike, most of the big things I make, including my workbench, are SPF. Hardwood (and especially exotic hardwood) is fine for small things but I’d need to marry into money for some of the things I’ve dreamed of (even in local hardwood). Good luck with this it should serve you well. Just remember one hour spent (or waited) now will be worth five, later.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View Woodcanuck's profile

Woodcanuck

128 posts in 1606 days


#5 posted 1457 days ago

Bill, you’ve got a good point there. I’m very envious of my brother who lives in the UK as he has several salvage ‘stores’ nearby that have everything from old lumber and flooring to garden statues, fireplaces and, yes, even the kitchen sink. These places can be a gold mine.

Mike…it’s pretty much hit and miss, but check out the Habitat for Humanity ReStores for things like old cabinet sets (they make decent shop cabinet storage on a budget), doors, “scrap” lumber, fasteners, hinges and even the occasional tool makes it way into the ReStore. There’s one in East York (near DVP and Eglinton).
Toronto Habitat ReStore

-- Ian - Life's a game, if you don't play, you can't win.

View NewPickeringWdWrkr's profile

NewPickeringWdWrkr

338 posts in 1618 days


#6 posted 1456 days ago

Thanks Ian, I’ll check it out. That makes 2 recommendations for HFH ReStores (1 from a non LJ friend). I do need some more cabinets to replace the crappy ones that are hard to organize eventually.

Martyn, I hear ya! Wood’s not cheap! A HW board here and there adds up!

-- Mike - Antero's Urban Wood Designs http://anterosurbanwooddesigns.com

View Dez's profile

Dez

1113 posts in 2682 days


#7 posted 1456 days ago

What works – works!!!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

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