Ordered (5) 18′ long 2×12s.
Cut them to half length, yielding (10) 9′ long 2×12s.
Ripped each into three equal pieces, yielding (30) 9′ 2×4s.
Planed the faces of each, reducing thickness to 1 3/8″.
Picked 24 good ones, divided into 4 groups of 6.
Started gluing up the four flitches (each will be 8 1/4″ wide x 3 1/2″ thick).
Each will be allowed to cure for 24 hours, then will be run through the planer.
Then the four bench segments will be glued together.
for about $100 in materials and $0 in labor (less, actually, because I’d be willing to pay for the experience!).
Here are two flitches being clamped at the same time (the difference between two 8 1/4″ flitches, and one extra wide 16 1/2″ flitch ? There’s one set of adjacent 2×4s in there that aren’t glued to each other!)