I’ve made a few more visits to Home Depot and combed through pallets of Burrill 2×4s. I was a little surprised how quickly HD seems to sell through them: over 1-1/2 weeks my local store sold four pallets worth of those 2×4s. I looked through almost all of them, so if my math is right I probably checked 1000+ 2×4s and ended up picking out 44 of them. I found a number of them that are 100% knot-free. Many have a large knot-free area, and most that do have knots are live and at a reasonable spot on the board. There are some with dead knots, but they are still very nice and between legs and stretchers I hope to cut around and avoid those completely. So, I’m feeling pretty good about my wood selection.
The Burrill wood is kiln-dried, but I still want to let it sit for a while before working with it to acclimate to my basement and do whatever moving it wants to do. 44 2×4s is quite a bit more than I need—I was estimating needing 32—so I will have plenty to choose from in case any do move much. I should be able to pick out enough nice pieces for the bench no matter what.
I wanted to store these the right way, with stickers to keep airflow moving. So I pulled out a few pieces of scrap wood and cut up a bunch of stickers yesterday.
Once I had a big pile of stickers I put them to use and stacked the wood nicely. A good-looking pile!
About this time last year I wanted to get into woodworking and so I bought a Black Friday table saw, so I could get started. I used it a bit, but really, it wasn’t near as much fun as I hoped. I found I was also quite restricted by what I could do because in the evening when I got to go work in the shop my son was already in bed—I can’t run the table saw and wake him. With that restriction, I found hand tools, which I have been finding to be much more fun. Yay!
So, I’ll be building this bench with hand tools (mostly, at least). That’s cool. It will be lots of opportunity to use my planes. But, my, that is a big pile of wood. Planing will take a very long time. Maybe a lunchbox planer would be a good idea. Maybe power tools aren’t all bad. It could take the build time from months and months and months to just months and months.