Roubo Workbench #10: One Man's Trash...

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Blog entry by Eric posted 06-03-2010 04:09 PM 3051 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Lumber Update Part 10 of Roubo Workbench series no next part

I went to the lumberyard today to check out the wood for my bench. For those who didn’t read my previous post(s), this is lumber that has been rejected by the timber export company for reasons unknown. Well today I learned that part of the reason the lumber is rejected is because it needs to be straight, knot-free, etc. the entire length of the board. When it’s not, the whole board is rejected (even though some of it might still be beautiful wood!).

The manager of the yard had apparently been looking here and there for the boards I needed (I told him the dimensions of everything, but said that I would be happy to cut it to length myself). Some of it has been cut to approximate length (with a little extra), while others are still long, ready to be cut into two or three boards. All the boards were well-marked, and the guy told me it’s all been kiln-dried. So I suppose that means it’s all ready to go once I get it home, huh?

I was worried that the wood would be garbage. I knew that if it was, I would probably still accept it because to not do so would be quite rude to my church friend (who arranged for it all to be given to me for free) and to the manager who went through the trouble to get it for me.

As it turned out, though, the wood in general looks quite nice, as far as I was able to tell. I could see a little cracking here and there, and a rough spot or two on some of the boards. But overall, the boards appear to be in good shape and I think will work well for my bench. The manager even gave me several extra boards of various lengths, so even if some of the boards are unusable, I may be okay with the extras. Worst case scenario I have to go to a different lumberyard to buy a board or two as replacements.

Next step: Early next week the manager and I will take the lumber to a different place for planing (apparently he doesn’t prep the wood at all – merely sells it). What do you think – I’d only need to have the faces planed, right? Or should I get it S4S? I’ll have to pay for the planing, but what a small price to pay. Click on the pic for a larger view; that’s my soon-to-be benchtop there in the foreground!

-- Eric at

12 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


113836 posts in 2669 days

#1 posted 06-03-2010 05:14 PM

Your talking about that whole stack of wood? you could build six benches with that Wow how nice are they?

-- Custom furniture

View woodworm's profile


14144 posts in 2682 days

#2 posted 06-03-2010 05:46 PM

Oh Jim you’re scarring me…I guess the stack on the centre. Am I right Eric?.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View ZeroThreeQuarter's profile


120 posts in 2149 days

#3 posted 06-03-2010 06:17 PM

with the money saved on the wood you could invest in a planer and do it yourself..

nice score on the wood, definitely makes me jealous.. keep us posted on this project!

-- Your mind, much like a parachute, works best when open.

View skeeter's profile


233 posts in 2433 days

#4 posted 06-03-2010 06:50 PM

nice score. get the 2 faces planed. if your building roubo then you are going to have a very thick top all face glued together.

-- My philosophy: Somewhere between Norm and Roy

View HokieMojo's profile


2103 posts in 2820 days

#5 posted 06-03-2010 08:24 PM

Nice! Do you know what kind of wood it is?

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 2765 days

#6 posted 06-03-2010 09:20 PM

Nice! What kind of wood it is.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5784 posts in 2677 days

#7 posted 06-03-2010 09:28 PM

You don’t get that offer every day for free well done I am JEALOUSLY SICK AND HATE YOU.LOL Alistair wish it were mine.

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Eric's profile


873 posts in 2875 days

#8 posted 06-03-2010 11:43 PM

As to the type of wood, it’s called seraya – which, from my little searching around, is possibly a type of meranti.

Appreciate the congrats and jealousy! :)

-- Eric at

View HokieMojo's profile


2103 posts in 2820 days

#9 posted 06-05-2010 08:28 PM

cool, thanks for the response. I just checked some images online of planes material. boy does it look nice. Good luck. I can’t wait to see what you do with it. I hope I run accross some of this stuff some day.

View ratchet's profile


1337 posts in 2878 days

#10 posted 02-09-2011 08:39 PM

ok you got some amazing wood for the right price. Did a bench get built?

View 8iowa's profile


1519 posts in 2853 days

#11 posted 02-09-2011 08:48 PM

I saw, close up, Chris Schwarz’s Roubo bench the WIA Conference last October. For his top he obtained a huge slab of cherry. It has a decent crack on one end, but doesn’t affect functionality.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Eric's profile


873 posts in 2875 days

#12 posted 02-10-2011 07:52 AM

Ratchet, it’s still in progress. Thanks for the bump – I needed that! :)

-- Eric at

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