Reply by Les Casteel

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Posted on Making a workbench from 2" x 4" lumber

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Les Casteel

160 posts in 3203 days

#1 posted 03-14-2010 08:56 PM

Yeah, in my neck of the woods, I can buy Southern Yellow Pine at the Home Depot. Its real convenient. Its tough and it will harden over time till you almost can’t put a nail into it. Technically although coniferous it’s a hardwood. It also does quite well for the bench top when laminated together with a nice long all-thread to hold it all together. My problem with doug fir is that it splinters like crazy in my opinion.

Also, since you probably probably don’t want to put a bunch of time into it, I always used Faux mortise and tenons instead of milling them. For instance the legs. I would make a 5” x 5” leg. You take a 2” x 6” and rip to 5”. Then laminate 3 of them for the leg. You leave gaps in the inside board that are exactly 5” wide. The gaps become mortises. Then when you make the rails you laminate 3 more boards the same way, except you make the middle board 10” longer than the outside…you then have an instant 5” tenon on each end of the board. They slip right into the mortises and I would usually just clamp them and drill a couple of holes for dowels. Disassemble, add some glue clamp them back up and drive in the dowels. My grand-father used this technique to build timber frame barns when I was a kid. It goes really, really fast and looks really cool.

Email me if my instructions were not clear and you want to try it.

-- Les, Missouri,

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