21st Century Workbenches Project #4: A small change in wood and a huge savings in money and we are now off and running the build Begins

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Blog entry by thedude50 posted 05-28-2012 12:19 AM 1884 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Still waiting for the wood and a other option Part 4 of 21st Century Workbenches Project series Part 5: the first top is done Yea I am Happy »

Well we were left scratching our hears and the word got out on LJ that I needed a bunch Of Maple to build these 2 workbenches. During another project Medic Ken Said John Ormsby had some wood for sale to make a bench or to or more. the only down side was it was not the rock hard maple i had wanted to use and so i was forced to re evaluate I got the lumber for only 2.50 a board foot I AN NO FOOL NOW AND I GOING TO PASS up a great deal. So i arranged to get the cash from my uncle who was very happy about the price of the new wood and I gathered a full sized truck from my cousin. Bill Barkley and I left Fresno at 5 30 am and were in Sacramento by 8 am We met with John Ormsby toured his home and his shop he showed us some of his most cherished wood some to dye for like 30 inch wide cherry panels . then we took some Photos of us and then we went to work first we moved a stack of fine lumber including rock maple and Birdseye maple and some cherry to die fore. Now we were at the stack of the stuff I came to get john graded the lumber and was very fair when it came to pricing good wood from waster the Yankee in me wont waste much wood at all . We then graded and loaded till the truck was well on the overloads and We got down to the 5 boards John wanted to keep we ran the totals and were at my spending limit then we negotiated for a 79 inch straight edge which we added to the load . after that we strapped down the wood said our farewells and spoke of a return trip in the summer once these benches are finished .

We drove home with a quick stop at woodcraft in Sacramento. when we got home we were tired but we had to unload and sticker the wood it took about as much room as a small car Ill add a couple of photos tomorrow I am tired and will finish editing this tonight or in the morning

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5 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10153 posts in 4106 days

#1 posted 05-28-2012 01:22 AM

Sounds like everyone had a great day!

Looking fwd to seeing your stash… as well as what you do with it!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 3540 days

#2 posted 05-28-2012 05:14 AM

So I guess I missed the part of what kind of wood you bought. Is it hard maple? I don’t work in maple, so there may be such a thing as “rock hard maple” verses just “hard maple”. Oops my ignorance is showing, just look away. Glad you got the material you needed at a reasonable price.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View thedude50's profile


3603 posts in 2532 days

#3 posted 05-29-2012 12:56 AM

We as you know there are varying degrees of hard and soft and the reason is there is several species of each. What I ended up with is technically a soft maple but as far as soft maple goes the silver maple is the hardest not quite as heavy as hard maple one specific tree is what is ofter called hard rock maple but i don’t know which species it is it is. the hardest of the hard maple class it is so hard it is rough on tools. If I wanted the hardest bench I would have made it with Ipie that stuff is the hardest wood I have ever worked and the saw blade had to be sharpened about every 500 feet of cuts.This was well dried for over 6 years John Had it and it was kept in a lumber shed at his house so it is nice and clean and only a couple of boards moved from the trip to Clovis most is straight There will be enough to get a good start on a third bench which I will either keep or sell depending on my needs. I heard Joe Lydon might need a bench so I may just make it for him and give it to him for what i have into it for materials and labor no profit you know or I may keep it I am thinking I will do this other one based on Rob Cosmans Design I am watching his video of how to make the bench it has helped me some on my 21st century bench build I have been pretty fussy so far and I have rejected for boards from use on my uncles bench top that were with too thin or had a flaw that I didn’t like. I will still use the wood just not on the two main benches they have to be top shelf quality so yes the wood I am using is silver maple a soft maple and not the hard maple i was going with in my original plans but John Ormsby says I will be happier in the long run I hope he is dead right.

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View scottabraham's profile


2 posts in 2290 days

#4 posted 06-14-2012 09:50 AM

Working with the soft maple gives comfortableness to my work, hard maple are always twisting me.
Another biggest issue is the price.
Riding vacations

View thedude50's profile


3603 posts in 2532 days

#5 posted 06-14-2012 11:42 PM

after working this i can say it is a fun wood to work it is pretty heavy when your old and have a very bad back but i have some help and it is turning out better .

-- Please check out my new stores and

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