Which species wood, would you use?

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Forum topic by NorCal posted 10-29-2015 05:27 PM 579 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 358 days

10-29-2015 05:27 PM

New to the forum and first wood project that goes beyond screwing boards together. I make wine in my garage (180 gallons in process right now). I’m building a bench that will be 30 inches wide, 60 inches long. I already made the frame and now I need a nice tabletop. I am meeting a guy with his own saw mill and he is going to cut me what I want, while I wait. I plan on getting 10 inch wide boards and gluing them together. I purchased a biscuit joiner off of craigslist and have the clamps. I’m looking at either 2, 2 1/2, or 3 inches thick. He has Douglas Fir, Pecan and a few others available. I plan on having the rustic look to go with the wine box I made.

Any thoughts or ideas?

9 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


3454 posts in 1184 days

#1 posted 10-29-2015 06:14 PM

Pecan would be pretty. 2” thick would look good. Green pecan can warp on you if you don’t sticker and weigh it down.


View HokieKen's profile


1515 posts in 555 days

#2 posted 10-29-2015 07:03 PM

Oak or Hard Maple if he has them. Both have a nice rustic look and both will match that dark frame well. Soft maple would be fine too if the table isn’t going to be taking any abuse. I agree that 2” is plenty thick. Any thicker may look a bit out of proportion on that frame. Pecan’s probably a good choice too, I’m just not very familiar with it.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View gfadvm's profile


14924 posts in 2107 days

#3 posted 10-30-2015 12:47 AM

Just remember that those thick slabs will require a lot of drying and should be properly stacked, stickered, and ventilated during the process. Pecan is the least user friendly of your choices in term of drying without warping, twisting, etc. (but is very attractive)

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View NorCal's profile


4 posts in 358 days

#4 posted 10-30-2015 02:03 AM

Thank you for the replies and please excuse my ignorance. How long is the drying process? I’m assuming these trees have been down for a while, but I will find out. My little garage winery had a write-up in the latest edition of winemaker magazine. I’m replacing the bench you see on the left.

View gfadvm's profile


14924 posts in 2107 days

#5 posted 10-30-2015 02:29 AM

I haven’t cut any Fir but 2” pecan will require at least 8-12 months to air dry depending on air circulation, temperature, and humidity. Many recommend a year per inch of thickness but my experience indicates shorter dry times.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View knotscott's profile


7144 posts in 2792 days

#6 posted 10-30-2015 09:36 AM

Pecan would be really cool.

You’ll want to flatten the faces and straighten the edges before joining….a jointer and planer are perfect for that, but a hand plane can do it if you know how to use them.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Tennessee's profile


2410 posts in 1931 days

#7 posted 10-30-2015 11:30 AM

Pecan and some others would be cool, but for my money, in the spirits business, only oak is the perennial wood. Oak barrels, oak beamed barns, oak infused liquors of all kinds, it all brings back a sort of timeless tradition, if you get my drift.

Somehow, a pecan bench top for wine doesn’t make it for me, despite the beauty of the wood.

-- Paul, Tennessee,

View NorCal's profile


4 posts in 358 days

#8 posted 11-01-2015 06:54 PM

The trip to the Sierras was somewhat anticlimactic. I didn’t want to wait that long for fresh cut lumber to dry. Heck, I wait long enough for wine, I’m not waiting for a bench top. That lead us to the cut pile where we found 2X10×16 white pine. Done deal, cut the boards down for transport and the process begins. I’m not a woodworker and didn’t care to buy tools that I may not use again, so I used what I had. I did buy a biscuit cutter for $10 on Craigslist.

View NorCal's profile


4 posts in 358 days

#9 posted 11-01-2015 07:07 PM

I got the boards glued together and attached to the frame. The center board has an 1/8 of an inch crown in it. Not sure the best way too take care of it, or whether to mess with it all. I have to square the ends off still. Not sure the type of finish to put on it, keeping with the rustic theme in mind.

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