Why Not Ash?

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Forum topic by Gatsby1923 posted 02-20-2010 06:29 AM 1397 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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39 posts in 2554 days

02-20-2010 06:29 AM

I am planning my dream workbench, reading books, planning ahead, pricing lumber. Almost all benches I have seen use maple tops… Even Sugar Maple is not inexpensive, and around me several suppliers have 8/4 Ash at half the price of maple. Is there any reason I should not use Ash I have not thought of?

Dave M

-- I don't know where I'm going but I'm on my way!

9 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


7144 posts in 2792 days

#1 posted 02-20-2010 06:51 AM

Ash is a good choice, and is great to work with. No reason not to go with it.

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

View JasonIndy's profile


187 posts in 2852 days

#2 posted 02-20-2010 08:16 AM

Ash is cheaper than most maples here too, and I’ve often wondered the same thing.

View Jesse's profile


66 posts in 2635 days

#3 posted 02-20-2010 02:53 PM

Popular Woodworking’s 21st Century workbench was built with ash. I am building a bench out of ash right now. I got the ash locally for $1/bf so that is about 20% of what I would have paid for hard maple.

-- Jesse, Hopewell Jct., NY

View ChuckV's profile (online now)


2872 posts in 2944 days

#4 posted 02-20-2010 03:28 PM

I made a bench / shoe rack from ash. That piece takes an amazing amount of abuse and has held up fine.

Oh, and you should see a baseball bounce off it!

-- “And the products of wealth push you along on the bow wave of their spiritless undying selves.” ― I. Anderson

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Daren Nelson

767 posts in 3322 days

#5 posted 02-20-2010 04:45 PM

No reason at all not to use ash…or any wood you chose. Just because others make thier bench from maple doesn’t mean you have to. I made my bench from hackberry (the top) and white oak (legs).

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2715 posts in 2703 days

#6 posted 02-20-2010 05:22 PM

I use ash a lot. I’m just now finishing a stand for a bench top drill pess using ash. It doesn’t have a wood top though. Ash works well, and would make a great top. It would certainly be better than oak, especially red oak, because it has a tendency to splitter. My first choice would be maple, but with the cost difference, ash is a great way to go. However, there is some ash that is very soft, and would not be suitable. Just make sure you don’t get that. It depends on what part of the country it comes from. My son is building a workbench now using hickory. We had some left over from a job—-the color was not good at all, but is fine for a bench top. Hickory in very hard—more so than ash.


View hokieman's profile


173 posts in 3170 days

#7 posted 02-20-2010 05:32 PM

Ash’s open grain is not what I wanted for my bench but I did use ash for the base and then went with a maple top. It cut the cost down.

View Mark's profile


1801 posts in 2690 days

#8 posted 02-20-2010 05:33 PM

my dining table I built out of ash….good, solid, cheaper n stronger than oak. I loved working with it. Its stained here of course. and it finishes NICELY

-- M.K.

View blackcherry's profile


3292 posts in 3239 days

#9 posted 02-21-2010 04:21 AM

Check out my bench in projects its all ash, I see no reason not to, its a beast….BC

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