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Source of European Beech for a workbench?

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Forum topic by Marn64 posted 06-21-2016 06:50 PM 710 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Marn64

209 posts in 245 days


06-21-2016 06:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hey, so I am building my first bench, and I’m designing a European style bench. I decided to go fully authentic and I decided to use European Beech but I am struggling to find a source that has the thickness I need for the top, which is 1 3/4 inches on European style benches. Anyone know any suppliers that can suit my needs?

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee


25 replies so far

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

207 posts in 922 days


#1 posted 06-21-2016 07:02 PM

USA west coast Peterman lumber has it. Not sure about shipping though. Last time I looked it was about $3.50bf.

-- John

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Rick M

7905 posts in 1840 days


#2 posted 06-21-2016 07:03 PM

It’s common and cheap here in Raleigh. Have you contacted local hardwood suppliers, also try companies that supply hardwood floors and trim.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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rwe2156

2187 posts in 940 days


#3 posted 06-21-2016 07:09 PM

Can’t tell you where to get beech from FL, but just a suggestion, I would make that top [at least] 3” thick ;-)

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Loren's profile

Loren

8295 posts in 3108 days


#4 posted 06-21-2016 07:38 PM

They just use it because it’s cheap and stable in Europe.

Maple is good, cherry too. Some people use oak but
with the big pores it tends to get rough when planed
flat due to the way the wood tears-out.

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Loren

8295 posts in 3108 days


#5 posted 06-21-2016 07:44 PM

I think IKEA sells countertops made of it. You might be
able to chops some up and reassemble to make the
top you want.

Sometimes the top on a European bench isn’t a thick
slab, it’s a bunch of skirts with 2 7’ long boards glued
together, about 1” thick, for the work surface.

View Marn64's profile

Marn64

209 posts in 245 days


#6 posted 06-21-2016 11:29 PM



It s common and cheap here in Raleigh. Have you contacted local hardwood suppliers, also try companies that supply hardwood floors and trim.

- Rick M.


Thanks for the tip, turns out I had missed a local supplier that carries it in flat, quarter, and rift sawn!

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

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Marn64

209 posts in 245 days


#7 posted 06-22-2016 03:08 PM



It s common and cheap here in Raleigh. Have you contacted local hardwood suppliers, also try companies that supply hardwood floors and trim.

- Rick M.


By the way quick question what type of sawing should I get the lumber in for a workbench, flat, quarter or rift?

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

View JayT's profile

JayT

4772 posts in 1671 days


#8 posted 06-22-2016 03:21 PM

Are you going to laminate strips or use wide planks? For the most strength and stiffness you want the growth rings being vertical when you are done. If doing a thick top of 3 inches or more, it really doesn’t matter, but if you are going for that 1-3/4 inch thick top, then I would take it into consideration.

That means if you are laminating, then use flat sawn turned on edge. If using planks, then quarter sawn.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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Marn64

209 posts in 245 days


#9 posted 06-22-2016 03:23 PM



Are you going to laminate strips or use wide planks? For the most strength and stiffness you want the growth rings being vertical when you are done.

If you are laminating, then that means using flat sawn. If using planks, then quarter sawn.

- JayT


If you mean laminate, I was going to do a Paul sellers style where you take square beams and glue them together. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru2ZiNs_Wek

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

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JayT

4772 posts in 1671 days


#10 posted 06-22-2016 03:24 PM

Check the edited post above. How thick is the top going to be?

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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Marn64

209 posts in 245 days


#11 posted 06-22-2016 03:27 PM


Check the edited post above. How thick is the top going to be?

- JayT


1 and 3/4 inches, standard continental european thickness, but I am considering thicker

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

207 posts in 922 days


#12 posted 06-22-2016 03:42 PM

I would not buy anthing special like quarter sawn. Are you doing a solid top or a thick laminate butcher block style?
Using 8/4 I asume you are going to glue up a 3 or 4 inch thick top?

-- John

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JayT

4772 posts in 1671 days


#13 posted 06-22-2016 03:49 PM

OK, now I’m confused. If you are going for ~1-3/4, I would get as wide of quarter sawn 8/4 stock as possible and glue them as planks going across.

On the Paul Seller’s bench, he is making a 3 inch thick top by utilizing 2x construction lumber turned on edge. Two different design considerations.

When looking at the material, try to set it up so the growth rings are as vertical as possible and you’ll be fine.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View Loren's profile

Loren

8295 posts in 3108 days


#14 posted 06-22-2016 03:52 PM

Also, I think you can go thinner on the top because you
don’t need the mass in a 7’ bench. A 5’ bench will
lift up and move around in heavy planing work if it
isn’t heavy, but a 7’ long traditional bench has than
longer stance.

I had a bench from a restaurant. Brought over from
Holland. 100 years old. It was nice, not built as
heavy as you might expect. I sold it as a collectible
but a few months later found a similar, owner made
version in Oak from a FWW design (I think). I couldn’t
resist and bought it to put in a kitchen sometime.

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jdh122

879 posts in 2277 days


#15 posted 06-22-2016 03:54 PM

Quartersawn wood is more stable than flatsawn, but I’ve never seen any evidence that suggests that it’s stronger or harder. See here: http://www.liutaiomottola.com/myth/quartersawn.htm where he suggests it’s the opposite (based on data from http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr113/ch04.pdf) though the difference is small.
I’d say use whatever you can get…

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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