• Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by Tedstor posted 05-16-2011 04:10 AM 1091 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2598 days

05-16-2011 04:10 AM

I’m slowly building a new workbench that will include a leg vise. I was in the local lumberyard on Saturday, and they had a 4’x1’ piece of 6/4 Beech that was in the deep discount pile. It was a very unique looking board, with a very appealing grain pattern The edges were pretty roughed-up and it had a knot right in the middle of it. None of the blemishes would affect my project. In fact, the knot would actually look kind of cool.
however, I’ve never worked with Beech before.
Any reason I wouldn’t want to use it for a leg vise?

5 replies so far

View christopheralan's profile


1126 posts in 3685 days

#1 posted 05-16-2011 04:12 AM

None that I can think of. Every time I have used beech it has been very stable and hard-wearing. Good luck!

-- christopheralan

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3507 days

#2 posted 05-16-2011 07:24 AM

One thing to consider is that Beech moves more than any other wood; It’s tangential shrinkage is 11.9%, which is huge! Of course, the tests done to get these figures of movement are from green wood (Wood at FSP) to dried wood. Once dried and finished, it’s pretty stable. If it does decide to move, it will be more than anything else you’ve worked with though…

-- Childress Woodworks

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 2925 days

#3 posted 05-16-2011 12:59 PM

beech is the standard workbench wood in europe, very tight grain and high resistance.
i can’t think of anything better at that price range for such a use.

as mentioned above, while acclimating to it’s new environment it can “move” or even crack in two, depending on where it was stored before, it can be wise to let it sit a couple weeks in your shop before working it.

View McKinneyMike's profile


80 posts in 2626 days

#4 posted 05-16-2011 01:23 PM

European Beech and American Beech are not the same woods. American Beech is notorious for its shrinkage/expansion due to RH changes. Will it work? Indeed, but if it were in an unconditioned workspace, I would reconsider its usage. If you are willing to take the chance, it is indeed a good hardwood for a workbench, but be sure to make allowances for movement!

-- McKinney Hardwood Lumber --Specializing in exotic and figured hardwood lumber -McKinney, TX

View 489tad's profile


3352 posts in 2976 days

#5 posted 05-18-2011 02:49 PM

My only time working with beech was miserable. I don’t know if it was American or European but during the milling operations the wood behaved terrible. I checked with cherry and oak and was able to square and flatten that stock so my jointer and planer were ok. Could not of been me :). I will say the project finished nicely and has not shown any signs of movement for over a year now. good luck. Oh, you said bargain pile, go for it. Thats how we learn.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics