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Forum topic by BerBer5985 posted 01-23-2012 11:37 PM 1251 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BerBer5985

424 posts in 1077 days


01-23-2012 11:37 PM

I have most of the materials ready for my workbench, but I had two questions really:

1) I wanted to use 6×6’s for the legs for weight and not having to do laminations, but all I can find is 6×6’s in treated wood. Would it be bad to use treated lumber for the legs of the workbench, especially when I have a leg vise with a wood screw, or should I just do the glue ups?

2) I’m going to put a twin screw end vise on and I’ll need an end cap. I see different ways that people attach them, but what seems to be the best practice that can be obtained with hand tools? In other words, I know there are concerns of expansion and contraction and what not, but workbench builds I’ve seen seem to skip over this part of the install for whatever reason. Maybe I’m making more out of it than what it is. Should I build the workbench top, then dovetail the ends of the last two pieces of the top lamination and the end piece and then glue them up to the top, and then install my legs flush with that?

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One, www.qualitycarpetonecrofton.com


14 replies so far

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3793 posts in 2320 days


#1 posted 01-23-2012 11:40 PM

Fellow LJ mvflaim used treated posts for legs on his bench … check out his 3-year update: http://lumberjocks.com/mvflaim/blog/27701

Can’t help on the second question.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4138 posts in 1609 days


#2 posted 01-23-2012 11:42 PM

Regarding the legs, just go with laminated wood. For starters, you want to avoid the PT stuff if possible. Second, it will look a bit differently from the rest of your bench and typically that stuff is wetter even if it is kiln dried.

I laminated my legs and for me the biggest issue is usually aligning them. You can always use dowels to help with a proper alignment.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3457 posts in 2618 days


#3 posted 01-24-2012 12:04 AM

No PT stuff at all. You’re askin’ for splitting and wierd chemical reaction. I found some white oak rough sawn that I was able to dress to 3 1/2” squares for the legs. Stretchers were morticed into the legs, and a shelf was added. My top is a bowling alley. 15+ years old. Still solid. I used 3/4” Maple for the faces on the top to trim out the alley pieces, and recessed the vices (face and end) into the faces.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View BerBer5985's profile

BerBer5985

424 posts in 1077 days


#4 posted 01-24-2012 12:10 AM

How about douglas fir 4×4’s? I have those? Are those going to be substantial enough? I bought those for the top to be laminated using about 7, but I bought a few extras.

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One, www.qualitycarpetonecrofton.com

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Mauricio

6820 posts in 1809 days


#5 posted 01-24-2012 06:30 AM

Look around for SYP that is not pressure treaded. If your lumberyard doesn’t have it ask them to refer you to place that does. Its out there.

Why would you want to work with toxic material? That’s not fun, I would be to paranoid about the dues and generally having so much contact with it.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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BerBer5985

424 posts in 1077 days


#6 posted 01-24-2012 06:51 AM

SYP in Maryland is very scarce. I have looked all over and it’s not readily available here. Douglas for is about the best option.

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One, www.qualitycarpetonecrofton.com

View doordude's profile

doordude

1085 posts in 1640 days


#7 posted 01-24-2012 08:49 AM

verticle grain doug fir would be great. don’t use framing doug fir. what’s your 4×4 made of ?
what about gluing up pieces to get to the size you want. i used LVL on my legs and i didn’t like working with the splintering. i used 4×6’s and ended up, ripping them down and gluing maple back on. look for an inexpensive hard wood to use. you’ll be happy’er in the long run. these benches, if done right, will last for several generations. with a budget in mind also. i have tips to your second question if you wish.

View BerBer5985's profile

BerBer5985

424 posts in 1077 days


#8 posted 01-24-2012 04:11 PM

I’d love some tips on the breadboard end too. The lumber I have are very straight grained Doug fir 4×4 with very few knots and most of the boards are dead straight. I think they’ll make a good thick and heavy top. At least I hope. I bought some 2×12s as well in hem fir that I was thinking about for the legs. I was going to rip them down make the legs but I’m still toying with ideas.

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One, www.qualitycarpetonecrofton.com

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3793 posts in 2320 days


#9 posted 01-24-2012 05:07 PM

Greg—The legs on my bench are laminated Douglas Fir … a 1” x 4” sandwiched between a pair of 1 1/2” x 4”.

I used through tenons and pegged them (3/8” oak dowels) ... never been a problem with stability.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View dannelson's profile

dannelson

147 posts in 1028 days


#10 posted 01-24-2012 05:37 PM

my advice would be to build a modest bench first and work with it. go cheap, execpt for the vices. look for used material. laminate the legs or box beam them.as greg said.I really get a kick out of my fellow woodworkers that build these beautiful benches but than cover them with mdf for protection. yes there is the prestige of a nice bench and we all want one . build what works for you and than refine it to your liking in a couple of years. I still have my plywood torsion box bench, wrapped with a hardwood apron and two vices . pullout storage underneth. I can run a screw in the top anywhere for fancy hold downs and not cry. seems that there are alot more places in the shop to spend money than on a bench.

-- nelson woodcrafters

View BerBer5985's profile

BerBer5985

424 posts in 1077 days


#11 posted 01-24-2012 07:06 PM

Exactly my thoughts too.^^ I’d love to have a $3000 bench made of exotic hardwoods or something, but I am keeping in mind that I will be working on this bench. I already bought the materials, it’s just a matter of how stout to make the legs and I think 4×4’s from what people are saying ought to be sturdy enough. I don’t want to spend a lot of money on the wood because this will be a learning project for me too. So I’m sure I’ll have some screw ups and messing up a $40 piece of maple or $12 piece of Doug Fir, I’d choose the fir.

I’m still looking for some instruction on the breadboard end however. Probably the most expensive part of the bench so far is the wood vise screw kit which I’m excited to receive!

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One, www.qualitycarpetonecrofton.com

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6820 posts in 1809 days


#12 posted 01-24-2012 07:09 PM

Douglas Fir is really nice wood. You will be happy with it. In Georgia is expensive so not really an option.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3793 posts in 2320 days


#13 posted 01-24-2012 07:30 PM

Greg—I don’t about other stores, but at my local Menards, the 2×10’s and 2×12’s are all kiln-dried Douglas Fir. I buy the 2×12’s and rip/joint/plane them to size. I got my whole benchtop out of 3 – 12 foot 2×12’s.
Click for details

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View MrRon's profile (online now)

MrRon

2835 posts in 1901 days


#14 posted 01-26-2012 08:42 PM

Four 2×4’s glued up short side to long side will form a nice 5”x5” square leg.

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