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Forum topic by ajthomas5009 posted 12-09-2014 05:04 PM 937 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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296 posts in 1640 days

12-09-2014 05:04 PM

I’m curious why its almost unheard of to build a work bench out of ERC. A google search yielded no matching images and only one discussion on SMC where everyone dogged out the idea. Everyone’s response was too soft, light and not stiff enough. then they would go on to suggest SYP or Doug fir if one was going to use a softwood for a bench. I find this odd because ERC has a hardness rating of 960 making it slightly harder than SYP and good amount harder than Doug Fir. In light of this would ERC make a bench just as sturdy if not sturdier or am I missing something? Either way it would definitely make one attractive bench.

-- Sometimes you're flush and sometimes you're bust, and when you're up, it's never as good as it seems, and when you're down, you never think you'll be up again, but life goes on.

2 replies so far

View jdh122's profile


1018 posts in 2840 days

#1 posted 12-09-2014 05:18 PM

Interesting. I have no experience with eastern red cedar, but I would think that it would make a decent bench (although personally the “attractiveness” of a bench is not a great consideration). It is harder than the woods you mention, but it is substantially weaker in both bending and breaking strength. I’m sure it’s strong enough, though, as long as you use 2-inch thick wood. I made my bench out of construction grade spruce, which is softer than any of the mentioned species and it is holding up well.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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2298 posts in 2392 days

#2 posted 12-09-2014 05:19 PM

It would certainly smell really nice. The only catch I can think of is that fresh-cut, or even replaned, ERC seeps oils to the surface, and if you left something on the bench, it could transfer to the workpiece. But, it’s not like there’s so much oil coming out that it’s wet. From the ERC I’ve worked with, it can be a slight annoyance to mill as it is a bit on the brittle side, and there can be a lot of knots with funky grain direction going on.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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