|Forum topic by curliejones||posted 04-04-2015 12:16 PM||913 views||0 times favorited||5 replies|
04-04-2015 12:16 PM
So I wanna build a workbench… we’ve heard that before. I’ve seen recommendations for building a solid wood top even if you must use SYP construction lumber. Conventional wisdom is buy wide boards and rip them down since the wide 2xs look better. I definitely agree that the wider boards usually have fewer knots but in my recent workshop build, I ran into something a little surprising.
I bought wide 2Xs, some 2×8 some 2×10 stock and hand picked all the boards. 2×4s are sooooo bad these days. Even the wider widths had to be carefully chosen to have full widths and depths since the mills want to send out 80% of a piece of lumber with some edge or another missing valuable nailing surface. Maybe they are into the “artsy” appeal of live edge lumber but I’d rather have the full piece.
I carefully checked each board for straightness and picked what I could find that seemed to be excellent construction specimens. I stored the lumber flat, under roof, and in a dry environment for just a few days until I needed it. I used the 2xs to rip furring strips to provide an air space and a place to nail or screw exterior siding. The entire shop has a foil faced radiant barrier on the outside of the sheathing that requires an air space to be effective.
Much to my surprise, ripping a perfectly straight 2×10, for example, Yielded 3 pieces of 2x furring that curved like a big league pitch. I was able to nail or screw it into position with a little effort but my concern now is over whether this is a good way to begin a workbench that I want to end up “dead flat”. Exterior framing is one thing, but is it wise to force all these different tension together and glue (with calmps of course) the heck out of them .
I have read a good deal about the vary materials and methods used in a workbench top, but I’ve not seen anything about the curves produced when wide lumber is ripped down. I suppose the forces within that hold a 2×10 flat and straight could be in opposition and cancel each other until that lumber becomes a 3” wide board all with it’s own inner forces.
Thoughts? Comments? Go ahead and make the effort to force it during glue up or simply use layers of flat sheet goods? Is a solid top really worth it? P.S. I live in the land of Southern Yellow Pine.
-- Like Guy Clark sez - "Sometimes I use my head, Sometimes I get a bigger hammer"