Wood gloat

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Blog entry by Jon Spelbring posted 02-11-2010 05:26 PM 1256 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

OK, OK. I know it’s rude to gloat – I get it. B-b-but this is just too good, and of course none of my friends or coworkers in the mundane world “get it”.

The backstory:
I’ve been moving more and more towards hand tools, and I’ve become dissatisfied with my current workbench (too high, to light, etc). So, I decided that “soon” I’ll build myself a nice Roubo. I really didn’t think I’d get to starting on it until spring, but yesterday a CraigsList posting caught my eye:

Rough sawn lumber for sale:
11”w, 5”t, 8’ long – 5 pieces @$30 each.

Did I read that right? 5” thick? I think I see a split benchtop with no laminating! Cool!

I drove out to meet the guy, and got a litte back story – the boards were all cut from the same tree – in 1994, and have been stored beside his house. They were stickered and covered with a tarp and roofing shingles. He had painted the ends. Looking at them, they were almost black – I couldn’t even tell for sure what species they were. Still, at $30 each, how could I lose – besides, it was going to be a workbench, not fine furniture. The guy said he thought the tree was “silver oak”. Never heard of it. No matter, oak is oak.

Some back strain later, I managed to manhandle them into my shop and lay them out. Curiosity got the better of me, so I took out my rough-n-ready #6 plane and took a couple of swipes at one of the faces.
Uh oh. Looks like I might have some worminess – at least that was my first thought. My second thought made me sit down. It’s quarter sawn white oak. Air dried. No checks. A couple of knotts on one end of one board. I looked at the grain on the ends of the other boards – 4 out of the 5 are quartersawn. I’ve been reading the forums and magazines long enough to see several stories like this one, but “I never thought it would happen to me.” Hmmmm – isn’t that the tag line for a different “Forum” DAMHIKT?

So, now I will have to try again for workbench material – I’m sure that I would be lynched, excommunicated, or just get my butt kicked if I were to use this beautiful stuff for my workbench. I see several Arts and Crafts projects in my future.

Thanks for listening (reading) – I’m very excited, and can’t wait to start a project with this stuff.
Here’s a link to a couple of pics – can’t figure out how to embed – I don’t use flicker, but Apple’s If anyone can point me to a “howto”, I’d appreciate it.

-- To do is to be

15 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117722 posts in 4088 days

#1 posted 02-11-2010 05:34 PM

Wow what a find enjoy

View lou's profile


343 posts in 3954 days

#2 posted 02-11-2010 05:52 PM

we all want to see some before and after pictures of the wood and your new bench.have fun.

View ardbeg's profile


102 posts in 3539 days

#3 posted 02-11-2010 05:53 PM

You are one lucky man! Have fun!

-- You may delay, but time will not. --Ben Franklin

View Raspar's profile


246 posts in 3659 days

#4 posted 02-11-2010 06:38 PM

Congrats, we all hope this will happen to us as well…

-- Have thy tools ready. God will find thee work.

View Chris 's profile


1880 posts in 4502 days

#5 posted 02-11-2010 06:47 PM

Your lucky… and, I’m jealous! :)

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3552 days

#6 posted 02-11-2010 07:48 PM

Congrats, It would make a memorable piece of art workbench though. Why Not? You would always look at it & smile & reminesce.

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Jon Spelbring's profile

Jon Spelbring

199 posts in 4764 days

#7 posted 02-11-2010 08:03 PM

DaddyZ – It’s still a possibility, but I really do love the A&C stuff – I don’t know if I could survive the guilt!
Now, if I can find a couple of similar sized slabs of Maple or Ash (I know, greedy).

-- To do is to be

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3814 days

#8 posted 02-11-2010 08:13 PM

congrats on a super find…i dont think a work bench should be made from this…way to nice its saying i want to be admired as a piece of furniture…where many eyes can be pleased with how i look…not a work bench…please..

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 4298 days

#9 posted 02-11-2010 09:24 PM

Agreed. You made the right choice to save this rare found timber for A&C projects.
Pics please.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4333 days

#10 posted 02-11-2010 09:25 PM

That is great! You got the wood for less than a $1.00 a bf. This is a deal that you should gloat about. Post some pictures when you get the chance.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3398 posts in 4223 days

#11 posted 02-12-2010 06:25 AM


That’s a nice find. Here’s an old link to help you post your photos. We’re all anxious to see photos!

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Jeison's profile


968 posts in 3619 days

#12 posted 02-12-2010 06:31 AM

do want

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View Jon Spelbring's profile

Jon Spelbring

199 posts in 4764 days

#13 posted 02-12-2010 04:19 PM

After reading the posts of my fellow Jocks, I’ve decided not to use the QSWO for the bench – although I am going to steal a piece of it for the face of the leg vise.

I’m thinking a nice A&C rocker, tabouret, and maybe magazine stand will be what will be built. I’ll have to do some measuring and figure out bdft and such. Stay tuned.

—and thanks for the comments and suggestions.

-- To do is to be

View grub32's profile


215 posts in 3559 days

#14 posted 02-12-2010 04:25 PM

Right click on the photo and hit copy image location. Click the button to the right of the link and then paste the url there….That will insert it.


-- Educator by Day, Wood Butcher by Night!!

View Jon Spelbring's profile

Jon Spelbring

199 posts in 4764 days

#15 posted 02-12-2010 05:04 PM

Ah! Thanks, Grub! I think I knew that at one time, but I havn’t been on the site for awhile. Sadly, I cannot access any of my images from work (heck, until a week ago, I couldn’t get to LJ). I’ll post pics when I get home.

-- To do is to be

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