LumberJocks

All Replies on Roubo workbench with Doug fir??

  • Advertise with us
View JP4LSU's profile

Roubo workbench with Doug fir??

by JP4LSU
posted 12-31-2017 01:40 AM


23 replies so far

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

794 posts in 3215 days


#1 posted 12-31-2017 01:55 AM

Doug fir is a great material for a roubo bench top and legs, make sure the top is a good 4”-5” thick, same with the legs.

-- Ken

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2217 posts in 2163 days


#2 posted 12-31-2017 02:41 AM

Why would you want to use DF is not that easy to work. If your planning on buying the stuff they sell at the home center you really making life hard.
Good luck

-- Aj

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

597 posts in 1827 days


#3 posted 12-31-2017 05:47 AM

Doug fir, or southern yellow pine both work great.
Start with 2X10” or 12” wide boards.
The wide boards will be cleaner, with less knots than a 2X4.
All green wood so will need.time to let it air dry.

-- John

View JP4LSU's profile

JP4LSU

85 posts in 512 days


#4 posted 12-31-2017 05:54 AM

Thanks AJ and Ken.whatever I use I’m getting it from a lumber yard not a box store.

There is one yard with rough sawn and I can have them surface 2 sides but that will be RWL stuff. That will be pine and hardwood.

Another has to order DF and I’m not sure if it has radius ed corners.

I would mind a slight contrast in base to top.

Alder seems to be pretty cheap here so maybe that’s an option as well. I would love a soft maple top but that might get pricey.
-JP

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

8438 posts in 2515 days


#5 posted 12-31-2017 05:57 AM

Doesn’t need to be an expensive bench. Use what you can get a lot of cheap. Mass is more important than hardness. I used oak for my bench, because I got it cheap. Otherwise I would have used fir or alder.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View JP4LSU's profile

JP4LSU

85 posts in 512 days


#6 posted 12-31-2017 03:01 PM

Thanks Big John and JMartel, I’m going to start hunting and pricing the DF, SYP, and Alder. Alder is not a lot more than pine here.
One place sales ponderosa pine, which I don’t know what it looks like.

More importantly I need the the boards surfaced to dimension the things kness. I don’t want to hand plane the surfaces of all the boards since I don’t have a planer.
Thanks guys for the input.
AJ, I’m unaware of DF being difficult, my assumption has been it would be similar to SYP due to softness.
-

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

1423 posts in 2476 days


#7 posted 12-31-2017 03:20 PM

I’ve got my Doug fir on order. I’m convinced it will be a great bench top. Check out Brent Parkin’s bench.
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/337329

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

1072 posts in 3182 days


#8 posted 12-31-2017 03:54 PM

Southern Yellow Pine is harder (and heavier) than Douglas fir. Alder is softer than either one. If you have easy access to SYP at price no more than the other two species, use it. Ponderosa Pine is from the West Coast, not considered to be in the SYP family, and is pretty soft. You could make a workbench out of it (mine is made from Spruce, since that’s what I can get cheap here) but you might as well not. You can check out hardness and densities here: http://www.wood-database.com

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View DMC1903's profile

DMC1903

285 posts in 2692 days


#9 posted 12-31-2017 04:15 PM

I opted to use Douglas Fir for my bench top, so far no issues and was a good choice. We have millions for these trees in our area..

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2217 posts in 2163 days


#10 posted 12-31-2017 04:18 PM

Douglas fir has both hard and soft layer. So using it for practice on jointery like Dts or mortises and tenons will be frustrating. It a good wood for building houses and machines nicely makes your shop smell great. But it has pitch so extra time is needed to clean.
Don’t believe me buy a piece and see for your self. My first work benches where plywood until I could afford a maple bench.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2938 posts in 1305 days


#11 posted 12-31-2017 04:46 PM

I think it’s fine to use DF for a first bench or an inexpensive alternative. I did just that and it has served me well. It’s true that it isn’t the best material in terms of durability and it won’t have the heft of a bench made from harder, more dense woods, but for me, it was a good starting point and gave me a decent work surface as well as a bench vise to use for holding work. Some of the points others have made are true, such as inconsistencies in wood density, difficulty in cutting certain joinery like mortises and the fact that it’s not a heavy wood, so the bench will be somewhat lightweight. But for a starting point in woodworking, I think it’s fine.

One day I will probably make a more substantial bench, but here’s my DF bench.

Click for details

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View JP4LSU's profile

JP4LSU

85 posts in 512 days


#12 posted 12-31-2017 09:40 PM

Thanks AJ, I think Im leaning towards yellow pine for the top considering price and ease of working. Also it will be softer than much of what I’ll be working on.

I might do a litter harder wood for legs for a little contrast as long as the price isn’t crazy.
Thanks for the tipsame guys,
JP

View JP4LSU's profile

JP4LSU

85 posts in 512 days


#13 posted 12-31-2017 09:43 PM

Builtin, that is a very nice looking bench. I like the contrasting accents.
I hope mine comes out as nice. Good job
-JP

View Mr_Pink's profile

Mr_Pink

160 posts in 737 days


#14 posted 01-01-2018 12:55 AM



Thanks AJ, I think Im leaning towards yellow pine for the top considering price and ease of working. Also it will be softer than much of what I ll be working on.

I might do a litter harder wood for legs for a little contrast as long as the price isn t crazy.
Thanks for the tipsame guys,

If you’re going to use a harder wood for part of the bench, I would (and did) use it for the top.

Btw, I used Douglas fir 4×4s from a big box store for my base. I’m very happy with it now, but they were not fun to work with hand tools. Unless you can get very nice, dry Douglas fir, I would suggest SYP or something else.

View JP4LSU's profile

JP4LSU

85 posts in 512 days


#15 posted 01-01-2018 03:16 PM

Thanks for the advice Mr Pink, what is the rational for using a harder wood for the top?
Is it purely durability?

My thought is to use a wood for the bench top that is softer than the funiture I’m building for the instances that I’m not careful or drop a piece onto the work surface.

Thanks
JP

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

10624 posts in 2816 days


#16 posted 01-01-2018 03:27 PM

My bench has 6×6 DF base and an 4” oak top. and cherry breadboard ends. The leg vise is a cherry /maple laminate I haven’t noticed any damage to my work from contact with the top.
Click for details: A Roubo workbench

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Knockonit's profile

Knockonit

545 posts in 567 days


#17 posted 01-01-2018 03:32 PM

aw the forever argument on what to use,

imo, use what you can get, and afford, upgrading is some of the best part of wood working, learn and figure out what works, what doesn’t work, nothing like getting a gaggle of opinions, to offer up options, but in the end, its what you can get, what you can afford, and what you can work with comfortably, and own it,

good luck, i’ve an old work bench that i’ve had for it seems like forever, top is beat to heck, vises have been worth their weight in gold, again just my opinion. Its stained, gouged, and one day, perhaps soon, i plan on smoothing it out, but that next project seems to come up and then its covered, and i can’t see the worn top, so, out of site out of mind.

happy new year, begin it with a new work bench.
Rj in Az

View Mr_Pink's profile

Mr_Pink

160 posts in 737 days


#18 posted 01-01-2018 03:55 PM



Thanks for the advice Mr Pink, what is the rational for using a harder wood for the top?
Is it purely durability?

Yes, but there are no shortage of people who are happy with tops made from softer woods. I used a hardwood top primarily because it was easy. (I built a 6’ version of Schwarz’s “two-day” workbench.)

Fir and pine are plenty strong for a base.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

32086 posts in 3231 days


#19 posted 01-01-2018 04:19 PM

I used a pine work bench for a number of years. Let’s face it, when you don’t have a lot of money and are just starting out you do what you have to do.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

View JP4LSU's profile

JP4LSU

85 posts in 512 days


#20 posted 01-01-2018 06:50 PM

Oldfart, that’s a beautiful bench. Nice.choices.

I’ll be keeping an eye out for good prices.and will be checking CL for some good deals. My first choice for a top would probably be soft maple, but cost too much.

I think all you guys make great points from experience. I’ll find the best deal and just get to building. Sounds Mr. Schwartz makes similar valid points concerning SYP. Since it is cheaper here that is likely going to be my choice unless I find a sweet deal on something better.
Thanks again gus for the pics, advice and examples
JP

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

10624 posts in 2816 days


#21 posted 01-01-2018 07:14 PM

JP, the oak i used was from construction planks. They had been left outside for a number of years so it was pretty cheap dollar wise. The expense was in my time since I milled them by hand.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View JP4LSU's profile

JP4LSU

85 posts in 512 days


#22 posted 01-02-2018 03:19 AM

Wow, that was a labor of love for sure. Good job and congrats on the great looking bench.
I’ll likely get wood from lumber yard hopefully S2S. I don’t have hand planing experience to tackle so much like you did. I also don’t want to have to plane out the radius corners of 2×4s at the box store. I guess I’m a wimp and want it to be easy.

I’m intimidated by hand planing I guess, because I have 2 used planes that need to be setup and cleaned up and I don’t have any experience.

View JP4LSU's profile

JP4LSU

85 posts in 512 days


#23 posted 01-02-2018 03:44 AM

I have a question for oldfart and others. I been leaning towards a wagon vise for the horizontal clamping and vertical clamping.

Are guys finding that a end vise with a dog on it is accomplishing the same task as a wagon? Similar to what oldfart has.

My other vice I’m thinking Bout is a tail vise with a shoulder or L-shape. This would provide horizontal clamping and 2 vertical clamping surfaces.
Thoughts?
-JP

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

HomeRefurbers.com