LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner
  • Please post in our Community Feedback thread for help with the new forum software! If you are having trouble logging in, please Contact Us for assistance.
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
549 Posts
I found this LoBolly Pine reclaimed wood locally.
It is 2.5 inches thick and 5 inches wide with a tongue and groove.
The sample piece seems pretty flat but I wood be running it through a jointer and/or planer.
I figured for a 25" x 72" top it would weigh around 100 lbs.
Since this wood is wide and has T&G I think it would make it easier to glue up the top.
Also its probably pretty dry and ready to use.
I would be make a base out of some cheaper wood possibly DF or Ash.
So would this wood make a good top? I know its not really hard but not really soft and I don't mind if gets a few dents.
Also I am thinking the base could have some struts that run across the width of the bench to keep the top from sagging

 

·
In Loving Memory
Joined
·
3,728 Posts
Joel, go ahead and use the Loblolly. It's just a sub-species of SYP.
Cover the top with 3/4" maple flooring. That way you have a hard wood top and the inexpensive body of pine.
I made a counter top for a bar in Wyoming that way once, it cost them about $1000 less and was as solid as they get.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,379 Posts
I'm just wrapping up my benchtop build with DF. Yeah, I can hit it with a hammer and dent it. It's a workbench, not a dining table, and the price was right. If most of the boards have the grain oriented like the one you posted, I'd rip them and reglue them on edge (would result in a near quartersawn top, which may be slightly more durable/stable since you're not hitting it on the face).

I say use it as is, and if you decide to upgrade later, you'll have a good bench to build the next bench on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,242 Posts
Im with the posters above. Cheap is good and no matter what ya got it'll work as a bench. I also think Ed has a good idea with using it on edge. You should get some nice vertical grain showing through.

I will say that I have milled a bunch of that stuff before and its full of pitch. Here in new England I find that stuff used in the old factories for flooring.

Also, id suggest against burning it. A guy that rents space in our warehouse burned a bunch of it (like 2 trailers worth) and id be willing to bet his chimney fire was due to all the creosote build up from burning sappy wood.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
549 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Turns out this stuff is $7 per bd ft.
So for a top that is 72×24 x 3.5 its going to cost around $350.
They also have some DF 3X material which may be old growth so much better than what you can buy new.
Turns out the pine came from a tobacco factory in Lexington, TN
There are some other reclaimed wood dealers further away I could maybe get a better price on.
I am weighing the cost of build vs buy.
My wife wants me to buy one so I can start making furniture.
The only one I could see buying is the Sjoberg Elite 1500 which costs $2000
I am not sure how much to budget for vises, a Vertitas face and tail vice runs about $600.
Lee Valley has some cheaper vises but not sure if they are worthwhile.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,305 Posts
I bought a solid core door at the Habitat Restore store for $8.25 including tax. :) Almost 2 inches thick. Another time, a guy gave me a solid core door. That is what I made my top out of with Formica laminated on top. It is starting to look bad, but boy, has it been used. :)

Like posted above, it is not a dining table. :)
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/68635
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
My latest bench is Douglas Fir and is working well so I think the SYP would be just fine. I wouldn't choose to use boards with that grain orientation though. Quartersawn is much more stable. Flattening benches is something you want to do as little as possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
599 Posts
+1 on what everyone here said.
That kind of old wood is best used for rustic furniture and the like.
If you find cheap/free T&G lumber, glue it into 2 panels, each as big as your planned bench top. Cut one plank in half, so the seams in one panel are offset (think brick wall). Glue the panels together to make a thick slab of wood. Turn that into your bench top.

If your T&G lumber is flatsawn, and you want QS, rip the boards like this: 1/4 width | 1/2w | 1/4w, then glue the 1/4w boards together T to G, so you're using the T&Gs, not sending them to the tinder pile, so less wood is wasted.

If you find some old hardwood flooring, or just some old hardwood, use that for your bench surface, a la Dallas's suggestion.

If you're concerned about denting your workpieces, cut a sheet of thin plywood to match your bench top, and cover that with cardboard, foam rubber (use cheap mousepads), a layer of soft wood, or other soft material. Fasten the plywood down with some screws. Or just use cardboard (with double-stick tape). Buying a new water heater or fridge? Save the box it comes in. Up to 4 reversible, disposable bench top covers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,356 Posts
My bench is made from a piece of bowling lane of SYP.
I've got douglas fir endcaps I recycled from a beam that too soft for a benchtop, IMO.

For cheap, 2 layers of glued up MDF will give you a top, but it won't be a good one.
You can insert a lenght of hardwood to put dogholes in.

I think SYP turned on edge would work pretty good.
Joint up some 2×4's, laminate them and flatten them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,322 Posts
I can't believe anyone would think that wood is worth $7 per bf. Seems insane to me. Price varies a lot regionally, but that's way more than I pay for most domestic hardwoods.
Softwoods work fine for a workbench top, just need to be trued up more often. Mine is made of spruce, which is way softer than SYP, and it works well. But not at that kind of price.
As far as vises go: while you probably get more when you pay more (the Veritas twin-screw is really nice, and quick-release is also a good feature), you can do good work, including holding most things for handtools, for a lot less than $600. I have 2 regular all-steel vises on my bench, one on the end and the other on the side (with wooden jaws thick enough to put a bench dog in). Less than $100 total, and I'm satisfied with them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,454 Posts
I found a nice looking solid oak table with a bad leg. Table top is 24" x 60" x 2". I cut the legs off and had a bench top. It may not be as big as everyone would want but it fulfills my needs. The moral is maybe you can find a top at a fair price.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,356 Posts
It is not SYP (not what we think of as SYP), but what we call heart pine or "lightered pine" down here (which explains the $7/bf.). They're selling this stuff as reclaimed wood for crazy money.

IMO its no good for a bench top because it is too soft and is splinters too easily.

IMO you need a hard wood for a top if you want to keep it flat, which is crucial for a joint makers bench.
If you're just using to pound on, then you can use DF or a soft wood.

Someone said cover it with maple flooring that's a possiblity but you have to look at the cost.

I would save the ash for the top and use pine timbers for the base.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top