Needing Hard Maple for Benchtop

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Forum topic by hankerdwn posted 04-26-2018 01:14 PM 620 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 836 days

04-26-2018 01:14 PM

So here’s my delemia, I’m looking to purchase some quartersawn maple that i can mill myself for my new woodworking bench. Problem is most places expect your first born in return, and i really dont want the pre- laminated topps that warp in the first any ideas on a good source would be appreciated.

9 replies so far

View jonah's profile


2123 posts in 4104 days

#1 posted 04-26-2018 01:49 PM

You don’t need quartersawn stock for a bench top. If you’re going to laminate strips to make up the top, flat sawn 8/4 will work fine.

If cost is an issue, you might want to look into using spruce, fir, or poplar for your bench top. All are much less expensive than maple, and while they’re definitely softer, that’s not a bad thing for a workbench IMO.

My bench top (see my projects/blog series) is made from construction lumber spruce. Had I been more choosy in my selection, I could have gotten completely knot free stock.

View BurlyBob's profile


7703 posts in 3071 days

#2 posted 04-26-2018 02:08 PM

Another good wood that won’t break the bank is Beech. I’m getting ready to start my bench and Beech is what I plan on using. I can get it for around $3 a board foot here.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2512 posts in 968 days

#3 posted 04-26-2018 02:58 PM

years ago, I just happened upon a bowling alley that was being torn down
and the 1” rock maple alley floors were being just ripped up and sold.
I got a pickup load for $50 and I have no idea how many cutting boards
and counter tops I produced out of it. of course, you had to work around
the splits and dings – but for the price, it was worth the trouble.

so in addition to looking for hardwood sources, cruise around your area for demolition
projects that may yield some very useful hardwood for the shop and home projects.
or even stop by your local bowling alley and ask them about their flooring contractors.

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View Bill_Steele's profile


714 posts in 2537 days

#4 posted 04-26-2018 03:11 PM

MDF is relatively inexpensive, but not nearly as nice looking as the Maple. My bench top is made up of 4 layers of 3/4” MDF—it is very heavy—flat—doesn’t change dimensionally with changes in humidity—I think it’s a good choice. I glued a wide Fir edge-band all the way around to protect the edges and I put several coats of poly on it to protect it.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6315 posts in 3299 days

#5 posted 04-26-2018 05:06 PM

I want to echo what Jonah said about flatsawn. It’s a lot cheaper than qtr sawn and really works well. I bought 8/4 flat sawn maple for my bench top about 4 years ago and it’s still as flat as the day I made it.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2292 days

#6 posted 04-26-2018 05:08 PM

I’ve never seen maple intentionally quartersawn. Not that it isn’t done.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5294 posts in 4766 days

#7 posted 04-26-2018 05:09 PM

Bowling alley here too. Price? Free.
Dang stuff was/is heavy.

-- [email protected]

View HokieKen's profile


14516 posts in 1944 days

#8 posted 04-26-2018 06:56 PM

What is the reasoning for QS? Stability? Just curious. Maple is pretty stable once it’s dried. If you’re laminating your top, I doubt if there’s really any advantage at all to QS material from a standpoint of stability.

I’ve never seen maple intentionally quartersawn. Not that it isn’t done.

- TheFridge

Ditto. The only woods that are typically QS in my neck of the woods are Red and White Oak and Sycamore.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View bondogaposis's profile


5804 posts in 3157 days

#9 posted 04-26-2018 07:42 PM

Use a cheaper wood, I made my Roubo from poplar and edged the front with ash. The front edge takes all of the wear. Five years of hard use and no regrets.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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