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Wood choice for small joiners bench

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Forum topic by Brodan posted 04-10-2021 02:14 PM 339 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Brodan

269 posts in 2387 days


04-10-2021 02:14 PM

In the prelim process of building a small joiners bench to replace the 8’ bench in my small overcrowded shop. A colleague gave me 13 4” x 4’ posts (dunnage from his wife’s business). They are all pine center cuts, which leads to my question. Is there any negatives to using these for the base. Or suggestions regarding the use of these. It will be mortise and tenon construction.

Thanks for any advise.

Dan

-- Dan, TN


5 replies so far

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Foghorn

1217 posts in 471 days


#1 posted 04-11-2021 02:38 AM

They will work just fine for what you’re thinking. Better wood? Sure, but you’re not making a legacy piece. It will be solid and fit for purpose. Just my opinion of course. :)

-- Darrel

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SMP

3991 posts in 990 days


#2 posted 04-11-2021 03:09 AM

I would personally use those for everything but the top. And even possibly for top if enough to resaw and laminate.

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fuigb

593 posts in 4042 days


#3 posted 04-11-2021 06:13 AM

One important question: what is the moisture content? If they’re dripping wet then likely your bench will twist, warp, rupture, etc. Being that your source is dunnage I expect no care at all by the standard of a woodworker went into treatment or drying.

In my case I found a source for hardwood pallets used for shipping slit steel coils. Because moisture content is usually high I felt it necessary to build a small kiln; did this with salvaged construction lumber, skins from hollow-core doors, two rolls of insulation, and a desk fan and milkcan heater from estate sales. I’m really happy with the result and now have an heirloom.

I’d use what you have -there is a bench hiding in that pile- but you decide if due care and prep work is more important than speed with what I bet is a soggy pile of timber that likely was still standing aa few months ago.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

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fuigb

593 posts in 4042 days


#4 posted 04-11-2021 06:19 AM

^ the cool thing about having a kiln, though, is that they open up a whole world of new and free sources of lumber. Things like trees from around the neighborhood, interesting finds in a buddy’s wood pile, fortuitous slowdowns out the woods, etc… all take on new meaning

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

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Brodan

269 posts in 2387 days


#5 posted 04-11-2021 11:43 AM

Darrel-thanks, you are right, a solid solution for hand tool joinery is what I’m after, not necessarily a heirloom. Thanks for

SMP – thoughts are to use these for the base only since it is soft wood. I hadn’t considered it for the top. Plans are to get some rough lumber from a mill I’ve bought from in the past.

fuigb -I haven’t checked the moisture. They’ve been in a barn for some months so hadn’t thought about the moisture. But will check. The kiln idea is interesting though. I’ll have to look into that.

I currently have a stack of maple logs behind my shop, from a tree I took down. Plan to saw it into boards and mill it. I was thinking it would dry out stacked there off the ground over the past year and a half. A kiln sounds like a better way to go.

Thanks everyone

-- Dan, TN

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