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Thread: workbench material

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Greenville, SC
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Bonham View Post
    All the links are dead, pictures, cut lists, everything but the basic article.
    Hmm, sorry, that has changed since I last looked at it. It has a basic 2X4 construction with an MDF top.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Henderson Kentucky
    Blog Entries
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Veatch View Post
    If you are considering building a workbench the new Christopher Swartz book is almost a must-have. One of the things he discusses in some detail is the material choice.

    I built mine several years ago using Southern Yellow Pine. Fairly heavy, quite stiff, readily available, comparatively inexpensive and, IMO, one of the best choices for material. It's about time for the second iteration in my workbench progression and I fully intend to use SYP for the next version as well.
    Is the SYP what you find at the big box stores in the 2x6 size and up? thanks, Sean

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Fort Pierce, Florida
    I'll have to admit that I only used the Swartz article as a jumping off point. The final design is a combination of several different designs. As to keeping it clean, I have a piece of 1/4" hardboard that goes on top if I am going to do a glue-up or anything that might damage the top with grease or oil.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Raleigh, NC
    Yes, you can find SYP at Home Depot (not all of them though). I built a workbench using 2x8s, ripped each one into two for a 3" slab. Spend your time sorting through the stack (bring a friend!) to get straight boards, or you'll be dressing forever. An hour sorting saves three hours jointing. Also, don't shop for 2x8s on the weekend, or you'll get the leftovers the contractors passed over.
    Last edited by Bas Pluim; 01-08-2008 at 9:22 AM. Reason: typo

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Monroe, MI
    I agonized for 2 years on what to build for a bench. Finally I decided to build a basic bench from SYP with a top made of 4 layers of 3/4" baltic birch with a SYP edge from plans in, I think, Popular Woodworking. It has turned out to be a nice bench with the only real drawback being that I'll probalby not be able to ever redo the top if it needs it.

    I couldn't find SYP at the big box stores, but I did find it at my local lumber yard. The only drawback was that it was in 12' lenghts of 2x12. However, since they deliver for free, it wasn't an issue. I told the guy what I was doing with it and he and I picked out a few particularly nice ones which they brought out a day or two later. The material was over the normal 1-1/2" thickness enough that I was able to plane it to 1-1/2".

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Wichita, Kansas
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Troy View Post
    Is the SYP what you find at the big box stores in the 2x6 size and up? thanks, Sean
    I was in a local Lowe's a couple of days ago and walked by their construction lumber racks. Some of the larger 2X material was SYP. But not all of it. I think their 2x6 stuff was hemlock or some other "white wood". Like another post mentioned I got mine from a local lumber yard which is what I plan to do next time.

    When I was growing up in Louisiana, virtually all of the construction lumber used in the area was SYP, 1x's as well as 2x's. I'd never heard of "white wood" until I moved out of the South over 35 yrs ago.
    Tom Veatch
    Wichita, KS

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Cincinnati Ohio
    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Sturgill View Post
    A couple of years ago Popular Woodworking did a special issue on Workbenches in which there was an article named $230 Workbench by Christopher Swartz who also has what is probably the definative book on workbench design. In the article they used Southern Yellow Pine for the top.
    Thats what I used here :
    Thom PM sent

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