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Discussion Starter #1
I am just now getting serious about woodworking and buying new tools and material for my garage wood shop with each paycheck. I have a bench I made crudely for my shed a few years ago, and now am planning to make a decent size and decent quality work bench. I have a plan and will be using 4x4's, 2x6's, plywood and hardboard. Unfortunately I'm kind of limited to wood selection to whatever HD and lowes carries and my budget. Any suggestion on the type of wood I should use? Most of the stuff in those sizes are cedar, southern yellow pine and white wood. Any suggestions on which I should go with?
 

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I definitely will select it carefully. It is frustrating buying wood at home depot though. Most of their stuff is chewed up with knots, cracks or isn't straight. They had all of their 1x2x8's of syp on Clarence for a buck then dropped to .50 I probably spent 2 hours going through the entire inventory picking out all the pieces that looked good. I think I got about 20-25 pieces to make a ton of 4x6, 5x7 and 8x10 picture frames. Most of their 2x's though look like trash
 

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Taking advice from Chris Schwartz (if you haven't had a look at his most recent book, workbenches, from design and theory to construction and use, it's worth a look. I borrowed it from the library and found it quite helpful), I bought a 2x12x16 since these tend to have fewer defects, and I picked up one with the heartwood in the center of the board, so when I rip it out, I will have two "quarter sawn" 2x4's that at least in theory will be much more stable. I am actually planning to do the ripping tonight with my circ saw and a straight edge guide I had made out of mdf and lanolin.

I had made some sawhorses out if 2x4's I spent a long time selecting at hd, only to have them move so much after drying/acclimating to my basement that the whole exercise was somewhat pointless.

Some food for thought in your selection/planning.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
railaw said:
Taking advice from Chris Schwartz (if you haven't had a look at his most recent book, workbenches, from design and theory to construction and use, it's worth a look. I borrowed it from the library and found it quite helpful), I bought a 2x12x16 since these tend to have fewer defects, and I picked up one with the heartwood in the center of the board, so when I rip it out, I will have two "quarter sawn" 2x4's that at least in theory will be much more stable. I am actually planning to do the ripping tonight with my circ saw and a straight edge guide I had made out of mdf and lanolin.

I had made some sawhorses out if 2x4's I spent a long time selecting at hd, only to have them move so much after drying/acclimating to my basement that the whole exercise was somewhat pointless.

Some food for thought in your selection/planning.
Thanks I'll check out that book. I may try to find a lumber yard instead of HD for wood. I've been extremely disappointed in their wood selection
 

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The two basic ingredients for a good bench is flat and stable. Stability can be achieved with massive weight or by securing the bench to the floor and or wall. Flat... you have a few options here offered by HD. My original bench was an old solid core door and after abusing it for 12 years, I covered it with bamboo flooring from HD. The flooring was about $60 per box and I used half the box for my 30 X 80 bench. A good sheet of their plywood can also serve as a flat surface.

The bamboo flooring is great for a workbench surface. I can glue up my projects and any glue that oozes out will not stick to the flooring's finish. I can stain and paint on the bench because these will not penetrate the finish and clean up is easy.

Of course I added a few things to my bench to make it easy to work with. It's extremely versatile and a pleasure to work with. Take a look at it if you want http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/versatile-small-shop-work-bench-unique-40361/

As for setting up shop and buying tools - don't buy until you need that specific tool. Try to buy good quality tools and "used" is not a bad option if the tool is in good condition and priced right! Good luck and post pictures of the shop. We love pictures...

I tend to check the "introduction" forum and haven't seen you post about yourself. Please do introduce yourself there so we can WELCOME you to our forum - the best on the web...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
BernieL said:
The two basic ingredients for a good bench is flat and stable. Stability can be achieved with massive weight or by securing the bench to the floor and or wall. Flat... you have a few options here offered by HD. My original bench was an old solid core door and after abusing it for 12 years, I covered it with bamboo flooring from HD. The flooring was about $60 per box and I used half the box for my 30 X 80 bench. A good sheet of their plywood can also serve as a flat surface.

The bamboo flooring is great for a workbench surface. I can glue up my projects and any glue that oozes out will not stick to the flooring's finish. I can stain and paint on the bench because these will not penetrate the finish and clean up is easy.

Of course I added a few things to my bench to make it easy to work with. It's extremely versatile and a pleasure to work with. Take a look at it if you want http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/versatile-small-shop-work-bench-unique-40361/

As for setting up shop and buying tools - don't buy until you need that specific tool. Try to buy good quality tools and "used" is not a bad option if the tool is in good condition and priced right! Good luck and post pictures of the shop. We love pictures...

I tend to check the "introduction" forum and haven't seen you post about yourself. Please do introduce yourself there so we can WELCOME you to our forum - the best on the web...
I like what you did with yours. I am planning on a heavy bench that can be taken apart incase I move. Instead of just using wood screws I'm going to drill holes and use bolts washers and hex nuts. The table top will be 3/4 plywood and 1/4 hardboard on top to make it smooth. Do you think I should buy the pressure treated wood? I don't know a lot about wood and still kind of studying all that. Kind of wondering if the pressure treated stuff will last longer and be less likely to warp and crack. I do plan to sand it all down and either put a satin or semi gloss poly finish. The 4 legs will be 4x4 I'll have 2x6's around the top on the outside of the 4x4 legs and maybe even the inside. The bottom will 2x4 or 2x6 supports on the inside of the legs and I'll deck it with plywood for storage of tools. My shop isn't big I am very limited in space. The garage was made into an extra room before we moved in and then converted and split in half one half being a room with the laundry facility and the other a garage with French wooden doors. Makes it ok cause I can open the doors for more space for ripping plywood etc. I am working on making it a wood shop but have to do it one step at a time due to finances. Won't be anything fancy but will work
 

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Discussion Starter #8
As you can see I have a bunch of work to do but it's piecing together. Give it a year or two and it will a decent shop. I am ready for it to be done though. I have a bunch of project I want to do and learn but have to wait until I have the right tools and setup. Right now I am making some stuff and made a website and online store to sell some of my stuff and I'll use that money to keep funding my projects. I would like to get into making fancy custom jewelry boxes some out of exotic wood and perfect that art and sell them on my website. I'll get there.
 

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These pics I just went back there and took. The others are from two-3 weeks ago so you can see how much stuff I've added in just a couple weeks lol I'm also thinking I'll build a small table with cabinet on casters for my router table
 

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I got Schwarz’s book “Workbench Design Book: The Art & Philosophy of Building Better Benches”, which is a follow up to “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use”. I have learned a lot reading this book. It also has plans for nine benches.
[ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1440310408/ref=oh_details_o08_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1"]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1440310408/ref=oh_details_o08_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1[/ame]

FYI, I plan on using Yellow Southern Pine as I don’t have a cheap source of hardwood here.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
cps said:
I got Schwartz’s book “Workbench Design Book: The Art & Philosophy of Building Better Benches”, which is a follow up to “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use”. I have learned a lot reading this book. It also has plans for nine benches.
Video Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1440310408/ref=oh_details_o08_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

FYI, I plan on using Yellow Southern Pine as I don’t have a cheap source of hardwood here.
I'll definitely check out that book. Glad to know I'm not the only one having to use syp lol. It may be fine if I find some good pieces of stock. Thinking about getting the pressure treated stuff
 

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cps said:
Also, for what it is worth, Schwarz claims the SYP will get very hard as the resins set up.
Oh ok. So go with the syp untreated? I was wanting to put some kind of finish on it. The top won't need it because it will be plywood and hardboard but I would like to sand and finish the legs and 2x6's any suggestions on what type of finish I should go with or should I just sand and leave it unfinished
 

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Also it looks like all of the 4x4's are pressure treated except for the cedar and western rough cedar
 

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Oh ok. So go with the syp untreated? I was wanting to put some kind of finish on it. The top won't need it because it will be plywood and hardboard but I would like to sand and finish the legs and 2x6's any suggestions on what type of finish I should go with or should I just sand and leave it unfinished
Danish oil is what Schwarz uses in the book. He also made his own version of the Danish oil, but I think I am just going to get the Watco Danish Oil. Minwax Antique Oil is what the Bench Crafted guys recommend.

I think I am going to build a version of the Split Top Roubo that Bench Crafted designed, but do it in SYP and cheaper vise configurations. They have a 3D drawing you can down load for free. The SYP would be less than 200 dollars for this project.

http://benchcrafted.com/str.html
 

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Discussion Starter #18
cps said:
Danish oil is what Schwarz uses in the book. He also made his own version of the Danish oil, but I think I am just going to get the Watco Danish Oil. Minwax Antique Oil is what the Bench Crafted guys recommend.

I think I am going to build a version of the Split Top Roubo that Bench Crafted designed, but do it in SYP and cheaper vise configurations. They have a 3D drawing you can down load for free. The SYP would be less than 200 dollars for this project.

http://benchcrafted.com/str.html
Nice. You can't beat that price. I want to see pics when you make yours. I'm also wanting to put a vice on the depth end of the table and one on the left side of the long end
 

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Nice. You can't beat that price. I want to see pics when you make yours. I'm also wanting to put a vice on the depth end of the table and one on the left side of the long end

Will do...It may be a while as I am saving up for a planer first. There are a couple of build threads in the Project Showcase that are building similar benches.

Here is one:

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f13/workbench-build-54471/
 

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cps said:
Will do...It may be a while as I am saving up for a planer first. There are a couple of build threads in the Project Showcase that are building similar benches.

Here is one:

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f13/workbench-build-54471/
I thought about waiting for the planer but I have the cash for the material so I kind of want to do it now. I did find some hand planers that weren't too pricey. I really want the big rigid or dewalt planer but it will be a while until I have 500 bucks. I'm kind of hoping to be able to just sand it down well enough that it looks good.
 
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