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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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correction

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.
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.
That was the book I read - the newer one. Def. worth reading. It's what prompted me to get the Douglas Fir boards, as SYP is not cheap around here and I learned how stiff the stuff really is.
 

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How good are fir boards? That stuff is dirt cheap here. Syp isn't expensive here but it's not exactly cheap either.
Well after reading the book I did some looking at the various properties of wood and learned a little bit about the Janka hardness scale as well as the stiffness of wood (there are some other properties that are measured in various ways as well). Depending on the species of SYP, Doug Fir is nearly as hard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_hardness_test, and quite stiff http://www.woodworkweb.com/woodwork-topics/wood/146-wood-strengths.html. If I had my druthers I'd use hard maple or ash for aesthetic reasons but its just too expensive.

The book talks a lot about moisture content, which seems quite important, and is very practical.
 
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