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Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

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  • Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

    I want to build and donate a workbench to our local Rotary Club charity auction, but I can’t afford to build it out of hardwood.
    Has anybody built one from spruce 2 x lumber?
    How did it turn out?
    Even by using this cheaper wood, the cost of a decent vise will make it a pricey venture, but it’s a good cause…
    Lloyd Kerry
    Creator of the new Kerry-All Truck Pouch
    The soft-sided cargo 'box', custom-built for your pickup truck!

    http://kerryallpouch.com
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  • #2

    Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

    Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

    I made one from spruce 2x4's and MDF and it actually looks really good. It is also very sturdy and durable.

    Comment


    • #3

      Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

      Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

      Yes... Rip 2x10s to about 3 inches...you should get 3 board out of 1 2x10.
      Glue them face to face, hand plane it flat and you have a heavy, nice looking, inexpensive bench that won't make you upset when you splash stain on it or drill holes in it! Do a goodle search for "david keys fast and cheap bench" and download the pdf file.
      -------
      Cheers,
      --Rick

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

        Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

        Keep in mind that construction grade lumber has a very high moisture content - over %20. If you have the time, you should let the boards dry for a few months in your shop before using them.
        Steve
        Richmond, BC

        Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

        Comment


        • #5

          Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

          Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

          Originally posted by Rickbird View Post
          Yes... Rip 2x10s to about 3 inches...you should get 3 board out of 1 2x10.
          Glue them face to face, hand plane it flat and you have a heavy, nice looking, inexpensive bench that won't make you upset when you splash stain on it or drill holes in it! Do a goodle search for "david keys fast and cheap bench" and download the pdf file.
          The real trick here is to select 2x10 that is flat sawn and has the straightest grain you can find. That way when you rip and flip them you have quarter sawn pieces making for a nice stable top. 3" seems a bit much. 2" should be plenty thick enough, I would think.
          FWIW
          J.P. Rap Mount Hope Ont.
          Carpe Ductum (Seize The Tape)


          "In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. Elwood P. Dowd

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

            Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

            I'm building a bench right now with maple top and a base built from 2x lumber that was being cleared by the borg; a high mc is an understatement by Steve. They've been in the shop for weeks, I just jointed and planed the parts and I swear out of the corner of my eye I saw one of them move yesterday.

            Unfortunately J.P. you can't find Bob and David's Good, Fast, and Cheap Bench anymore. I have it but I think Bill would have to OK its posting.
            Andy

            Comment

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            • #7

              Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

              Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

              Originally posted by Andy Bardowell View Post
              ... you can't find Bob and David's Good, Fast, and Cheap Bench anymore.
              If you google it, you can find it.

              http://picnicpark.org/keith/woodwork...apBench-ne.pdf

              I find the 2x10s and 2x12s are a lot drier than a 2x4. Certainly they will need some degree of drying.
              -------
              Cheers,
              --Rick

              Comment


              • #8

                Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

                Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

                http://tomecat.com/jeffy/ww/bench/

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

                  Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

                  Mine is built from 2x4 spruce with 3/4 in. plywood on top and 2x6 in legs and braces.

                  Consider using some pipe clamps to make a vise. It may be a little awkward reaching under to adjust the one end of the clamp but it will work.
                  Egon
                  from
                  The South Shore, Nova Scotia

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

                    Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

                    Originally posted by Rickbird View Post
                    If you google it, you can find it.

                    http://picnicpark.org/keith/woodwork...apBench-ne.pdf

                    I find the 2x10s and 2x12s are a lot drier than a 2x4. Certainly they will need some degree of drying.

                    Along with the other link provided by Peter below, this link to Bob and Dave's Good, Fast and Cheap Bench provides terrific step by step advice on how to build a laminated, solid wood bench out of inexpensive softwood.
                    And with only handtools to boot - and yes, ripping straighter grained wider 2 by 10s or 12s softwood with hand rip saw is not hard.

                    No disagreements with the articles and...
                    .... would suggest buying couple/several extra 2 by ? to replace any cut down widths that become really squirrely with drying
                    .... would shoot for a final bench thickness of around 3" - mass, mass, mass
                    .....an alternate to a bench level tool tray is build in a light plywood shelf about 8" below the underside of the benchtop and make the whole benchtop width full thickness
                    .... you can add round dogholes after the benchtop is built

                    nice finds, should help newbies inquiring about a first real bench if the search function is used

                    Kerry, looking at your woodworking website, I don't think you need advice on building stuff out of wood (smiley).....and I don't think you have take upon yourself the cost of adding the vice for this charity effort; perhaps another club member would donate that or even simple written suggestions about suitable vices taped the completed effort would be an option; you are donating your skills and hours of labour in the double digits to produce a solid/flat woodworking bench for a fund raising effort.

                    good luck

                    michael

                    michael

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

                      Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

                      I built one several years ago and am still using it. The top is 2x4 on edge with all thread rod cross ways through the top. Legs are more 2x4's in pairs the last threaded rod on each end goes through the legs. End panels have ply wood panels, doors on the front and solid panel on the back. Two vices under the 2/4 top. After the whole thing was bolted together, I planed the top to be flat. It is getting king of beat up but it is still solid. If the wood shrinks, you can tighten the bolts.
                      In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity. - Thomas Sowell

                      Comment

                      • Thread Continues Below...

                      • #12

                        Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

                        Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

                        Time to bring this one back from the grave!

                        I finally have a few tools set up in my little garage, and I need a couple of work surfaces! One will probably just be for assembly, but the other will be the workbench. For assembly space (for the time being) I may just try to find a beater of a folding-leg wood table like this. My space is pretty small and I will probably need to be able to put it away from time to time, but bring it out for larger glue-ups.

                        The workbench, however, will be more of a fixture. I don't have a tonne to spend, and I'd like something fairly soon... IE, I don't have a few months to wait for wood to dry out. What are the best options? So far I have found

                        The 24-hour workbench - 2-5'x5' sheets of birch ply ripped in half and sandwiched together, pine base
                        the $175 Workbench - All Southern Yellow Pine, laminated top... inspired by the
                        Good, Fast and Cheap Workbench - I'm guessing it's SPF lumber

                        From the other threads on the topic here, it sounds like SPF lumber is a no-go because of drying time. Yellow pine sounds a lot better, and my local supplier said it's a hell of a lot drier than SPF - but it's 4.00/ft for a 2x8 compared to 0.65/ft for SPF, so that's roughly $380 for a the 8 boards needed for the bench... unless they quoted me wrong. Is it really worth it to go for the drier stuff, or can I just glue up the SPF really quickly and hope for the best? I have also heard of people using palettes to build a workbench - I'd love to go down this route. But can anyone elaborate on what needs to be done?

                        I've got a drill and a planer, and a table saw. I'm hoping that'll be enough to accomplish everything, along with a chisel set... though it seems like a drill press would be a wise investment now since I plan to get one eventually.

                        Any comments/critiques/advice?

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

                          Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

                          Originally posted by guitarchitect View Post
                          Time to bring this one back from the grave!

                          I finally have a few tools set up in my little garage, and I need a couple of work surfaces! One will probably just be for assembly, but the other will be the workbench. For assembly space (for the time being) I may just try to find a beater of a folding-leg wood table like this. My space is pretty small and I will probably need to be able to put it away from time to time, but bring it out for larger glue-ups.

                          The workbench, however, will be more of a fixture. I don't have a tonne to spend, and I'd like something fairly soon... IE, I don't have a few months to wait for wood to dry out. What are the best options? So far I have found

                          The 24-hour workbench - 2-5'x5' sheets of birch ply ripped in half and sandwiched together, pine base
                          the $175 Workbench - All Southern Yellow Pine, laminated top... inspired by the
                          Good, Fast and Cheap Workbench - I'm guessing it's SPF lumber

                          From the other threads on the topic here, it sounds like SPF lumber is a no-go because of drying time. Yellow pine sounds a lot better, and my local supplier said it's a hell of a lot drier than SPF - but it's 4.00/ft for a 2x8 compared to 0.65/ft for SPF, so that's roughly $380 for a the 8 boards needed for the bench... unless they quoted me wrong. Is it really worth it to go for the drier stuff, or can I just glue up the SPF really quickly and hope for the best? I have also heard of people using palettes to build a workbench - I'd love to go down this route. But can anyone elaborate on what needs to be done?

                          I've got a drill and a planer, and a table saw. I'm hoping that'll be enough to accomplish everything, along with a chisel set... though it seems like a drill press would be a wise investment now since I plan to get one eventually.

                          Any comments/critiques/advice?

                          I would trust Darrell's suggestion in this thread......

                          http://forum.canadianwoodworking.com...or-a-workbench

                          Read all the related threads (that pop up at the bottom of the screen) on using 'construction spruce' for a workbench.

                          You have been sitting on this project for a few months..... just get started (smiley)

                          michael

                          Comment


                          • #14

                            Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

                            Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

                            Originally posted by michaely View Post
                            I would trust Darrell's suggestion in this thread......

                            http://forum.canadianwoodworking.com...or-a-workbench

                            Read all the related threads (that pop up at the bottom of the screen) on using 'construction spruce' for a workbench.

                            You have been sitting on this project for a few months..... just get started (smiley)

                            michael
                            thanks - but you must have me confused with someone else - I literally just started in my shop over the weekend, now that the weather has warmed up, and I set up my table saw. Hopefully within a month I've got something - first order(s) of business are some other tasks

                            Comment


                            • #15

                              Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

                              Re: Building a workbench with spruce 2x4's ??

                              Here are some good used vices
                              http://ontario.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-s...AdIdZ366059220
                              Jerome
                              Canada's South Coast

                              Port Colborne On.
                              Every loaf of bread is a tragic tale of grains that could've become whiskey.......but didn't....

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