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  • Q: Need help selecting wood for a workbench

    Hi:

    What widely-available nominal-dimensioned lumber species would be my best bet for building a workbench?

    I have plans for building a cabinetmaker's woodworking bench.  The plan calls for Douglas fir to be used, and would require a jointer and planer to mill the parts to the specified dimensions.  Being new to woodworking, I haven't as yet been able to afford to add those machines to my shop.  However, I was able to get around the problem by modifying the plan in Google Sketch-Up (see illustration below)  to use nominal-dimensioned lumber (1x_, 2x_, and 4x4).  There are limited options in my area in terms of dimensioned lumber species - spruce, western red cedar, and fir (although not Douglas fir).  Would it be acceptable to use any of these in place of the Douglas fir?  Anything I should look out for?  Also, the original plan calls for a solid wood top, and I was wondering if I could instead get away with laminating 2 pieces of good quality 3/4" plywood (much like Asa and Matt did with the MDF on the Season 2 GSIW bench).  Any expert opinions/advice would be appreciated!

    Thanks,

    Ron

    Workbench



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