Crap Wood for Good Workbenches

by Patrick Harper - Blood, Sweat, and Sawdust

I think that anyone interested in building a Roubo should seriously consider yellow pine. I found this post from Christ Schwarz immensely useful in selecting the very best lumber from your local Borg. Build a great bench without breaking the bank.

You can find links to my other Roubo posts here:  Project Index

Lost Art Press


A common bench-builder’s lament: “My home center stocks terrible dimensional wood. I went to every store in a 20-mile radius and didn’t find a single board.”

This blog entry is my retort to that complaint. I’ve bought dimensional stock in every region in the United States for workbenches, sawbenches or other workshop equipment. I have never walked away empty-handed. Here are my strategies.

1. 2x4s are for suckers. I buy the widest, longest stock my vehicle can carry. Not only is it clearer, as a rule, but it is cheaper per board foot. The last time I bought a 2×4, Ron Reagan was in the White House. Go for the 2x12s or 2x10s – rip out the pieces you need.

2. Know how the store stacks the wood. The front of the pile is always – always – junk. I’ve watched home center employees carefully stock the dirtiest, knottiest, splittiest…

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