Trouble is, I don’t have, as of yet, any tools at the Popular Woodworking Magazine shop. I need a place to store my tools when I bring them here. Instead of building a bench first, I’m going to build the two boxes that make up my workbench storage. These boxes will eventually fit into my bench when it’s complete.
The sides, top and bottom are all 22 1/2″ wide on these boxes. My first thought was to build them using Baltic-birch plywood, but I want to dovetail the corners for strength and plywood is not the best material when cutting dovetails. That has me thinking solid wood.
Another thing is that I plan to paint these boxes (and the base of my bench, too). Ordinarily, I would immediately turn to poplar, as I did with my Shaker Workbench from December 2007 (issue #166). But I’m thinking yellow pine. Why? I have some in stock (I would need to purchase poplar). Another reason I’m leaning toward pine is because things slide great on yellow pine.
When I built the Wright Shaker Counter in the June 2012 magazine (issue #197), I used yellow pine for the drawer boxes. That piece I kept for myself and I use it daily. The drawers slide in and out with the flick of a finger. That’s the way I want the drawers on my bench to slide. The problem is that I have not painted yellow pine. How does it paint? Does it hold up?
So the question I’m putting to you is this: Should I bag the dovetails and use plywood, dig into my checkbook and pay for the poplar or be thrifty and use the pine for a better slide? Leave a comment and let me know.