With my sawhorses ready and waiting, the plan clear in my mind and hardware in place, it’s time to start progressing the workbench project. On balance, I think I’d say the U.S. has easier access to timber suitable for workbenches than we do in the U.K. I say that after enviously looking on at Jay Bates collecting long, wide, planed and untreated Southern Yellow Pine for his workbench project.
I use the term “easier” because for all the assimilation and mixed blessings that the Big Orange Retail Giants have brought, ease of access does prove very useful. Although I can’t pick up timber of the same standard from the U.K. BORGs, I can work with what they stock and I can call in after work during the week or at the weekend. Please don’t take this as the only option. If you have a local small-scale supplier with good timber, then do please support them.
Although some might have a touch of sick in their mouths after seeing “Studwork” grade timber, please just hear me out. My mind is not fully made up yet…although my motivation for this project is making a robust and practical workbench that is very affordable so I could not help but review this option.
From the outside, you might assume I’m a bit of a hand-tool zealot. Nothing could be further from the truth. I try to have fun, and fun for me does not include trying to take rough stock to planed without a workbench. Running my eye over the timber in the store, I was reasonably pleased with how straight it was, and how clean the surface finish was. That was in sharp contrast to the wood branded as “construction grade” shown in the very top photo set – it was cupped and twisted, and full of surface defects.
There was also some tongue-and-groove, which would work great for the shelf. So while my mind is not made up, this looks like a contender.