How to Buy Lumber for Workbenches
Looking for ways to save money when building your workbench? Here’s some great advice for saving on lumber for your bench. (Excerpted from “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use, Revised Edition” by Christopher Schwarz).
I use a lot of construction lumber in my projects – not only for workbenches but for furniture projects as well. If you carefully select your lumber you can end up with very nice wood for little money.
I don’t buy lumber for workbenches from a specialty lumberyard. I actually get it from my local home center. Here’s how I go about it.
Now as much as I like my local independent hardware store, I end up visiting my home center about twice a week for odds and ends. No matter how much of a hurry I’m in that day, my first stop is the framing lumber. I don’t always buy something, but I always watch the piles of 2 x 12s. And I look at the rack of lumber at the roof.
At my store, they usually have a Saturday-night cull. The employees pull all the junk from the racks that won’t sell because it’s too distorted or nasty. They band the culls and sell them for something real cheap. But I ignore the cull pile.
After they cull the racks they open up new bunks of fresh wood to replenish the racks that look skimpy. So Sunday morning is a great time to go to my home center.
I don’t go every Sunday, but I am usually rewarded with beautiful, straight and clear 2 x 12s. And if the bunk has been sitting at the top of the rack for months, the stuff will be dry – between 5 and 7 percent moisture content instead of the typical 15 to 20 percent.
For more great ideas and advice for building your workbench check out “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use, Revised Edition” by Christopher Schwarz – available now at ShopWoodworking.com.