quick question about timber sizes for workbench

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  • #137588
    billstennett
    Participant

    Hi all,

    I’m ready to start building a workbench based on Paul’s youtube videos but I did just want to check on the best dimensions of timber to use.

    I know the advice in the videos and accompanying notes on Paul’s blog were based on what you could easily get in the Big chain homestores (B&Q, Wickes etc in the UK) but I do have access to a timber supplier who can mill to whatever size I need.

    So, would a finished size 2″ x 4″ be too big for the bench tops? Would the 4″ benchtop be too think? Would I be better going for a 2″ x 3″ size?

    Also, for the aprons and wellboard, is 2″ going to be too thick or could I use 3 off 2″x4″ for the aprons and wellboard.

    I’m hoping to make the bench 7′ in length.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

    cheers,

    Bill

    #137589
    dejfson
    Participant

    actually I have build mine using 50x50mm top and aprons and it is perfectly fine. sturdiness does not come from top think essential but from the way legs are inserted into aprons

    #137590
    dejfson
    Participant

    actually I have build mine using 50x50mm top and aprons and it is perfectly fine. sturdiness does not come from top thickness but from the way legs are inserted into aprons

    #137603
    Matt McGrane
    Participant

    Hi Bill. The answers to your questions depend on what you want out of your bench. You could go with anything you want really, just to get started. Personally I wanted a benchtop as thick as I could get it after gluing up 1.5 x 3.5″ boards (it ended up at 3 1/8″ after flattening). One thing to consider is that if I used boards thicker than 1.5″ for the top I would have had to make them very flat so they could be glued together. As it was, many of my boards were twisted badly and if they were thicker I wouldn’t have been able to clamp the twisted boards to non-twisted boards.

    For the well board you really don’t need a thick board at all – could be a waste. For the aprons, 2″ thick is not too thick as long as the board is straight. But if there is a bow in the length it could be harder to clamp out with a thicker board.

    Good luck. Let us know how you make out.

    Matt, Northern California - Started a blog in 2016: http://tinyshopww.blogspot.com/

    #137613
    Thomas Angle
    Participant

    I am with Matt. I used 2×4’s and when flattened, they where about 3 1/8″. I would not go with a thinned top if I do it again.

    Arbovale, WV

    Proverbs 18:13
    13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

    #137625
    David B
    Participant

    My bench size came together as I constructed it and essentially determined dimensions on the fly. I know the length I needed and really just needed to decide how much workspace I wanted and how big of a tool well I wanted.

    #137669
    billstennett
    Participant

    Thanks all. I think I’ll be going with the 2×4’s – especially considering I’m bound to loose some when flattening the laminations which I hadn’t really considered!



    @mattmcgrane
    – thanks for pointing out the possible issue of having to get the boards really flat for lamination as they get thicker. Since these are coming from a timber yard hopefully the’ll be close to flat and not too twisted. Otherwise I’ll be relying on my Stanley 5 1/2 and modest joinery abilities to get the tops made!

    Wish me luck.

    Cheers

    Bill

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