Wood buying tips in London?

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    Matt Cromwell

    Hi all,

    I posted about a month back saying i wanted to jump into the projects. I went out bought the tools i need to start making the workbench, but life had other plans and things got delayed. Now i have my tools i’m looking at buying the wood, which i’ve never done before, and need some tips.

    Firstly, where is a good place for reasonably priced timber? I went into Wickes and a single 4×2 was £11, which would make just buying the wood for the workbench about £300, which seems excessive compared to what Paul has talked about.

    Secondly, i don’t have a car which makes going in person and picking the wood out personally impossible. But if i just bulk order online without seeing it i’ve heard that i’ll probably get lots of bowed wood that’s left over. Is there a way around this?

    Lastly, what is the materials list i need? I’m planning on doing the book version of the workbench as i live in a flat and the slightly smaller version fits better. But it has a variety of dimensioned timber – 3×2, 4×2, 3×1, architrave, etc – but no list of how much of each. If anyone has done this and knows then that info would be great. If not could anyone who’s done the Youtube version tell me what they used?



    Hello Matt,
    I built my own workbench several years ago to Paul’s design. It’s a pretty big project to start with, and there were times when I wondered if I had taken on too much, however the sense of satisfaction I experienced at the end made it all worthwhile.

    I would find a timber merchant close to where you live and ask them for a quote for the wood you need. I think you’ll cut the cost of wood approximately in half and it’ll be better quality, too. I’ve found the white wood sold by B&Q (there is no Wickes close to me) is very soft and can tear easily when planed. The redwood sold by a regular timber merchant is much better. And they’ll probably deliver for a fee. Much easier than carrying it 🙂

    Happy workbenching…


    Hi – I live just north of London and have used Wood Green timber. I think I spent close to £300 on timber for a Roubo style bench and it was going to be £400+ if I bought the wood from B&Q. The price for Paul’s bench should be a fair bit less.



    Have you tried to find a place where recycled wood is sold? Just like Bristol Wood Recycling Project, where I live. You can find good deals there and similar wood, large quantity of the same species if you are lucky too:)

    Ian Thomas

    I designed a bench in the Paul Sellers style in Sketchup, then I bought CLS (studwork) timber from Homebase, the same stuff is sold in Wickes etc. Just work your way through the pile and pick the straightest least knotty pieces.

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