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Anarchist's Workbench free download

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Free download of this book available from  https://lostartpress.com/collections/books/products/the-anarchists-workbench 

Great summary on the history and construction of work benches. Just in case you need another one!

 

 

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"And the final disadvatange? Softwoods are über redneck. No one is going to "ooh and ahh" over your choice of yellow pine. It's the mullet of the forest."

Lol

 

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2 hours ago, not telling said:

"And the final disadvatange? Softwoods are über redneck. No one is going to "ooh and ahh" over your choice of yellow pine. It's the mullet of the forest."

Lol

Here's another one " Nothing involving cheap joinery or dodgy fish has a happy ending." Pearls of wisdom!

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8 hours ago, not telling said:

"And the final disadvatange? Softwoods are über redneck. No one is going to "ooh and ahh" over your choice of yellow pine. It's the mullet of the forest."

Lol

 

What you quoted is actually pretty funny, and valuable, for what it displays about ignorance and posing, if one doesn't have anything better to offer. I could very much admire a workbench, well-made, from yellow pine.

Heck even my main "go-to" workbench is mostly made from plywood, and tapered 2x4's, (the taper having no functional value, but it can make 2x4's appear to be more artistic). :D

My other less-main workbench is an Ulmia "woodworkers" bench which I purchased from Bruce Carlson when he was moving back from the US to Italy. I can't say that it would be any better or worse, had it been made from pine rather than beech, but I will say that the traditional "woodworker" bench design can come in quite handy.

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

What you quoted is actually pretty funny, and valuable, for what it displays about ignorance and posing, if one doesn't have anything better to offer. I could very much admire a workbench, well-made, from yellow pine.

Hardwoods are good for sure (my husband's main workbench is made of ash) and I think a lot of people choose Maple for valid practical reasons but what's interesting is that the yellow pine gets harder over time. I just like the idea of something like a wood choice being called the mullet of the forest. I had to laugh. But I really like the idea of a workbench that looks that awesome being constructed for $175. Anyone who does that shows they are serious. Who would want some kind of fluffy , pristine work bench made of exotic wood? It's a work bench.

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g

2 minutes ago, not telling said:

Hardwoods are good for sure and I think a lot of people choose Maple for valid practical reasons but what's interesting is that the yellow pine gets harder over time. I just like the idea of something like a wood choice being called the mullet of the forest. I had to laugh. But I really like the idea of a workbench that looks that awesome being constructed for $175. Anyone who does that shows they are serious. Who would want some kind of fluffy , pristine work bench made of exotic wood? It's a work bench.

Agreed.

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Where I live Yellow Pine of clear grade is very expensive material. Larch is the most common substitute, as far as work benches go, Doug fir 2x4's on end, laminated together, once dry and leveled, and then finally dried out,is probably the most cost effective and nice surface to work on IMO.

Any builder who has done enough framing knows that Doug fir goes thru a curing process, when you buy basic framing lumber it is sold "wet" or fresh cut and not kiln dried. 

This makes it so when you nail the framing together that the nails penetrate easy and the material is way less prone to splitting.

Once the material is framed and the drying process starts, the material starts to "case harden" and eventually after about two years the once very sift easy to nail material becomes rock hard as the water leaves and the saps crystallize and harden, it shrinks around the nails and makes it way harder to extract a nail with a cats claw than when wet, trying to hand nail into existing framing with a hammer can become futile without pre-drilling, older growth material in older houses particularly can be very hard

So anyway gluing 2x4s on end gives you a solid 3 1/2" surface that is very "thud" resistant.

As far as Yellow Pine goes, around here I have seen some VERY expensive furniture sets from yellow knotty pine, so I dunno , maybe it's a regional thing, but around here and up in Tahoe it is used for the upscale cabin look all the time for interior walls and ceilings,often times incorporating log beams and such. So to see a  workbench from it would be either pretty upscale, antique from another time when it was cheap or the guy was nuts and wanted to spend a fortune on material for a bench

It also may have something to do with when that was written, just scant 25 years ago, in my area , redwood was still consider a cheap "junk' wood for decks and fences, now it's like gold.

 

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13 minutes ago, avandesande said:

Maybe but yellow pine isn't available many places.

For a workbench, I don't see that it matters much which sort of pine or spruce is used.

In my mind, it's better to focus on the fiddles you produce, than on the vanity-properties of your workshop or tools.

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7 minutes ago, avandesande said:

Maybe but yellow pine isn't available many places.

You can find yellow pine easy enough, but “yellow pine” includes multiple species. The highest density, and the species that gets hardest as it ages (or so I’ve heard) is a variety of slash pine known as Dade County pine. Typically slash pine (Pinus elliottii) that grows below the frost line (Pinus elliottii var. densa). I don’t think Dade County pine is commercially available anymore, but regular slash pine is plentiful in southeast U.S. That said, my plywood bench tops work just fine. 

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Nice. I've been reading Christopher Schwarz's other books on workbench design and they're both pretty good. I expect this one covers much of the same ground, but it looks nice enough that I may end up buying it anyway in spite of the free download (I prefer printed books anyway).

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3 hours ago, not telling said:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wsj.com/amp/articles/thousands-of-southerners-planted-trees-for-retirement-it-didnt-work-1539095250

This article is about slashpine, right? Whatever the conditions are otherwise it sounds like this wood is ideal for a benchtop, cheap and plentiful

No, loblolly pine is Pinus taeda and slash pine is Pinus elliottii.  They are distinct species easily distinguished by different leaf morphology. However, in the lumber yard they're both likely labeled simply as yellow pine, southern yellow pine.  They do have similar home ranges.

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A workbench made from pine presumably just works as well as made from oak.

However softwood as pine has a few disadvantages

The weight is different. Unless you don't anchor the pine made bench it in the ground it will move when doing rough work. Either it shakes more or 'walk around' if it is not firmly placed on a wall. 

Another disadvantage is that if your chisel slips and cut into a pine workbench it will go deeper.  

Mover time, normal wear will be faster. Edges on soft wood round off quicker over the years. 

 

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Workbenches can be made of different woods for different purposes. I have a beechwood Ulmia joiners bench which I use for rough carving  plates, planing and joining plates and general wood work. Even at more than 300 lbs. it still needs to be up against a wall or it will walk across the room.My other benches are a commercial 2x4 and particle board built in with a plywood top and replaceable hard wood edges.  I  can clamp things on top of it like bending irons and plate cradles easier than the Ulmia and it is L shaped and very stable despite weighing less. My bow bench is a trestle type bench made from standard lumber yard framing stock which has now lasted more than 40 years.

 As David said what you make on them is a lot more important than what they are made of.

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2 hours ago, avandesande said:

Hoffman & Hammer

I bought their 'senior' model in Germany about 12 years ago and it works well for me. Mine has a flat top without the tool well at the back.

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On 7/12/2020 at 12:43 PM, avandesande said:

I put 3M furniture pads on the feet I don't have issues with it moving.

The felt ones? What type of flooring?

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Pergo floors, I think these are the ones below. They are more rubbery feeling on the bottom than felty. I can't guarantee no walk, but I didn't have to move the bench back after planing a back post joining.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Non-Slip-Furniture-Pads-Premium-8-pk-4-Furniture-Felt-Rubber-Protector-3M/153890820410?hash=item23d49b913a:g:dQsAAOSwiG1dJAPs

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On 7/12/2020 at 10:43 AM, Adrian Lopez said:

Some wood stats from Schwarz's first workbench book, Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use.

 

691039271_202007112033311002(small).thumb.jpg.a7f72290cb3641ad0baefac093433f20.jpg

* The Janka scale indicates hardness.

I know this is a bit irrelevant, but the discussion of hardness amused be a bit, being from Oz.  There are many native timbers that cannot be nailed (at least by me) once they have aged and some that will break drill bits.

Keep safe,

Tim

Janka-Chart.png

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