Doing it, and doing it over again. Shop stands and benches.

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  • dbhost
    Slow and steady
    • Apr 2008
    • 9267
    • League City, Texas
    • Ryobi BT3100

    Doing it, and doing it over again. Shop stands and benches.

    So I am on the prowl for reasonably prices southern yellow pine 2x4s which are common here, and far less common, untreated southern yellow pine 4x4s. If I cannot find kiln dried, they will be stashed on my lumber racks and possibly stickered and allowed to dry properly. I have several projects in mind.

    SO... I am pausing this post to ask a serious inquiry. Can anyone reccommend a source for reasonably priced SYP 2x4s, preferrably kiln dried in and around Houston / Galveston metropolitan area (Loring or anyone else close by ish...). I can start on the builds faster if I don't have to age sopping wet lumber, or pay extortion prices for it.

    After Hurricane Harvey, I ended up with my sister in law gifting me a number of as old as I am oak drawers from her kitchen and bathroom cabinets. They will figure into these projects.

    Just what projects are these you ask chomping at the bit I am sure...

    #1. Rework the workbench / outfeed table. I used the Wood magazine plans that feature 2 layers of 3/4" ply to make a top, and it works, but I couldn't find untreated pine and settled for cedar for the 4x4 legs. I want to remake this bench using a butcher block top of SYP 2x4s milled and glued up, then flattened and thickness sanded. So no spacer block for my vice, just make the top thickness to work with the vice. Make the legs from 4x4 SYP, and instead of draw bolting the legs and stretchers, actually do some proper M&T joinery there. And lastly, On one half of the base, add a pair of those cast off drawers. That would be perfect for things like holdfasts, chisels, mallets etc... I need to add heavy duty adjustable feet . My shop floor is anything but level and I want to level up the benches. There are things I really like about the Wood Magazine design especially since I modified it a little bit. The bench top size is bigger than their design as it was only supposed to be extended over one end and I did both. Perfect for vices, and having an uninterrupted clamping surface. Storage along the bottom is good but tends to gather clutter and is not very organized. The height is great for outfeed for the BT and is a very comfortable working height. I do wish I had integrated one of those butcher paper roller holders though. My bench top is all gunked up over the years and just more or less trashed now...

    #2. Long delayed and similar in design to the bench but scaled to fit, I NEED to replace the base of my HF 12x36 lathe . The splayed leg design is good for sturdiness kind of, but lousy for storage, and even worse for ballast. I am aiming for mass here. Another butcher block top of 2x4s probably 3" thick, basic 2x4 legs and spreaders. and 2 rows of drawers for my lathe stuff. The base will be an enclosed box where I will likely slip 2 bags of dry quickcrete in for ballast. Definately need a heavy duty mobile base on this that is VERY adjustable to accomodate the sloping garage floor.

    #3. The BT3100. Redo the wide table. I am not cross cutting sheet goods on it, and anything under 12" wide and however long can get cut on the SCMS. Probably cut the extended rails in half, build a 2 box base. If I can get the parts to do it probably use a Grizzly Bear Crawl mobile base and extension rails to make it happy. My extension wing top, You guessed it, 2x butcher block glue up. On the 1.5" side though... The rest plywood. Need a compartment for the router table / router dust collection. Storage for router bits, table saw tools and blades, and all of the TS / router safety gear and jigs excluding the large jigs (Dovetail jigs).

    #4. The Ryobi 8" bench grinder has been relegated to metal work only now. I need to pull down the wolverine jig and package that all up. Will be selling the entire setup as I don't need it. It its place I need to build a proper stand for my Wen Sharpening System (Tormek clone) and its associated jigs. I am thinking simply plywood box with some stabilizing outrigger feet and of course adjustable feet... I will have to build a couple of small drawers for this to hold the jigs, and probably just keep a gallon jug of water handy in the base of it... Painted in my tell tale hunter green gloss.

    #5. Flip top stand. I have the Wahuda 10" jointer and nowhere for it to live. The Sunhill jointer was a large chunk smaller and I sized the flip top stand with it in mind. I need to build a new flipper for the Wahuda. Nice jointer but bulky for a bench top unit...

    #6. Abandon my current clamp rack. I am finding it is more of a nuisance to use than it is worth. I have no idea what to replace it with. Keep it until I figure it out.

    #7. Redesign / build a new dust hood for the miter station. The Metabo 12" slider is a VERY different animal compared to the Chicago Electric it replaced, or my friends Ryobi or, well 90% of the sliding miter saws out there due to the front slide design. I had to clearance my original dust hood to make it work, but it is far from great.

    Having listed all of this, it I am sure begs the question, am I happy with ANY of the shop carts / benches / fixtures I have made or configured over the years.

    Well... Yes.

    #1. The repurposed short mechanics bottom tool cabinet as a rolling benchtop drill press cabinet and storage bench. The maple top really does the trick here. It rolls super easy but locks securely.
    #2. The green monster flip top stands. The one I built for the jointer / planer is too small yes, but had I not changed machines they would have been ideal. The HF urethane casters roll easily, and lock securely. The simple carriage bolt pivot locking pin design is a beautiful thing of simplicity itself. The one I made for the sander / scroll saw with the peg boad and accessories basket I worked out some minor alignment issues and the addition of the organized onboard storage is a real game changer for me. When I build the new one for the new jointer and my existing planer, I will be adding the peg board / storage for things like push blocks, and dust collector adapters.
    #3. The miter saw / mortiser bench. The storage base is a huge bonus with cavernous space, plenty of drawer space. The added wing table supports with T track and stop blocks makes setting up to make multiples of the same part viscously fast and easy. The measuring tapes zeroes at the outside edges of the saw blade kerf at 90 degrees makes for super easy setup of those previously mentioned stop blocks.
    #4. The multi layer clamshell wall hanging cabinets. Again, storage, storage storage, and very organized. storage at that. The French cleats however need some help.
    #5. The modified version of the New Yankee Workshop Router fence design. I made mine to just clamp to the BT3x00, or literally any table saw rip fence. Works great other than the lower face adjuster nuts are a little hard to get to.
    #6. The workshop library storage cabinet / upper wall cabinet. Same as the multi layer clamshells. Great storage, french cleats need help.
    Last edited by dbhost; 01-25-2024, 03:01 PM.
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  • capncarl
    Veteran Member
    • Jan 2007
    • 3578
    • Leesburg Georgia USA
    • SawStop CTS

    A comment about pine. I live in South Georgia where pine trees probably outnumber other trees 100 to 1, and there are miles and miles of exclusively pine forests planted for timber and pulp, yet you will have a hard time finding suitable pine lumber. I went to Lowe’s yesterday after a 1x6 pine board. The only straight or otherwise I damaged 1x6 I could find was from New Zealand. Go figure!


    • dbhost

      Editing a comment
      What flavor of pine do you get there? We have Southern Yellow Pine here in obscene abundance, Lowes and Home Depot seem to get the worst of the worst. I can reliable get well seasoned stock from my local Ace Hardware / independent lumberyard but they cost twice as much. And I am trying to keep my costs down is all.

      That is why I am seeking supplies of already seasoned pine that I can sort through and hopefully find the straight stock.

      My priorities here are...

      #1. Affordability. If I can't afford it I can't do it. I would love to do it all in oak, or poplar, but these are shop cabinets / fixtures, not home furnishings. Or even camper cabinets.
      #2. Dimensional stability once dry. SYP once it has been lumber for a couple of years, or has been kiln dried tends to in my experience stay put unless some outside forces re-moisturize the lumber. I.E. submerged in a flood which happens here.
      #3. Mass. For the bench for example. I could easily get by with just making a new top and calling it good, but I want legs to help keep it in place as well. I am not fully against doing another plywood glue up top for the bench, it works well and had I not abused the snot out of it, it would be fine, but the cedar legs are a concern for me.

      If you have recommendations for lumber that fits the bill that I am not thinking of, feel free to let me know. That is why I posted in the first place...
  • cwsmith
    Veteran Member
    • Dec 2005
    • 2745
    • NY Southern Tier, USA.
    • BT3100-1

    Up here in the Binghamton, NY area, the prices at the big box stores (Home Depot and Lowes) are sort of ridiculous in my opinion.

    For example, what they bill as "white wood" (pine), a 1 x 10 x 8 is priced a $22.22 per board. Our upstairs library is built mostly from 1 x 8 stock and IIRC, I think they were around $12 per board (that would have been about 15 years ago). I primarily purchased that particular stock because it was easy to handle in my limited shop space.

    While I primarily purchased from Home Depot and Lowes, near the end of my project I move to a local lumber supplier because they delivered, but at a dollar more per board). From Lowes and HD, I always handpicked my boards, buying a dozen or so at a time. But after awhile they rearranged thier displayes and it was much more difficult, not to mention the stock was too often split and damaged, poor cuts with bark, warped, etc.

    Unfortunately the local lumber yard doesn't allow personal selection. You simply give them the quantity and they deliver and tell you to call them if you find any not to your liking. On my second order I got several yellow pine, rather warped mixed into the lot.

    When I live in Painted Post, we had no less than four lumber suppliers, all with good pricing and great stock and delivery. The boards at Corning Building Company were alwasy in great and competively priced. I noticed a couple of times bundles of 2 x 4 stock, almost flawless, marked from Denmark no less. From them, I built my 14 x 25 ft deck and a few other project.

    Back around 2003 or so, Home Depot came to town and within two years everybody but the CBC closed. I think the CBC is still there, but I'm not sure what their business is like today.

    Here in Binghamton from the time I was a teenager and up to my late twenties, there were more than a half-dozen lumber retailers locally and many more 'independent small lumber yards in the smaller villages in the region. Like in the Corning area, those places are pretty rare in these times, thanks to the big box stores.

    Last edited by cwsmith; 01-28-2024, 08:39 PM.
    Think it Through Before You Do!


    • capncarl
      Veteran Member
      • Jan 2007
      • 3578
      • Leesburg Georgia USA
      • SawStop CTS

      DB, unfortunately I don’t think that there is a good answer to your question. The billions of trees grown in my state are grown so fast that a log that was large enough to saw a couple of boards wouldn’t have more than 12 growth rings! Just right to peel into sorry plywood, chip into particle wood or pulp into paper.

      A few years past I bid in an auction that was offering 100+ year old true 1”, 2x4s, 2x6s, , 2”x4” and 2x6” tongue and groove pine salvage from old peanut warehouses. I had previously purchased some wood from this person so I was familiar with this wood, and didn’t have the time to view the these offerings. I won bids on several lots each of the 2x4s, 2x6s and one lot of the 2x6 tongue and groove. I loaded my purchases onto my F150, it was probably the most weight you could possibly submit a F150 to, and tucked my tail between my legs and went home. I was not as familiar with the wood as I thought I was. I had won the bids on a truck load of 2x4s and 2x6s full of rusted off nails. Fortunately 10 percent of my winnings, the tongue and groove lumber was in great condition! Nails are not compatible with jointer and planer blades or SqwStop, so I have a 1k pile of firewood.

      if you can find any old wood salvaged from old buildings you may be able to make your own size lumber, but check it out well!


      • capncarl
        Veteran Member
        • Jan 2007
        • 3578
        • Leesburg Georgia USA
        • SawStop CTS

        DB, Not my usual source of wood, but do you ever search Facebook Marketplace for wood? I’m not a facebooker but I finally got tired of a friend of mine sending me pictures of local wood from her Facebook marketplace searches. I reactivated my account and did my own searches and was suprised how much wood was available near me that I was unaware of.


        • dbhost

          Editing a comment
          Never thought about FB Marketplace. My best lumber score to date was on Craigslist back about 2010. A fellow had passed away and his kids were selling off stuff from his estate and finally got around to the lumber. No good tools left sadly...
      • Dedpedal
        Established Member
        • Feb 2020
        • 255
        • Palm Coast Florida
        • One BT3000 in use and one for parts. Plus a BT3100

        I tend to watch market place for good deals. There’s a lot of guys who have small mills for rough lumber.
        for the clamp rack, I took a couple of slats from a bed frame and cut a dado in one the glued the other into it. The t shape holds my squeeze clamps just high enough that they’re easy to access.


        • Pappy
          The Full Monte
          • Dec 2002
          • 10453
          • San Marcos, TX, USA.
          • BT3000 (x2)

          db, the bigger Lowe's close to me (Kyle) has untreated 4x4 but I'm not sure if they are SYP or Whitewood. I've been talking to SWBO about building another 4-poster headboard and footboard.
          Don, aka Pappy,

          Wise men talk because they have something to say,
          Fools because they have to say something.