Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Hardwood is not cheap these days

I have been working out how much timber for my proposed Roubo split top workbench is going to cost. Roughly at the moment the prices including taxes but not shipping are

  • Beech £710.81 Janka Hardness: 1,450 lbf
  • Steamed beech £750.53 Janka Hardness: 1,450 lbf
  • Maple £1,231.11 Janka Hardness: 1,450 lbf (hard maple) 850 lbf (soft maple)
  • European oak £1,940.77 Janka Hardness: 1,120 lbf
  • White oak £1,561.65 Janka Hardness: 1,350 lbf
  • Iroko £1,031.76 Janka Hardness: 1,260 lbf
  • Douglas fir £648.03     Janka Hardness: 620 lbf
Now I know that oak is no good for iron/steel unless I want iron oxide so have ruled them out.
The maple will be soft maple still with a reasonable Janka of 850 but a little too soft for a bench.
Douglas fir is a softwood and although it is dimensionally very stable I think a little too soft for a bench.
Iroko is hardwearing on tooling but will probably work well as a bench. The jury is out on that one.

This leaves the two types of beech. Beech has been used for centuries in Europe in bench making. The steaming in the beech unifies its colour to a pink. I'm not too bothered about the colour as this is a bench but it would be nice to have it all one colour as I'm spending a lot of cash on it. So steamed beech it will be.


The plans are the Woodwhisperer Guild plans by Marc Spagnuolo designed in conjunction with Benchcrafted's own design.

Benchcrafted hardware

The cost of Benchcrafted hardware for my needs is £737.10 so the total cost of the bench (without shipping on any item) is £1,487.63

Do I Don't I?

I have to ask myself do I really need it? Yes of course I do but not for a few months.
My commercial Sjobergs is ok(ish) for now but moves about when I plane on it.

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