Serious Score of Ash Lumber for Workbench

by ziggy on March 17, 2014 -- 5 comments -- Follow

Ash Wood For Workbench

Part of our recent haul of ash for the workbench projec

This is probably some of the nicest wood I’ve ever owned, hands down. We really got lucky here with this rough sawn ash lumber for the workbench we’re on our way to building. It’s stunning stuff, immaculately sawn and largely free of flaws. Part of me feels strangely guilty. But the other part of me knows we’ll put it to excellent use, as I expect this workbench we’re about to build is going to last many, many years.

The lumber scene is a completely different (and better) story here in Kentucky versus Missouri. There are way more smaller sawmills, and lots of folks with their own portable mills. There’s also a greater abundance of trees, obviously. In our former part of Missouri, it was one pallet mill after the next, churning out tiny crappy lengths of lumber to be nailed together to ship some cheap imported crap across the country. All wood, no matter the quality was cut up mercilessly into pallet material. The horror…

Thankfully, there are some respectable mills out here that pay more attention to what is coming in and going out. We paid $1.75/board foot for this 8/4 (2″ thick) ash… which is a lot more than I am used to paying for wood of any kind, but you get what you pay for, right? I can tell it’s going to be very pleasant to work with.

Now that we have secured our workbench material, the fun stuff is about to begin.

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  • johnathan

    Your first workbench post a couple weeks ago has had me looking forward to this series of posts. Not sure I’ve ever commented here before, but long time follower of your journey-
    So I have to ask, if you are going Roubo with that Ash, are you uaminating up a thick top?? Seeing how beautiful that material is, and at 8/4 it almost seems to be begging for a Nicholson… I’ve seen pics of that stunning Roubo you’ve worked on that would convince anyone to want one, I’m just mentioning it because it seems a more efficient use of the material you have on hand. I’ve been going through a similar dilemma myself, and leaning towards the Nicholson, just because of the material available. But don’t get me wrong, I’m greatly looking forward to seeing what you put together- best of luck

  • johnathan

    Laminating*** sorry about the spelling there. Commenting on the kindle make as for sloppy typing sometimes

  • johnathan

    Here’s a link to one of the better Nicholson’ s I’ve seen:

    Richard uses Ash a lot as well for most of his benches. I’m making a shavehorse at the moment with some 8/4+ Ash and it is wonderful stuff.

  • ziggy

    Thanks for commenting, Johnathan! We are indeed going the Roubo route. A split-top, since we can actually get the two halves through our portable planer without issue…which I only recently realized is a huge benefit to doing the split-top. (There are no real attractive benefits to me otherwise.)

    We are aiming for a 3 1/2″ thick top. We actually recently ripped down all of our stock, and aiming for a little under 4″ thick made better use of our material on hand. In looking at Nicholsons online and elsewhere, they didn’t speak to me the same way as a big slab top bench. Of course working on Greg’s Roubo pretty much sealed the deal from the beginning, too.

    I guess ultimately what kind of material you can access will largely determine what you build!

    I hope I can post another update soon… Oh yea, Richard and Helen do incredible work. Love it. Be sure to share some images of your shaving horse.

  • Richard De Koyer

    Nice photos of your Dad working on the cob house. Love that spoon. Use it everyday. Look forward to seeing updates on workbench. Rich

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