17 votes
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What is the difference between hardwood and softwood?

Hardwood is usually from a deciduous tree and softwood is usually from a coniferous one. Hardwoods typically have a higher density (hence hardwood). Seriously? For the most part that is the general ...
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  • 20k
9 votes
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Using softwoods for bench tops

So a good question for here would be are softwoods suitable or practicable for use as bench tops? Yes. Obviously softwoods are generally fairly soft and a bench made from softwood is going to be ...
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  • 59k
7 votes
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What's a reliable measure of wood hardness?

Technically hardwood comes from angiosperm trees, softwood comes from gymnosperm trees. So (mostly) if the tree has leaves it is hardwood, if it has needles it is softwood. This means that some '...
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6 votes

Are some workbench features not suitable for a softwood workbench?

Should I not bother with these workbench features as they might not be suited for softwood? Example being I can see a holdfast wearing out a dog hole fairly quickly if used regularly. To clarify I am ...
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5 votes
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How can I harden soft woods?

Putting a glass top over it would be simplest. There are epoxies made for bar tops which might work, but I have no idea what they would do over a soft wood. There are compounds used to harden ...
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  • 9,101
4 votes

What's a reliable measure of wood hardness?

Per your edit, you appear to be looking for e.g. Janka hardness, a standardized measure involving indenting a wood sample with a penetrator and measuring the force required to indent a standard amount....
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4 votes
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Planing end grain - cheap vs more expensive wood

Planing end grain is not an easy task and getting a nice result should be taken as a good indicator of sharpness, especially in softwoods. It's impossible for most beginners and very difficult for a ...
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4 votes

Using softwoods for bench tops

I don't see why not. Some of it depends on what kind of abuse you expect it to take and if you expect it to stay 'pretty'. One of my bench tops I made out of 2x6's left over from building the garage....
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4 votes

Are some workbench features not suitable for a softwood workbench?

Should I not bother with these workbench features as they might not be suited for softwood? I was going to suggest in a Comment that a complete list of the features you might like to add would be ...
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  • 59k
3 votes

Are some workbench features not suitable for a softwood workbench?

I suspect that for your bench dogs, the big factor will be how thick your bench top is. With oak I suspect you can get away with 3/4" board for a while, though 2" might be better. For pine, I would ...
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2 votes
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How to fix a 2x4 table that is too heavy for its own good?

It looks like the long dimension is perpendicular to the direction of the boards and having a laminated edge along the long span does not help. The problem is that you essentially have a beam spanning ...
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2 votes

Using softwoods for bench tops

Interesting question. There are certainly a lot of designs for benches which use medium density fiberboard as their tops (with solid wood wrapped around the edge for durability).. The idea seems to ...
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  • 9,101
2 votes

What would be the best glue to use for papermaking frames that are immersed in water & made from pinewood

As with most things there's no one best option. There are three good choices that aren't too difficult to obtain and should be absolutely reliable: Epoxy Polyurethane Urea-formaldehyde These are in ...
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  • 59k
2 votes

What would be the best glue to use for papermaking frames that are immersed in water & made from pinewood

Your best option would be a two part marine epoxy. Many of the major adhesive manufacturers produce them and hardware stores stock them so it will be easy to acquire.
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  • 623
2 votes

Can I use softwood for garden furniture?

I also have access to lots of wood. I made some benches and table from it and stained for better visual effect, as well as garden beds from untreated wood of all kind. It already lasted two years and ...
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  • 21
2 votes

Plywood or Pine for bed base sub-structure

I see no reason that your bed would not work with the framework built of pine. All over the world, structures from sheds and other outbuildings to whole houses are built with softwoods and to me your ...
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  • 1,896
1 vote

Preparing a futon for outside use

As I mention in the Comments, doing nothing to this in terms of adding new finish is actually an option as strange as it sounds. We're programmed to think that wood must be coated somehow if it's in ...
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1 vote

Finishing Red Cedar Tabletop

Quickly, my answer is Epoxy, but to your point, there is wood movement to contend with, so the answer is not that simple. I guess my point is that epoxy is not a single product, and you might look ...
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1 vote
Accepted

Display Softwood Staff & Cane

My goal is maximum preservation and presentation. Something that will last forever and look amazing. Nothing lasts forever. But if the rest of your lifetime will do you you're in good shape ;-) Wood ...
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