17

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 accepted (although broad) definition and yes there are several exceptions. Little more than that please Much like identifying wood species; determining if a ...


9

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 more prone to denting than one made of e.g. hard maple (a very popular choice in the US) but this could actually be considered a desirable trait rather than a ...


7

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 'hardwood' species can be a lot softer than 'softwood' species. Examples of hardwood: beach, oak, birch, balsa (which is very soft) Examples of softwood: spruce, ...


6

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 not concerned with the appearance but functionality of a bench with these features. I built my Roubo workbench out of southern pine, and I can tell you that ...


5

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 partially rotted wood, but I would be even more distrustful of trying to force them into a use they weren't designed for.


4

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.


4

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 lot of learner woodworkers to get good results planing end grain at every attempt. And it seems paradoxical but the end grain of hardwoods is generally much ...


4

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. I ran them through the joiner and planner to square them up and it is a very solid bench that can take a lot of abuse. It also happens to be significantly ...


4

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 useful, for replies to be as comprehensive as possible by going through them as a checklist. But actually I couldn't think of any feature that would be precluded ...


3

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 say a minimum of 2", 3 would be better 4 would be very solid and last a long time (also allowing the top to be sanded flat a few times too!). The thicker the ...


2

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 between the legs on the edge shown in the photo that has a no coherent wood fibers running the full length. Instead they're broken every 1 1/2". The glue ...


2

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 be that it works well enough, and is cheap to replace if necessary. I would think a pine top would be no worse, but possibly not better. MDF has the advantage ...


2

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 component parts do not seem undersized for the intended use. When it comes to mixing hardwoods and conifers being ill-advised, I don't know about it. The ...


2

In short, to answer your question, I don't think this is the best design for softwood construction. I think the material you choose will drive the joinery, not the other way around. Either will do, but the best way to make a carcase out of plywood will not be the best way to make a carcase out of pine. Plywood takes fasteners and glue really well, and is ...


2

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 an outdoor setting, and various finishes do help protect wood and maintain looks, but the actions of rain and sun aren't so damaging that you have to coat ...


2

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 it looks like a couple more years will be OK. Since the wood is available and doesn't cost anything - I see no reason to worry how long it will last, just make ...


2

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 no particular order. The epoxy does not need to be marine-grade. Additional point As well as going with a waterproof glue for this sort of application it would ...


2

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.


1

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 into those epoxies more dedicated to finish than to adhesive applications. My first attempt at Epoxy finish was with Bar Top, which is very viscus, and although ...


1

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 by itself can be pretty surprising in how well it lasts indoors, look at the structural pieces in the attic of almost any older house for an example. And that'...


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