Cheap Timber

UKworkshop.co.uk

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loc0

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Engineering companies (metal fabrication etc) get their materials delivered on various size pallets (regular euro but also 2x2 3x3 sometimes 4x4 knock-ups). The site manager may be more than happy for you to clear up their yard or apply a small fee if he's greedy. This is where I get my material from so I don't feel guilty when I screw up during my learning journey ;)
 

rafezetter

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Facebook marketplace, freegle, freecycle and gumtree are all good sources of free or cheap wood - bedframes, old doors (my personal favorite) etc.
 

sammy.se

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I've just picked up a couple of oak bedframes from Freecycle and Freegle - useful source of wood - especially the 3" x 3" posts on the head and foot boards.
great idea
Dining tables is another good one - but very specifically, the laminated ikea type tables where lengths of beech or birch are glues together to make a top. So, the solid wood ones, not chipboard
 

Jacob

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Planer thicknesser and reclaimed wood not a happy combination unless you de-nail and scrub the surface very clean e.g. with scrub plane, into new wood.

It only takes one bit of nail or grit to blunt your blades in a few seconds
 

loc0

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great idea
Dining tables is another good one - but very specifically, the laminated ikea type tables where lengths of beech or birch are glues together to make a top. So, the solid wood ones, not chipboard
Somtime ago I bought "solid oak" table from gumtree. It has "breadboard" ends doweled and glued to the main surface and this were laminated oak planks. Main surface was oak veneered mdf with oak edging. You live, you learn.
 

Peri

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Google for local sawmills.
We have one near us, 47 x 100 – Park Timber

47x100 c24 about £3.60/m +vat (free delivery within 25 miles)

Edit - I think thats about 30% cheaper than the Wickes product linked above?
 
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Freddyjersey2016

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Workbenches - hmmm - American Youtubers have a lot to answer for - my opinion
a) Workbench legs dont need to be planed - I have used a bench for the last 30+ years where the legs are made from sawn 4x4 never caused me a problem - heavier the better is the answer to a stable bench - e.g. fence posts
b) Any under frames can be sawn - e.g. reclaimed 3x2 or 4x2 - nail holes wont affect anything
c) Workbench top - my 6x1.25 planed pine board top seems perfectly rigid enough to me - maple is for making tables not workbenches here in the uk
 

gmgmgm

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If you are in a rural area, find a local sawmill or fencing stockist- they will have plenty of solid posts and boards you can run through your thicknesser and it's much cheaper than the shiny low-quality pieces at B&Q.

If I'm in a rut I will reach for Wickes - not ideal, but delivery is quick and cheap, and the quality isn't bad.
 

SamG340

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I pay £5 for 8 foot of 4x2 dug fir from my local one man band sawmill , fresh sawn and not planed but still a bargain
 

SamG340

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I know that is probably 2 words that don’t currently go hand in hand these days.

I’m working on a project for my workshop and I’m looking for reasonably priced softwood.

I have a thicknesses/planer now so maybe reclaimed wood is an option.

Any advice?

Bloc do they have Wynnstay farm supply near you ? They're good on price for timber last time I went
 

Devmeister

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OMG! I see workbenches on YouTube with maple, Purple Heart, walnut accents etc.

Then I see all the round dog holes, the Veritas hardware and hold downs etc.

may the end of the day it’s is a workbench. Maple in the USA is still relatively cheap. Red oak and birch are firewood in the east.

Our Doug Fir is fourth or fifth generation rubbish!!! Reclaimed first gen is serious money… more expensive than maple or birch.

Poplar is about 2/3 cost of maple. Clear pine has shot up in price. I can’t believe what clear pine costs. I am now using maple where I once used clear surgar pine for patterns.

in Europe and England, beech is common. It’s a nice general purpose hardwood. In the USA it’s almost impossible to find.

Thanks to China, American ash is going to be impossible. The Chinese ash borer has spread like wild fire. Came in on un-fumed shipping pallets around Lake Erie.

while you can use fence posts, I would be careful. Boards with center are very unstable and prone to cracks and twist. Timber framers often spec timber as FOHC or free of heart center.

For me, I like vintage woodworking. So a functional bench that is comfortable to use that also exhibits some roughness has a certain character to it. English bench designs are traditionally of some sort of pine. Roubo benches are often oak.

while I understand the notions of Roubo, how heavy a bench do you need? A slab of chip board on two saw horses may be perfect. I prefer maple as it’s easier to get and it’s close grained making it viable for doing machine work. Oak absorbs cutting oil and solvents.

my wood bench is half shaker and half roubo. I have a 1940s Emmett vise and a standard tail vise. The roubo side is oak and the shaker side is maple. The maple was reclaimed from a bowling alley and the oak was some heavy timber’s from work that was being thrown out from an old job.

I think that it’s really cool when the stuff in your shop has a story to tell. My planer came out of a catholic high school. My tennoner came out of a prison shop so I kept the department of corrections tag. To me it’s boring when everything is store bought ikea like chip board with Chinese tools.
 

Devmeister

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One option as crazy as it sounds is old pallets. Many were made of red oak. Don’t be shy to plane some down and glue it up. Doing so creates something like a glue-lam timber. Very strong and very stable now. And the staining around the old nail holes gives it that old workshop patina.
 

thetyreman

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search for 'pitch pine' doors on ebay, there are plenty of bargains, you'll need a table saw or bandsaw to cut them up but it's often dead on quartersawn, and so far the best quality wood I can find for cheap.
 

Cozzer

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One option as crazy as it sounds is old pallets. Many were made of red oak. Don’t be shy to plane some down and glue it up. Doing so creates something like a glue-lam timber. Very strong and very stable now. And the staining around the old nail holes gives it that old workshop patina.


I've viewed this on more than one occasion.

The only problem seems to be that most pallets I've seen recently use wood blocks between upper and lower decks, as opposed to timber 'lengths'...
 

Devmeister

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search for 'pitch pine' doors on ebay, there are plenty of bargains, you'll need a table saw or bandsaw to cut them up but it's often dead on quartersawn, and so far the best quality wood I can find for cheap.

A new trend in doors is to make the rails and stiles for example out of finger jointed scraps. Then a thin layer of pine veneer is glued on top and bottom.
 

Essex Barn Workshop

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I'm lucky that a short detour on the route to my workshop takes me past this place:
There are other wood recycling places all over the uk. You never know what they will have, and some of it is dirty and used, but there are enough diamonds in the rough to keep me going back. Added to that, the profits all go to a disabled craft charity.

Here is a link to the 'parent' organisation which has a search facility so you can find your closest yard.

 

Craig22

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FWIW I built my Klausz design bench around 10 years ago. Beech top, and sapele underframe. Now the photos of Klausz on line show him next to his bench design with all sorts of exotic stuff like purpleheart, which is totally unnecessary.

The trick to making a high quality bench is time, and the standard of joint making in the construction.

Beech and sapele are cheap timbers. I bought the planks from Hardwood Timber Suppliers | UK & Online | Whitmore's Timber , but there are many sources.
 
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