I just put together a new workbench using some wood that has been sitting around the shop. The top is half of a workbench top from an old public school shop class bench. I scraped off pink and green gum from the bottom side—yeck! The legs—now those are special. I have carried a barn timber around for about 20 years. It was longleaf pine (heartwood) that had been milled on a circular saw mill years ago. The nails that I pulled out of it were square! This is some old wood with about 25 rings per inch. We resawed the timber into the wood for this bench.
I used a double mortise and tenon joint where the legs connect to the feet. The feet are 3 x 4, the legs are 3 x 3’s. There are 3 stretchers that connect the end frames pulled up tight with 1/2” draw bolts threaded into brass cross-dowels. Solid. Heavy. Designed to last for generations. A little chip-carved detail on the foot.
People that worry about climate change talk about something called “carbon sequestration.” Basically how long will atmospheric carbon stay locked up in something non-gaseous like wood. Researchers estimate the half-life of carbon in furniture is about 30 years (after 30 years half of the furniture will have ended up in a landfill). This heartpine lumber holds carbon taken from the atmosphere in the 1700’s and 1800’s—200 years of sequestration and counting! Save the planet. Make something out of wood that will last generations.