I went through my lumber pile and 90% of my 2x stock has some sort of split. I'm trying to make a butcher block top for a work bench out of spruce and I don't want any cracks, if I can help it.
My lumber is all 6+ months old so it's probably getting pretty dry. I could pick up some fresh stuff from the lumber yard but wouldn't that just split over time? I'll probably treat the blocks with a clear barrier finish so that might trap some of the moisture.
Hey, Tom; I'm really surprised that your lumber is wet(?)! All the SPF lumber out here in BC is kiln dried and wrapped at the mill. The only way it can get soaked is if the lumberyard isn't diligent about keeping it covered once the wrap is pulled back.
In any case, I'm also surprised your Spruce is splitting. Too much heat ie drying out too quickly?
Spruce (and Pine) is pretty soft for a bench top; no Interior KD D. Fir available where you are (DF-N)? Douglas Fir
I feel your pain, Tom. I needed some D.Fir 2x10 last week, to machine into replacement window sills. The top three layers of material in the lift (at the lumberyard) were already covered with fungus, and wet needless to say.
The fifth layer had some nice, straight, almost clear, and nearly dry pieces.
The daytime temp. has now dropped to 7 C., well below the minimum of 10 C. required for priming/painting with acrylic paint (the project is under a big tarp so it's staying dry). Now what...
A quick description of the project is that I picked up a half dozen rolling tool cabinets. They are steel units with a rubber mat on top. They also have a small lip on the sides and back to position the upper toolbox.
I'm going to use them as tool stands for the drill press, sharpening station, planer, small miter saw, etc. To that end, I need flat surfaces on them and they're going to need to be at least 1" thick so I can route a groove for the metal lip at the top of the cabinets.
I would go along with what Dan suggested, either ply or mdf and possibly 2 pieces laminated. If you work on them they will eventually get beat up. Making them cheap and easy to replace would be a bonus in my opinion.
Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
I'll be interested to see how this pans out. I have a similar chest from HF (a bit wider) that I had a similar idea for, with the intent of picking up another 2 or so if it works well. Those Lime Boxes look sharp. Good Luck!
Hey, Tom; will the tops take a beating? Spruce is pretty soft for edging(?), and D. Fir splinters. Neither is a really desirable species for taking a sh*t kicking. Hardwood species are a lot more durable.