Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Over the course of this project, I've gotten a number of questions about cost. The answer is likely very different for me than someone else, but there are two key variables. First, the cost of wood, I've found, varies greatly by region. The width and lengths of boards you have access to is also a major factor believe it or not. For example, for the top I wanted to get two 3" widths from each board, but this meant I had to settle for some 10+" boards (which cost more per BF for me). Many of the boards were also much longer than I really needed, so I was paying for scrap. Also, I picked ash, which cost me around $3.50 to $4 per BF, but I've heard of others finding it for closer to $2. You can save a lot of money if you can find lesser expensive wood. I ended up buying about 140 BF, but according to the author, the actual materials for the bench are closer to 80 (that's a lot of scrap). Secondly, I splurged for the big 24" twin screw Veritas vise, which runs $230 plus shipping. The end vise is pretty standard in the $75-$90 range. In total, I spent somewhere around $850 (not including gratuitous tool purchases). But if you can get lumber closer to $2/BF at more optimal widths and lengths, and used a less expensive front vise, you could realistically build this for around $500. Considering a similar quality pre-made bench runs in the $2K range, I would certainly consider that a bargain!