So I had my order all lined up: 123 board feet of kapur wood. But I couldn’t pull the trigger. Why? The price. The total cost of the lumber needed for my workbench would have been $212. Maybe that’s not a lot; I don’t know what lumber costs are like where you are. But it’s about $50 more than I expected to have to pay, and in our world, $50 is a lot of money.

While I was there, I did find out that they have four different kinds of wood: nyatoh, selangan batu, kapur and “oti”. This oti was the cheapest by far. In fact, if I selected this wood for my workbench, the total cost would have been $120.

When I inquired about this oti, I learned that it is in fact “O.T.” which stands for “other timber.” I tried to learn what this meant – is it different species of wood all lumped together? All I could learn is that some of the boards are light in color while others are dark or red; some boards are harder while others are softer.

So here’s my question for you experienced woodworkers and armchair wood jockeys. Do you think I’d be okay using this “O.T.” wood for my workbench? I’m thinking that since we’re in Malaysia, most if not all of the wood here is hardwood. And I would be able to choose the individual boards. And they still would plane it down for me so it’s all of a uniform thickness.

I don’t really care if the wood isn’t all the same color. This is a workbench, not a work of art (I just heard some of you workbench lovers gasp). And frankly, I don’t care if it isn’t all the same species. Of course, I might be forgetting to consider something, which is why I pose these questions.

So I’ll either go back to the lumber yard this week to select the O.T. boards for the bench, or I’ll save up my money a bit longer and then go back for the kapur.

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