Countertop ideas for a workbench?

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I tore out the workbench that was in the garage when we bought the house (too high, too short) and am building a 3' x 10' bench, and it's almost done, except for the top.
I need to choose a top. I'm thinking of two 36" x 80" solid core doors cut to 36" x 60" each. These are a big expensive at $65 each, but I think plywood is too thin, and AB plywood isn't that much less than the doors.
Any other ideas?
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My work bench is 1/2 inch CDX. What do you expect to repair? Are you an air craft mechanic, or what? Mine with 1/2 inch plywood has been plenty fine.
Please put in several power sockets, they come in handy.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
I tore out the workbench that was in the garage when we bought the house (too high, too short) and am building a 3' x 10' bench, and it's almost done, except for the top.
I need to choose a top. I'm thinking of two 36" x 80" solid core doors cut to 36" x 60" each. These are a big expensive at $65 each, but I think plywood is too thin, and AB plywood isn't that much less than the doors.
Any other ideas?
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wrote:

To me, 3' is too deep for a bench- crap just gets lost in the back.
But you might use it for something other than what I do- so that would determine the depth, the heft and the surface.
As I think about it I have 5 benches between the garage and basement.
In general, I like 2 layers of 3/4 plywood glued together. One end of one bench has a chunk of countertop that I bought cheap. Another is steel. Another is fireboard.
I have a 30" door that I throw on two sawhorses if I need the space.
Jim
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A bunch of 2 x 4s glued together, with the new glues the wood will split before it comes apart
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wrote:

I have a solid core door in my computer room for a work bench and it works well but if this is someplace where you are doing heavy duty work you might want to skin the top with another surface like tempered masonite so you can replace it if it gets too beat up.
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I like the maple butcher block tops. A few hundred dollars, but nice to look at, stay flat, and seem to last forever. They're heavy enough that they'll sit on a sturdy frame (preferably fully welded 2" square steel tubing) without bolts.
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wrote:

Ikea is a good source for butcher block tops. I like their beech tops.
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40057396/
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snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzz wrote:

Should you cover the butcher-block table top with 1/2" plywood to protect it from nails, tool-slippage, spilled varnish, and the like?
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wrote:

too. Vinyl furniture covers?
I wouldn't be above throwing a sheet of hardboard on top, though. ;-)
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On Oct 31, 7:46am, "Stormin Mormon"

Use a couple of those long 'industrial' type power strips [3-4 ft] with an outlet every 6 inches, or so. AND DON'T mount down, mount them on their sides, place them horizontally, else loose items fall right into the sockets! To make them easily accessible I mounted some underneath the top along the front. MISTAKE! plugs like to fall out of that position, plus the cords are loops to catch your feet in. Mount on a vertical surface along the back about two to four inches up from the top's surface [clearance for your fingers], where you can plug cords straight in as you look at the power strips.
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The workbench that came with my house was made from full sized 2 x 4's and 2 x 8's. The top itself is 2 x 8's laid flat and are pretty rough.
I covered the top with 1/4" tempered hardboard to produce a very smooth surface. I don't mind drilling through it, spilling paint or cutting oil on it or hammering nails into it because when it gets really messed up, I take it off and replace it with another sheet of tempered hardboard for fresh new surface. I'd estimate I've done that 5 or 6 times in about 20 years.
I nailed 1/4" thick back band molding around the edges of the workbench for a smoother edge and to hold the hardboard in place without and nails or glue.
Another thing to consider is your electrical layout. My workbench top extends about 4 inches beyond the horizontal 2 x 4 that supports the front edge. I ran 4 duplex receptacles, evenly spaced, along the 2 x 4 so that my cords are never in my way on top of the workbench. That keeps the area behind the workbench (a wall in my case) free from cords and nothing I put on the workbench blocks any receptacles.
My shop is pretty small, but I also have multiple receptacles on the 2 side walls so I can plug tools into wherever will give me the most working room free from cords.
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I put hardboard for top layer on wood bench. The bench, about 38 inches wide, made with rough cut ,4X4's and 2X6 , must weigh 200 pounds. That came with house. Must have been built in house. I have to cut it down so I can fit through future doorways. Garage metal bench with two layers of chipboard. Lightly painted with varnish.
Greg
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Make the under part of the top with scrap wood then put a layer of laminate (hard plastic/synthitic works well) 'wood' flowing on the top. We have one area of the shop that we reguild generators and pumps. Beats the hell out of the laminate but keeps on ticking.
Since you don't need much left overs or borken boxes are cheap.
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I got a pretty good sized chunk of second hand pure white Corian. It is not enough to cover the whole workbench but it does make a nice work surface for working with small parts like carburetors
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On Oct 31, 3:31pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That's a perfect example of why there is no one answer to the workbench top question. I want a top that I'm not afraid to abuse (thus the 1/4" replaceable hardboard) while other's might want a perfectly smooth and pristine surface for working with small intricate parts.
It all depends on what the workbench will be used for.
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In typed:

I went to the local Buildiing supply and asked about small pieces of returned or unused countertops. 3 Pieces (not matching in colors) and I had a 12' long bench. Steel legs I already had, so used those for solidity and stability. It sits atop a 3/4" ply base. Strong, no bounce, stable, deep enough I routed out a space and dropped a steel bar into it for heavy pounding on steel. 14 years old and counting. What I tore out had a 3/4 plywood with linoleum on it. Worked OK, but got dinged up easily. Countertops are really hard to ding up and they look as good as the day they were new except they're painted gloss white (vision assistance).
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I use three layers of plywood. I started out with two but when I bolted the vise on I realized I needed another layer.
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wrote:

I always lag screw my vises at the corner of the benches, which are made of 2x4's. Whether I've used 1/2" plank or 3/4" plywood for the top, at least 2 screws go into the 2x4's. You can bolt and washer anyway, so that vise won't come loose.

Planking and plywood are smooth. I coat my benches with cheap white latex paint. Like 'em white for the light reflection. I don't beat on them, and they stay smooth. If you're nicking them up past what you want, use hardboard as gfretwell said.
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Seriously, check McMaster's pricing on Maple butcher block. 72" x 30" x 1.75" thick is only $233, with or without a radius at the front edge.
If you're committed to 10', you're up around 5 bills and still worth every penny. Compared to cobbling sheets of plywood together and trying to make it smooth and flat, that's not a lot more money for a much better solution. I've got about six of them at the shop.
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