I have a sturdy steel frame from an old table saw that I want to prime and
paint and keep outside in a storage area for use as a little workbench. I
can fight rust on the frame with proper painting, but what kind of material
can I use as a work surface that will stand up to rain, sun, etc? I need a
piece only about two and a half feet square. Would any of the newer
synthetic kitchen counter materials, e.g., Corian, be tough enough?
Corian would last a long time. However tha seems like an expensive way
to go, especially since the bottom frame is an old saw base.
How flat do you need it? If it doesn't have to be too flat, you might
could use cay/slate/ceramic tiles. Of course, you couldn't be banging
it with a hammer.....
Another option is wood. Just treat it or paint it good (use primer).
Ipe would be a good choice. A softer alternative would be readwood.
It's last a good ten years, maybe longer. You can sand it down and
refinished it every two or three years.....
I recently called every lumber yard within 50 miles and none of them
carry redwood anymore. I got the same story from all of them - "If I
had any, you probably couldn't afford to buy it." I guess
environmentalists really turned it into a speciality item.
What kind of work do you intend to do on it? Corian will stand up to
the weather, but wouldn't stand much shock. Here where it's reasonably
dry most of the time and our prime weather culprit is UV, I'd just use
treated lumber and expect it would last the rest of my expected working
Hi, OP here -
Interesting ideas, but I would like a flat, relatively smooth surface that
would take some pounding (and even some occasional drill-throughs). That
would rule out stone and concrete, and Corian if it's that brittle. I don't
want treated lumber as a surface, but maybe I can use it as an under layer
with a replaceable top, like masonite. Hmmm.
MDO Medium Density Overlay. This is a plywood like material that is made
for outdoor use. It is used for highway signs. Has a very smooth outer
Some wood dealers will carry it but it is a sort of specialty item so do
call first. Where are you located? I have a piece 26 x 48 I'd sell for
cost, but I'm in CT.
How much pounding? I've had a 3/4" plywood top on my bench for 35 years and
it has not broken at all. I recently doubled it so I could put Lee Valley
bench pups in it. and end vice, but is has been plenty strong all those
Sure, heavier is better, but it also depends on the work you do. Not
everyone needs 3" maple
Corian will drill, and it can be had for free or for a small fee sometimes
from a counter top shop as sink cutouts. Not sure how it does outdoors.
My friend in the business just filled a rental dumpster with scraps like
that of Corian and stone and such, as he's moving his business to another
location. Needless to say, the workbenches in my new workshop I'm planning
will likely be of Corian. :-). I already covered a mobile workbench with it.
You can buy treated plywood in all thicknesses. I'd use 3/4".
Or, just paint the steel with Epoxy paint. (of course you dont want
to drill thru that, but you could have a piece of plywood or other
wood handy for drilling needs.
On Mon, 16 May 2005 06:58:14 -0700, "Magnusfarce"
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