Material for Outside Workbench Top ?

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?
- Magnusfarce
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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.....
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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.
Bob S.
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Magnusfarce wrote:

Concrete
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Magnusfarce wrote:

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 time...
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Pressure treated lumber, 2x4,2x6, 2x8, 5/4, would all work.
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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.
- Magnusfarce

material
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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 surface.
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.
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But not good for pounding on,it would break off unless supported well. Or if you layer 3-4 sheets of it.8-)
(Mentioned in the latset WOOD magazine's article on workbench tops.)
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Jim Yanik
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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 years.
Sure, heavier is better, but it also depends on the work you do. Not everyone needs 3" maple
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Marine grade plywood

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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.
RJ

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Gee,I'm just thinking of all the projects that could be done with your Corian.Nice score!
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Jim Yanik
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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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Stainless steel?

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