Material for workbench top

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I have a 15 year old particle board workbench. The top is worn and I would like to put some type of material over the top so that I have a smoother surface. Any Suggestions? If so, what material should I have cut to specs and what's the best way to place it (thickness)? Nail it in? Sand top, apply adhesive, press new top on?
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On 7/7/2010 11:42 PM Ziggs spake thus:

I like masonite. You can get it in 1/8" or 1/4" thicknesses Almost Anywhere, possibly even cut to size (for that I'd go to a real lumber yard instead of the Big Orange Store). Glue it on with ordinary white glue, using lots of weights (heavy books, bricks, etc.). Should hold up better than particle board.
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The 1/4" would be a good choice. The 1/8" is very hard to force flat after the glue is applied.
Colbyt
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On 7/8/2010 6:13 AM, Colbyt wrote:

I used OSB for the top structure and then used laminate flooring for the top. I checked around and bought the cheapest stuff I could find (special at Lowe's). The boards were snapped together, but then glued with liquid nails to the OSB. An oak nosing finished the edges. The stuff is pretty tough, but I'm sure you don't want to beat it with a hammer; I have a big old stage counter weight for that purpose. Check out http://picasaweb.google.com/actodesco/FranklinHouse#5406334300469639906 and the next few pics. BTW, there is now a vice on that left corner ... too lazy to take more pics.
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masonite scratches and then makes lots of dust,and quickly looks like crap. I'd glue a 1/4" or 3/8" layer of MDF over the old top. Then seal it with polyurethane.
an aside;I did not know there's a nuclear-resistant version of MDF. Yikes!
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wrote:

That is why we said tempered masonite. It is as hard as MDF
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I just use plywood. Then I don't wory about acidentally drilling or cutting into it. After it gets too beat up replace it.
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On 7/8/2010 5:15 AM, jamesgangnc wrote:

That's what I used when I built my work bench. Same rationale.
Bill
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Bill Gill wrote:

Yep, plywood here too. Fastened it on with screws, then brushed on a few coats of polyurethane to finish the job.
Jon
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On Jul 8, 8:22am, "Jon Danniken"

Exactly what I did 25 years ago. Sanded the top down once since then to clean up the appearance and then re-varnished. May have to do it again in a couple of years.
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Jon Danniken wrote:

I've always preferred a 2-layer top, with 2x4 edges and a 'drop in' top layer (no fasteners needed) that could be flipped over or replaced as needed. A lip is nice, to keep stuff from rolling onto the floor.
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wrote:

Mine is an 8 foot section of a bowling alley reduced down to about 24" of width. If it looks bad enough I can just sand it. Haven't really felt the need the need in the last 20 years.
It was fun to watch when the movers grabbed a hold of it to move.
Colbyt
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Ziggs,
One more vote for masonite. You can get it in 2'x4', 4'x4' or 4'x8' sheets. It has one rough side so I don't even fasten it to my particle board top.
dss
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wrote:

Same here. I used 4 "elevator bolts" (large flat head) in the corners to hold it down. Get the tempered masonite (dark brown), not the regular. It will hold up better. Keep a scrap piece of plywood on or near your bench for a drilling backstop. I also came up with a piece of white Corian I use for a work surface when rebuilding carburetors and such. YMMV on finding something like that ;-)
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I use TEMPERED masonite 1/4 inch smooth on both sides. Mounted with counter sunk screws. When shows a lot of wear I turn it over and remount. So get twice the use at one time price. WW
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I bought an old solid core door for $15 from a local door shop. Except for the hole, which I plugged, it was perfect. Even had hanger hinges.
Steve
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On Wed, 07 Jul 2010 23:42:48 -0700, Ziggs wrote:

I keep thinking about getting hold of a broken chest freezer, purely for the metal panels that I could use from the lid and front to use as tops for the workbench. Just one of those jobs that I haven't got around to yet :-)
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On Jul 8, 1:14pm, Jules Richardson

After some 35 years recovered top of bench (itself built from scrapped shipping pallets in the 1970s) with some scrapped 3/8ths plywood.
Then painted it with some leftover paint. Works as well as it ever did.
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"Ziggs" wrote

If you were happy with the particle board for 15 years, then plywood is best. Just use nails.
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Years ago I went to our local Lowes store and purchased one of their counter tops and used it for a work bench, used 4 X 4s for legs and I love it. Serving me well, very cleanable...and looks great

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