Garage bench top suggestions

I recently finished the frame for a 2x4 bench/table using those metal connector brackets and screws available in most hardware stores. I was impressed by how close to square everything ended up (although I took pains to pick out the straightest 2x4's I could find.) At any rate, I haven't added a top yet. I was planning on slapping on 3/4 inch flooring grade plywood and call it a day - but then I thought I might like a nicer/smoother surface. This bench will be for miscellaneous garage type stuff, with only occasional woodworking application. I thought an alternative might be 1/2" ply with replaceable hardboard on top, something along those lines. I'm pretty weak on available materials out there, though - any suggestions along these lines? The bench is 24" wide supported by 2x4's around the perimeter. The edge of the top will be flush with the outer edge of the perimeter framing.
Thanks in advance, Al
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you can, add some support across the middle sections, and see about a woodworking vise. It's invaluable, even if you're not woodworking. I'd go with 3/4" ply, if you can, and double it. You can add hardboard to the top, if you want it slick, but I think you're mostly going to want it stiff, strong, and flat.
--
Kevin
-=#=-

"Al Spohn" < snipped-for-privacy@nospam.mayo.edu> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
says...

Thanks, I was thinking along those lines. How important is it (if at all) to glue the two sheets of ply together vs. just screwing them down on top of each other?
Thanks, Al
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It's not a bad idea, but don't use too much glue. You won't need more than a drizzle. I've found that screws always seem to be in the worst spots when I'm using an edged tool, so I would try to avoid having screw heads visible. Screw the first panel down, and glue the second panel to that. You could use screws as clamps, until the glue dries, but take'em out when it's cured, and you'll save some chisel edges.
--
Kevin
-=#=-

"Al Spohn" < snipped-for-privacy@nospam.mayo.edu> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Masonite is a good surface, but put a few coats of varnish on it, so you can wipe up grease. Slick vinyl flooring is also good, if you aren't handling engine blocks. Since you are using a replaceable surface, you can use OSB. Double 3/4 layers are nice and you get a 2X8 bench from a sheet. If there's no moisture around, you can even use particle board. If you can find one, old office or exterior particle board doors are nice and cheap.
The supports mentioned are a good idea. Front to back every foot or so.
I have some beautiful walnut veneer doors, but use them only for desks!
Wilson

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My suggestion:
DF 2x2's glued-up side-by-side lengthwise using pipe clamps, and the best, thickest cabinet plywood you can find glued and bolted down on top, as the top. The places where thick nuts and bolts are, use a forstner bit and sink a shallow tight hole for the bolt head or nut to be "in", once assembled and bolted, fill those holes with [the proper] epoxy thoroghly, even onder the metal. When it is dry, sand down the epoxy smooth to flush with the top. Not needed underneath. How you attach the top to the leg assemby, "I don't know" in my current knowledge limitations. Let me know what you think of that idea.
Alex
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That's probably a very bad design decision, whether or not you plan on doing any kind of "woodworking thing" on this bench. Without an overhang, it would be much more difficult to clamp things to the top/bench.
A couple or three inches, minimum, is my suggestion.
Jim Stuyck
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Good point, thanks. Al
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Right after "gets it up off of the floor", the next thing in my order of importance is "makes a place to clamp the work solidly". Vises, bench dogs, c-clamps, drywall screws, whatever. The overhang is important.
Some folks go so far as to include special supports in addition to the legs to enable better clamping and/or support of large items.
Patriarch
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Al Spohn wrote:

Those are all very good suggestions, except someone mentioned getting a woodworking vise. I would go with a bench vise instead. Just my 2 cents. Have fun. Joe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Go get a solid core door blank from the borg. Good hard surface- solid and cheap. Bench style vice.
Dave

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Rip a sheet of 1/2" MDF lengthwise. Double it up and you have a 1" top that is dimensional stable, heavy, and strong. The factory edge is straight and true. It makes a cheap alternative to a hardwood top. Finish the top with 6-8 coats of poly and now it is waterproof. When the top gets nasty, flip the sheet.
So Long, Brad

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I made one out of 2X4s laid alongside each other with 5/8" plywood on top. Very sturdy.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
says...

Thanks for all the advice, folks - some interesting alternatives that definitely would not have occurred to me.
- Al
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

buy 18 economy studs (if you can find reasonably straight ones). rip 17 of them in half - making 2x2s with one flat side. glue them together with the flat side up and the 18th one in the back. This gives you an approximately 1.75" thick, 8' long top that should have a 4.5" overhang and a back lip to keep stuff from falling behind the bench. It would be helpful if you have a jointer to straighten out any small bows before ripping and a planer to flatten the glue up (you would have to do two glue-ups and then glue them plus the 18th board together to get the final product). Much more effort in the description than in the actual task ;)
Dave Hall
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
says...
In case anyone following this thread is interested, I happened upon this "after the fact":
http://store.yahoo.com/plansnow/wwrkbnch.html
This one comes closer to what I would do when it came time to make my "real" bench as opposed to the bench/table I'm building for my garage now. But it does represent a reasonable compromise for somebody looking for more functionality but still wanting to stay with a cost/time effective solution (and incorporates several of the suggestions I got on my bench.)
- Al
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload


A good design except for one thing - after building a similar bench, I found things got "lost" under there, and a great deal of dust/shavings collected on the stored items. Adding a cabinet full of drawers that slides into the space, or at least a couple of doors, would help. I also used two MDF core exterior doors from Lowes (about $35 each), glued and screwed together (shimmed them FLAT while the glue dried) and mounted to 4x4 posts using 1 1/2 inch dowels, really closet rod, tapered so as to fit easily. No glue required, gravity does the rest, this top weighs over 100 lbs! It hasn't budged at all since I made it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.