Workbench top??


I am working (slowly) on a workbench and was wondering if there is a reason on not using oak for the top? Other than it's not as hard as maple. I have a bunch of 8/4 oak and want to make the top out of this wood, I like oak as my favorite wood so that is why the question.....Brian
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On Wed, 13 Apr 2005 20:49:54 -0400, "Brian In Hampton"

Lots of people use oak. The short grain of maple has its advantages, but any hardwood you can get cheap is good. Go for it.
-Leuf
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Short grain of maple, eh? I agree, a long grain such as red oak is painful under the fingernails! Think about using one of the "wheat boards" as a top, good stability and no finger nail splinters.
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snipped-for-privacy@dontemailme.com says...

One suggestion that I picked up from an article in a very old FWW. Put an edge of softer wood around the top. That way it'll get dinged instead of the prize project you just bumped against it :-). I used redwood 2x4s.
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Maple and Beech are traditional and may offer some advantages....but oak will work fine.
I started on one myself this past week end, top will be ash, base will be oak. I'm replacing a bench I made 25 years ago. The top was build up using 2 layers of particle board, then a layer of 4/4 oak. Lots of character.

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Brian In Hampton wrote:

If you are the adventrous type, make the top up out of 1 1/2 strips of oak, glued up face to face. About 36 strips will give you a nice 28" top with the side grain showing. Looks nice and removes the splinter problem.
You will want a hand power plane and a good belt sander, as well as three men and a boy to move it, but makes a nice stable top.
Deb
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Hm. I have a ton of unfinished T&G 3/4" oak flooring cut-offs just looking for a project. Think I might have one now... : )
Jason (married to a Deb himself)
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My bench is built against 2 walls (L shape). It's a 2x4 base, 2 layers of 1" particle board overlayed with 3/4" oak T&G flooring. Works like a charm and looks like a champ.
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It's nice when you're work bench is solid, stable and looks good as well.
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"Brian In Hampton"

Oak, if I had the quantities on-hand as you have, I would definitely build a bench from it. Avoid using the wide growth rings flat.
Dave
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grained, closed grained is what you want like hard or soft Maple and Euro or American Beech. Euro Beech and hard rock sugar maple are the best for the job, though as well Ipe (Pao Lope) decking boards (harder, common) could be ripped and laminated together with epoxy, but it would be harder on the cutting edges of hand tools. Southern Yellow Pine (SYP) would be a good choice if you can get it, so would Osage Orange.
If you use the Oak you would save bucks. When the top becomes worn, deeply nicked too much and grain becomes more open from wear, you would hand plane it down, therefore make it a thick top to begin with, like 3". It will still last you for many years anyway, so don't sweat it. The Oak is definitely hard and strong enough to do the job.
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On Wed, 13 Apr 2005 20:49:54 -0400, "Brian In Hampton"

The only reason I could think of is that it has open grain that will feel a little rough to the touch, but other than that, I can't imagine it would make anything less than a superb bench top. Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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The only problem I could forsee with oak is possible difficulties with fasteners for building the bench ie attaching the legs to the top. I have had some bad experiences with oak cabinets, moulding, etc, and I could only see these problems being a much bigger deal on larger pieces such as a bench top.
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woodworker88 wrote:

What kind of problems of which you speaketh???
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