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Old 09-25-2014, 01:35 PM   #1
Queen of Spades OP
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Best workbench surface

Curious to see what others prefer to line their workbenches with.

My primary bench is an old solid wood door mounted to a 2x4 frame. The paint is a little old and chipped/cracked in spots, so I usually put my parts on top of an old white towel and work from that. The towel helps keep things from sliding around, and it can be washed from time to time.

Is your workbench bare wood, metal, or something else?
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Old 09-25-2014, 01:40 PM   #2
bomber60015
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mine is 80 year old pine .. . . pretty close grained.

it soaks up spills nicely, doesn't damage thing dropped on it, and, when necessary, and old towel or t-shirt does a good job of keeping thing under control.
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Old 09-25-2014, 01:50 PM   #3
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I have three benches in my shop, one is covered in aluminum 4 deep by 12 wide, another 4 by 8 with outdoor carpet over the steel top, and last a 4 by 8 with masonite that i sealed with min-wax clear. the 4 by 4 fab table for welding is 3/4 inch plate beat to hell after 25 years of welding and beating on things. vices on all four. Pete
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:11 PM   #4
fritzcoinc
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I used a Formica counter top.
Easy to clean and it came with t backsplash.
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Old 09-25-2014, 03:18 PM   #5
Fugahwe
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The top of the bench is two thicknesses of 3/4" plywood with a stainless steel cover. It will support anything you can lift up on it (and then some) and has a nice hard surface that is easy to clean no matter what kind of mess you make
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Old 09-25-2014, 03:37 PM   #6
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i have a few, but the one you might be interested in is a steel frame with a sacrificial 3/4" MDF top. the top just sits in angle iron frame under its own weight, no screws or anything. i like the MDF for a few reasons, its flat, smooth and stable. its not slippery and i can clean it up with a random orbit sander, i can drill holes, screws nails whatever i need to hold things down, i can use it as a cutting backer and let the blade take a little nibble, once its all worn out i just pop in a new sheet.
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Old 09-25-2014, 04:03 PM   #7
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When I did my studio/shop remod, I used a custom bent all steel top, welded corners and seamless bent backsplash.



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Old 09-25-2014, 04:19 PM   #8
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Two layers of 3/4" maple plywood. HD had it on sale for $40 for a 4x8 sheet so I had it ripped down the middle and doubled it up. Screwed it together from the bottom so there's no exposed fasteners. Works very well. I had a metal one but I do a lot of gun work as well as MC stuff and I had to be too careful not to scratch stuff.

I made a separate portable welding table for heavy work.
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Old 09-25-2014, 08:21 PM   #9
clintnz
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I have 3" douglas fir under 6mm steel plate with a 3mm backsplash welded on. Does multiple duty. I just lay out a rag or 2 for delicate stuff.



There is a 5mm layer of fibre cement planks under the steel, probably overkill but I don't worry about the wood burning even if really laying into something with the welder.

The rest of the big bench is just the oiled douglas, but it's a bit soft really. My girlfriend & I actually just made a dining table out of some cheap fingerjointed Vietnamese acacia benchtops from the local big-box hardware store, 1" thick, oiled finish. They'd make a nice non-welding bench if you want something a bit pretty.

I also have a rough wooden bench that is handy, like 2 spot says, can screw, cut, nail, whatever into the surface.

Cheers
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:14 AM   #10
motu
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In 45 years every workshop I've ever worked in has had steel top benches....and that's what I've had at home for 35 years too. I don't think I'd like to work on a wood top.
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Old 09-26-2014, 05:34 AM   #11
Yooper_Bob
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I have a wood topped workbench, but I like to put down a big sheet of heavy duty cardboard on top of that.

- Provides a nice smooth surface for working on.

- Helps absorb vibrations.

- You can write notes on it, or mark the layout of things.

- Its cheap....usually free when you or your neighbor gets a new appliance.

- If you spill something nasty, it soaks it up, and you just throw it away and put down a new fresh surface.

- It saves wear and tear on the actual workbench surface.
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Old 09-26-2014, 05:39 AM   #12
LuciferMutt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FakeName View Post
When I did my studio/shop remod, I used a custom bent all steel top, welded corners and seamless bent backsplash.


WTF is that thing hanging on the wall by your workbench??
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:50 AM   #13
Maggot12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuciferMutt View Post
WTF is that thing hanging on the wall by your workbench??
Ummmm.. a phone. . Where the fuuck have you been for the last 120 years.
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Old 09-26-2014, 09:42 AM   #14
Anorak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racetrash View Post
The 4 by 4 fab table for welding is 3/4 inch plate beat to hell after 25 years of welding and beating on things. vices on all four. Pete
Now that is a bench. I figure the top weighs 480 lbs by itself. 16 square feet at 30 lbs per square foot.
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:56 AM   #15
ruin
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What do I prefer? Stainless steel plate over wood. Nice to be able to clip the welding ground anywhere on the bench rather than onto the piece.
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