Quantcast
  • We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Beech Kitchen worktop as workbench top?

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

OldDave

Established Member
Joined
27 Dec 2018
Messages
22
Reaction score
5
Location
Bradford
I’m gonna be building a new 1.5m long bench in the next month or so - just wondering if there’s any reason I shouldn’t use a 3m beech kitchen worktop instead of laminating 12 4x2s.
My thinking is cut in half, glue one half on top of the other and I have a solid, flat, 80mm thick workbench top for not that much more than I’d spend on PSE 4x2s and with a lot less effort.

Appreciate thoughts?
 

Sachakins

Is near enough good enough?
Joined
4 Apr 2020
Messages
225
Reaction score
123
Location
Liverpool
I think it would depend on your frame structure.
Is it a 40mm thick or the usual 28mm, if it's 40mm I would be happy to do it, but would still pit a good few cross beams under it
I would used cheap CLS 3x2 to stop any bounce.
 

Jameshow

Established Member
Joined
4 Oct 2020
Messages
640
Reaction score
295
Location
Bradford
Could do.

I'd put three rows of screws 200mm apart just to make sure it glues well. Or load up with concrete blocks etc.

Cheers James
 

Ttrees

Iroko loco!
Joined
18 Nov 2012
Messages
2,536
Reaction score
156
Location
In me workshop
It sounds like it would be a very very short bench.
If you were to buy two countertops, can you buy it unfinished?
There is a recent thread on an ozzy workbench specific forum where someone was considering it, but the plan changed due to supply issues, I think.

All the best
Tom
 

Orraloon

Established Member
Joined
18 Oct 2016
Messages
446
Reaction score
37
Location
Blue mountains Australia
As James has pointed out screws would help get a good glue joint as joining wide surfaces can pose some problems. Clamps can not exert much pressure at the center of large surfaces so a void tends to form. Nobody will be looking at the under side anyhow. On the glueup screw the center of the panel first and work out toward the sides. Screws can be removed when glue is dry if you want. Last point is kitchen tops tend to be coated with poly or oil so you may need to plane 2 faces for a bare wood glue joint.
Regards
John
 

dzj

Established Member
Joined
29 Jan 2013
Messages
1,076
Reaction score
46
Location
Serbia
I remember watching a C. Schwartz video in which he used an ikea kitchen worktop.
I think he also used screws during glue up.
It should work. What's the worst that could happen? Nothing a belt sander or hand plane couldn't fix.
+1 for the cross beams.
 

msparker

Established Member
Joined
28 Mar 2015
Messages
77
Reaction score
32
Location
Brixton
I started a similar thread a couple of months back. Lots of useful responses: Buying solid countertops for raw material

In summary yes it'll work. If you can get offcuts cheap or free all the better. Issues are it'll look like a kitchen worktop (not so bad) and grain direction will be all over the place which can be problematic for flattening although they're usually fairly flat. You can also have trouble with where the finger joints are which will be very hard to work so depending on how they fall mortices for legs and things like that could be harder than expected.

I've just reminded myself of the prices on these and you can't argue it's cheap and takes out a tonne of work! If you do it please report back how you get on
 
Last edited:

OldDave

Established Member
Joined
27 Dec 2018
Messages
22
Reaction score
5
Location
Bradford
I started a similar thread a couple of months back. Lots of useful responses: Buying solid countertops for raw material

In summary yes it'll work. If you can get offcuts cheap or free all the better. Issues are it'll look like a kitchen worktop (not so bad) and grain direction will be all over the place which can be problematic for flattening although they're usually fairly flat. You can also have trouble with where the finger joints are which will be very hard to work so depending on how they fall mortices for legs and things like that could be harder than expected.

I've just reminded myself of the prices on these and you can't argue it's cheap and takes out a tonne of work! If you do it please report back how you get on
Will do! I’m thinking pocket hole from the frame/apron underneath to be honest.
 

msparker

Established Member
Joined
28 Mar 2015
Messages
77
Reaction score
32
Location
Brixton
Will do! I’m thinking pocket hole from the frame/apron underneath to be honest.
If you're looking to minimise work and material cost it might be worth looking at Nicholson style workbenches. Chris Schwartz features them in his workbench book and I think the lost art press version (the anarchists workbench) might also have it and can be found online as a free pdf. It's supposed to be a lot easier and cheaper than roubo type benches but with great work holding and stability. I'd worry that going for pocket holes and things is a recipe for a frustrating wobbly bench.
 

Crooked Tree

Established Member
Joined
29 Nov 2009
Messages
115
Reaction score
0
Location
UK
I made my bench this way. It used a length of cheap 29mm (I think, certainly not 40mm) thick beech worktop. I got away without using screws - I suspect that I clamped the edges and used cauls. Not ideal, but it is a huge gluing area and so far there have not been any problems (it was made in 2011). Rigidity of the top has been sufficient and bearers can always be added underneath (or an apron) if more rigidity is wanted.

The varying grain direction was a challenge for flattening and finishing.

The supporting frame used tenons and bolts to pull it up tight but still allow it to knock down for transit. The top simply sits on 4 dowels, one in the centre of each leg. This has been sufficient fixing for planing.
 

Terrytpot

Established Member
Joined
9 Aug 2017
Messages
163
Reaction score
98
Location
Derbyshire
Contemplated this myself having refitted my own kitchen earlier this year with 40mm thick Beech counter tops. It's a task currently on my list of jobs to attack when time permits.
kitchen tops tend to be coated with poly or oil...
Although you can get them without any finish like I did. Still have an offcut that's roughly 600mm x 1000mm which I've earmarked for my next router table.
 
Top