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Building My First Workbench

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Adam Mada

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I'm building my first workbench. I've got some nice 2 inch thick pine which I'm going to be using for the top, I know pine isn't ideal for a workbench but it's the best I have on my budget (my bench will just be used for small woodworking projects such as boxes). Is there anything I should be finishing the top with to make it as strong and to protect the wood?

Thanks!
Adam
 

Matt_vb36

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I would suggest about 3 or 4 coats of a good Danish oil but dont wipe the access off as it will give it a bit more protection, or a polyurethane varnish, but I think you will find most people just leave it untreated, when I built mine I tried so hard to keep it looking nice but I can promise it dont stay that way lol, good luck, Matt.
 

AndyT

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Another option (depending on the design of the bench) is to use the pine to make a strong, rigid structure but put a layer of something dense and smooth on top, which can easily be replaced if it ever needs it.

Popular choices include good quality MDF (the green moisture-resistant sort is best); flooring grade chipboard and oil-tempered hardboard. Try searching back on old bench build threads and you'll soon find some.
 

Benchwayze

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Adam,

This link might help you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXEvRoW8lY8

Watch the video. It doesn't take long, but it's well sequenced.

Power tools are used quite a lot in the video, but you don't NEED the power tools. They just make the job easier. If you buy ready prepared timber, and you take your time, this basic bench could well be made with hand tools.

I'll go as far as to say, if you made this bench, you wouldn't need another, for a long time. Especially if you use some good timber for the top.
HTH

PS... Incidentally. There is nothing wrong with pine for your top. The thicker the better of course, but I look at it like this. If you made the bench yourself, then you won't be so likely to abuse it. Then it will serve you well; pine or otherwise.
Don't want to sound preachy, but I think you'll find that's the way you'll see it. Best of luck.

:D
 

charvercarver

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Hello,

On my bench i used 47 by 75 mill boards (about 1 every 300 mm or so) as support struts under mdf sheeting then pine boards. It's held up well for the last year and a half. As a bonus you can use the extra depth for dogs and holddowns. Hope this helps.

Cheers, Jon.
 

WoodMangler

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My bench uses two layers of 3/4" flooring-grade chipboard - the bottom layer is part of the structure, the top layer is screwed to it from below and can be replaced - I've replaced mine 3 (perhaps 4) times in the past 30 years.
 
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