Microjig Matchfit topper for existing bench?


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3 Jan 2024
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North west
I've got a bench almost identical to this one which I inherited:


It's the right size for my space and I've added a better vice to it so I want to keep it, but I am wanting more convenient clamping options. The dog holes are too small for MFT accessories and hold downs, so I was tempted by the Microjig Matchfit stuff.

How good or bad an idea is it to get a piece of 18 or 25mm ply, screw it to the top of the bench in a few places (so it can be replaced), then cut the dovetails for the Matchfit clamps in there? I am wondering if there's a pitfall I have not thought of.
That top looks too anaemic to bear clamp rails cut into it, certainly. The legs are also spindly. How about two extra leaves of 25mm ply? One glued to the existing top and the other screwed to the resulting sandwich? Then, some 'beef it up' supplemental laths to thicken and strengthen the legs? Might look like a Frankenbench, but at least it wouldn't dance around when you tried planing on it.

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