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Work Bench Surface ?

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Dr. Thrax

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I've just finished building my new workshop. It was an 8'x6' shed but is now 18'x10' giving me and my machines plenty of room. I want to build fixed work benches along one side of the workshop but was wondering what is the best sheet material to go for, ply, mdf, sterling board etc ? The bench will be 18'x2'6", main supports will be 3"x3".

Thanks all for any suggestions.
 

Chris Knight

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Sacrificial oil tempered hardboard, oiled and waxed on top of anything flat and strong. It's very hard wearing and can easily be replaced cheaply when necessary.
 

Gill

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waterhead37":3hj6834w said:
Sacrificial oil tempered hardboard, oiled and waxed on top of anything flat and strong. It's very hard wearing and can easily be replaced cheaply when necessary.
Ditto. Don't forget to fasten it down with screws rather than adhesive so that it can be replaced easily when it gets worn.

Yours

Gill
 

Aragorn

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Ditto ditto
I use 6mm hardboard that just sits on a 3/4" plyboard. It's edged with pine up to the level of the hardboard, so it doesn't need screws to hold it. I never have to worry about blades hitting metal!
 

Dewy

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Ditto, 3/4" plywood with hardboard on top. easily replaced.
Mine is edged with hardwood with my vice let in so the edging forms the face of the vice.
Same hardwood for the opening jaws making the workpiece flush with bench edge.
Pegs on opposite bench leg help keep longer pieces firm.
 
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Anonymous

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Two layers of 18mm ply glued together with a hardboard sacrificial layer pinned on top. 4x2 uprights/cross supports, 1x4 stretchers lapped tightly into the uprights with glue and screws. Doesn't budge a millimeter, cheap as chips to make, and good enough for my ham-fisted hacking. I've done the same with my vice as Dewy.
 

Chris Knight

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Gidon,

I order it from builders timber supply place (Champion Timber) but you can get it most anywhere that sells sheet goods to the trade although they may not have it in stock - usually takes two or three days for them to get it from their supplier. Possibly the B&Q warehouse type outlet will stock it.

Oil tempered is stronger/harder, longer lasting than ordinary hardboard. I believe the process does indeed involve saturating the hardboard in some kind of drying oil. It is a darker colour than non oil tempered hardboard. IIRC there is not a great difference in cost.

I use 6mm thickness.
 
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Anonymous

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I used whatever hardboard B&Q had in stock and gave it several coats of Teak Oil, as I have a bottle of the stuff for keeping the garden furniture "fed". As the board is only a couople of quid for a full sheet it's life is not really a problem.
 

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