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curls00 09-01-2007 07:01 PM

Thickness of workbench tabletop?
I scored a killer deal on some 3/4" oak plywood today ($4 for each 2'x4' sheet!). Would one of these be enough for a simple workbench tabletop, or should I double-up and make it 1.5" thick?

I need to secure my 5" vise to it as well, so would 3/4" be strong enough?


MinConst 09-01-2007 07:41 PM

3/4" for a bench is fine if you build a 2x4 frame on 16" centers. Where the vise is going add a second piece under the top for more meat to attach to.
I just built a wood working bench using 3/4" for the top and fastened 2x4s to the framing where my bench dogs will go through. Works like a charm.
I've built many work benches out of 3/4" never had an issue. Just reinforce for heavy tools and your vice.

curls00 09-01-2007 07:52 PM

Sounds like a plan -- what I was going to do anyhow unless told differently.


curls00 09-04-2007 08:58 AM

Workbench is completed and is darn sturdy!

Next question -- should I coat the worksurface in polyurethane for durability, or, leave the oak plywood untreated? The things I see in this are:
Treated = durable, extra-hard, won't mar/scratch/chip/splinter.
Untreated = less slippery (a good thing), but can chip/splinter, dentable.


Jeekinz 09-04-2007 09:12 AM

I use 1/4" CG ply on my workbench surface and radial arm saw surface. I counter sink screws in for easy removal when it gets too damaged.

BTW, my workbench top is laminated 2x3's on end. Total surface is 2'x7'.

Here's the top after some hand planing before the 1/4 ply get's installed.

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