plywood thickness for workbench

Thick Plywood. I used a 3/4” finished oak plywood sheet for my workbench top, as it is mainly an assembly table for me. But the things I'll have on it are a. Over a span of 9', I would think that 3/4" ply would not be sufficient to hold the weight of jigs etc without sagging. triambaka.xyz › › General Woodworking Discussion. WINSCP VERSION 4 3 5

But building a hardwood workbench is an expensive proposition and few people want to lay out that much money for one. So, some sort of plywood becomes the material of choice for the bench top, regardless of whether the legs are of wood or of metal. Even then, there are several options to consider:. It is basically unaffected by moisture, but will swell up if the surface becomes wet.

For that reason, MDF should only be used as a sub-layer, with something else on top. The problem is that it is more easily damaged than some other materials. However, if you drop a piece from a project on a softwood plywood bench top, you are not likely to damage the workpiece. So, in that case, the weakness becomes a strength.

While more expensive than softwood plywoods, the extra expense is worth it to have a surface that is more durable. Avoid oil plywood, as it has more of a tendency to splinter. Skinny wood tops sitting on what looks like the framework of a card table. I've tried to use a shooting board on a bench top so cupped the shooting board sags in the middle. Try chopping with a mallet and chisel on an out-of-flat benchtop where the bounce-back equals your malt strike! Now contrast that to a workbench with a dead flat top and that is too heavy to budge.

Your mallet strike feels like you are working on actual bedrock! Everything stays put. This is what my MDF and plywood workbench feels like. Now you are a new woodworker with limited skill, limited space, limited tools, limited clamps and worst of all, limited funds! You long for a good work bench and here are your options: build, buy, or make-do. Option one, building your own custom traditional bench, is probably at the top of every woodworkers list.

However, don't forget how we started this paragraph, you lack the skill to cut those massive dovetails, those through tenons and the rest of the multitude of processes that go into a dream bench. What you desperately need is a sturdy bench to start learning and improving those required skills. Option two is to purchase and workbench. If you are lucky, you stumble across a gem of a used bench from an owner looking to find it a home. OK, time to wake up, the dream is over; you must go shopping for a bench.

I have worked on too many commercial benches to ever steer underfunded folks in that direction. They look good from a distance but are lacking up close. Please don't take one home, it "is" worse than nothing! Disappointment is waiting around the corner. Did I mention the terrible vices attached to these cardboard cutouts disguised as a workbench?

Don't do it! I have one horror story to share here for your consideration. I use to buy 12 new Elite workbenches each summer to teach my Training the Hand workshops in southern Ontario. At the end of the summer I would sell the benches and start the cycle again the following Spring. The last time I did this we only sold half the benches and ended up storing the other 6 for the winter in an unheated shop. By next Spring the benches had cracked, warped, and twisted like you might expect from a big hunk of glued up timber whose individual pieces had differing ideas on which way they wanted to expand.

What a job fixing that mess, not for the faint of heart. Better make sure that shop garage stays toasty warm! Option three is to "make-do". This involves using the end of your tablesaw, your fathers "workmate", the bedroom door spanning a few horses or the cobbled together collection of leftover 2 by 4's nailed to the garage wall. While great craftsman can work miracles with next to nothing, the rest of us need good shop implements to have a fighting chance.

A handful of years ago just after the Sjoberg disaster I set out to build a better bench. Could it be made with few tools, limited space, entry level skill and a small budget? Yes, it can! I have had several students of mine build one and the results have been stellar!

These strips are cut to length, glued, and stapled in a Lego-like fashion to form the legs and stretchers. Its miserably heavy, wonderfully stable, dead flat, and incredibly cheap. The two smaller pieces will be butt joined and sandwiched between two 64 x 20" pieces. Here are a few tips that will make your MDF bench top last longer. Use Titebond III to glue the layers together. I do one joint at a time, clamp it and come back an hour later to do the next.

This is a big surface to glue, don't be timid, take the top off the bottle and pour it on! I made a notched glue spreader from a card scraper with a triangular file. The metal is easy to clean off even after the glue has dried in the heat of the moment you will forget to clean it. Shake a little table salt on the glue after you spread it and that will help prevent the glue-up from sliding around on you. This glue up is best done as a two-person job.

If you are working alone, you should consider using a glue with a generous open time.

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