Workbench Top - reclaimed maple flooring - glue down?

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Forum topic by Dinger14 posted 04-02-2013 07:25 PM 2212 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 2149 days

04-02-2013 07:25 PM

Hi everyone.

Quick question – I will be building a new work bench this weekend. I will be using the Asa Christiana’s plan from Getting Started in Woodworking. I will not be using the bench for anything super-complicated, mostly simple weekend projects, etc.

My question is on the top. I have some reclaimed maple tongue and groove flooring that I had planned to glue/nail down to a sheet of 3/4” birch veenered plywood. That will sit on top of a 3/4” sheet of MDF. I want a flat and strong top, and figure this will work for me.

Is there anyone out there that has done this that might be able to share a few pointers? The plan certainly isn’t set in stone if anyone has a better idea or suggestion.


7 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3916 days

#1 posted 04-02-2013 07:40 PM

You might want to glue it to a torsion box instead.
The torsion box will stay very flat and all you’ll have
to do is a little surfacing of the maple.

How flat a bench you’ll need depends on the style
of work you do.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3240 days

#2 posted 04-02-2013 08:47 PM

I don’t know if others have had this problem or not, but my experience with hardwood veneered plywood has been that the veneer is not very durable and can come off if you try to glue something to it.

I prefer 3/4” sandply, cabinet grade plywood. (has waterproof glue) My bench is made of 4 layers of that and it’s held up extremely well for 3 years.

View OnlyJustME's profile


1562 posts in 2645 days

#3 posted 04-02-2013 08:55 PM

I agree with Crank about the plywood. If it’s the stuff from one of the big box stores. I got some a while back for some wall hanging racks and the veneer just peeled away with little effort after a few months in the shop.

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View richardwootton's profile


1701 posts in 2224 days

#4 posted 04-02-2013 09:25 PM

You could rip them to the same width and make a laminate top depending on how wide the boards are to begin with.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View Dakkar's profile


352 posts in 2196 days

#5 posted 04-02-2013 09:34 PM

I wouldn’t use veneered flooring for a workbench top.

While it’s never won any beauty contests, I’ve always like the idea Norm Abram used for the first bench he built on New Yankee Workshop. He just topped it with plywood, put on a hardwood edge an 1/8” or so high, then laid a sheet of 1/8” Masonite on top. The Masonite could be replaced when it gets too messed up. His philosophy was that shop furniture is about the product, not the shop gear itself. Of course he did have one of the best equipped small shops I’ve ever seen.

View kdc68's profile


2708 posts in 2545 days

#6 posted 04-02-2013 09:58 PM

If you change your mind about using flooring, Woodcraft has maple benchtops on sale 30% off

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View doubleDD's profile


8134 posts in 2312 days

#7 posted 04-03-2013 03:05 AM

I’ve done flooring for a living and as for the birch plywood not the 1st choice but will work just fine as long as you use a flooring adhesive{available home depot,etc stores} and nail it.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

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