Workshop #1: Benchtop for new workbench

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Blog entry by Jason W. Fudge posted 07-24-2013 06:09 PM 2504 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I decided that I wanted another workbench. I already have the wood workbench from HF that I picked up on sale for about 100 bucks a few years ago. That was a great purchase. But I have outgrown it and now need a larger one. Given that I’m in the military and will probably be moving in a few years I have been thinking about how I wanted to make the base. I came up with a simple, yet effective solution. Use my heavy duty storage racks. Later I might add cabinets, but for now, just the metal shelves will be fine.

So then it was time to think about the table top. I was contiplating laminating my own wood or using dual layers of mdf with a top (either hardboard or formica). But I kept my mind open. The other day when I went to the wood store, I saw some interesting kind of ply I had never seen before. Seemed heavey, straight and looks really cool. So yesterday I bought some. It’s called lvl. The stuff is heavey but I didn’t realize how heavey until when I went to pull off it off the roof racks of my car. I soon found out why two Hawaiians used a lift to get the wood off the shelf and then the both of them put it on my racks. Luckliy I used my superman strength and didn’t drop it and got the wood off the car and into my shop without damaging it.

The workbench will be setup like a miter station with two split benches and my chop saw in the middle. Each bench in 4ft long and 24 inches deep. The lvl is 8ft so I will just cut in half and it’s 1 5/8 thick. However, it’s only 16 inches deep. So I will be joinging two boards together, most likely using dowels.

So I have some questions: What should I finish it with? I’m thinking resin but open to any idea. Also, what should I use to strengthen the edges? I really can’t make up my mind. I might use aluminum or a nice hardwood that is doweled in or might formica a piece of pine and dowel that. Suggestions?


2 comments so far

View JayT's profile


6307 posts in 2745 days

#1 posted 07-24-2013 06:18 PM

Nothing wrong with lvl. Have you seen the bench built by Megan Fitzpatrick of Fine Woodworking?

And here is an article she wrote after a couple years use

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Jason W. Fudge's profile

Jason W. Fudge

35 posts in 2317 days

#2 posted 07-24-2013 06:42 PM

Jay – Thanks for the links! Maybe I will use my scraps for the legs instead of the shelves.

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