IKEA tops

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Forum topic by rasp posted 03-31-2012 01:28 AM 4932 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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75 posts in 3032 days

03-31-2012 01:28 AM

I was considering using this IKEA top for the top of a workbench. it’s a much cheaper alternative to some of the options in the Lee Valley book. the Sjorberg workbenches are very nice, but very costly.

Grizzly tools also sells big slabs of 1 1/2 maple for use as bench tops, but the shipping and cost is nearly 300$.

I was going to construct some legs and stringers, and use this IKEA top.

it says it’s 1 inch thick and made from solid beech. that should be a suitable workbench, yeah?

do you guys see any issues with using the IKEA table top? experience with IKEA ? I don’t think they can mess up a slab of wood..

21 replies so far

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3583 days

#1 posted 03-31-2012 01:35 AM

One inch is not much top. If all I was getting is one inch I think I would double up on 3/4 ply, mdf or whatever, and save some money till you could build the real deal.

View KenBry's profile


484 posts in 3221 days

#2 posted 03-31-2012 03:14 AM

1” is to thin

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4422 days

#3 posted 03-31-2012 03:25 AM

It may not be quarter or rift-sawn the way it’s glued-up.

You could attach such a top to trestles underneath using
a slotted screw-hole arrangement and even add skirts
around the slab. Arguably however it would be preferable
to use something else for the main body of the top
if going to so much trouble to modify it.

My own bench is less than 1.5” thick at its thinnest
areas but with 4” wide skirts. I am not entirely sure
1” is too thin for the thinnest parts of a bench top,
but for a “slab” type bench for woodworking it probably
is. A cabinet-maker’s bench gets thinned-out in some
areas over the years with flattening, so loss of thickness
is something to plan for.

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 3338 days

#4 posted 03-31-2012 03:43 AM

Go with this one instead. Yes it is twice the price but it is thicker and longer. Back when I was installing IKEA kitchens we did this product a number of times. Pretty good overall. I would think the hardness of oak will also be more suitable for a workbench top than beech. It comes in 4’ and 8’ versions as well, I just suggested this once since it was closest to what you originally posted.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View waho6o9's profile


8908 posts in 3351 days

#5 posted 03-31-2012 04:28 AM

Glue 2 together and you’ll have around 2.25” thick top.

View Richard's profile


11309 posts in 3807 days

#6 posted 03-31-2012 09:29 AM

I’ve seen these in their store. Had the same idea. I think it’s an Excellent Idea! 1” is enough. If it needs strengthening you could always do that with the “Understructure” that it’s attached to.

My Bench is only 3/4” Fir G1S but it’s supported by the 2×4 Frame and three Cross Pieces. MORE than Strong enough!

Some people on here think “IKEA” is a BAD Word because they can’t begin to make anything that comes anywhere near Ikea’s prices.

Also if you did glue 2 Pieces together …..1”+1”= 2 inches

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View KenBry's profile


484 posts in 3221 days

#7 posted 03-31-2012 12:41 PM

I think most folks are saying 1 inch it too thin because if you drill holes in it for bench dogs you will end up elongating the holes faster over time. Also when you attach a Vice to it from the bottom there isn’t much for it to mount to and bite into. These where my reasons for saying 1” is to thin.

Rick, it’s not that IKEA is bad it’s just another 4 letter word. LOL… Seriously, I don’t care for it because so much of it is melamine/particle board. I do have a bench top in my office area that I use and the finish rubbed off within the first 2 months. The quality isn’t what most woodworkers build to. So they crack on the Ikea stuff. People Buy Ikea because it is cheap. But they are willing to make the compromise and have items that won’t last. Oh and don’t get me started on those directions in the Ikea boxes… HAHA…

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

View Ben's profile


302 posts in 3104 days

#8 posted 03-31-2012 01:05 PM

If you have an Ikea store near you, they probably have a room full of dirt cheap stuff that was returned/ damaged/ or sometimes floor models. I’ve gotten good stuff there and its usually less then half the original price.

Really, I would never have gone to ikea at all, but the boss wanted it for his bathrooms and kitchen so I’ve been there quite a bit

-- Welcome to downtown Coolsville, Population: US! --Hogarth Hughes

View Chipy's profile


374 posts in 3367 days

#9 posted 03-31-2012 01:05 PM

If you have a planer and joiner for $99 bucks you could get some nice hard wood and build a better top.I have a work table that is dead flat that I use for assembley and my bench is more a hybread for wood working and house hold tasks.If you are not building a strictly craftsman bench then two pieces of MDF warped with 3/4” hard wood is another way to go, and it is cheaper.

View StumpyNubs's profile


7808 posts in 3574 days

#10 posted 03-31-2012 03:35 PM

Put two layers of particle board under the bench top. Use glue and screws to laminate it all together Add some wide aprons to cover the edges. It will give you a lot more weight and density, and the 1” or hardwood surface will be fine. Plus the extra thickness is important if you use iron bench hooks.

Menards stores also sell oak bench tops pretty cheap. Check them out if you have one near you.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View brtech's profile


1068 posts in 3696 days

#11 posted 03-31-2012 05:09 PM

Several threads here about benches build from these. Often they did double up the top, but I agree with stumpy that you can probably do as well with some other material underneath it. I might go for MDF rather than particle board, but wrapped with some kind of apron, it will look good, wear well, and be plenty sturdy enough.

View Belle City Woodworking's profile

Belle City Woodworking

356 posts in 4790 days

#12 posted 03-31-2012 09:17 PM


I have been using the one you posted the link to and have had no issues with it. I have a pattern makers vise on it and a quick release vise.

-- Formerly known as John's Woodshop - and NO not the one from Ohio!

View poopiekat's profile


4740 posts in 4508 days

#13 posted 03-31-2012 09:39 PM

Though it was said above that red oak is harder than beech, the results of an ASTM-D Janka hardness test indicates that beech slightly outperforms red oak in hardness. I’d laminate one of these with a substrate of 3/4” MDF, (and a layer of 1/4” tempered hardboard) and just enjoy it that way. I’d be only worried about the lateral stress on the laminated beech glue joints from vise pressure against the bench dogs, but if they were glued and assembled well at the factory, all is well.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View rasp's profile


75 posts in 3032 days

#14 posted 03-31-2012 09:55 PM

thanks for the advice, it’s much appreciated. i have looked at some of the IKEA related workbenches in the projects section. i think i’ll go with adding a layer of two of 3/4” something underneath, flush-trimmed with a router (assuming the IKEA top is square) and wrapped in some kind of hardwood apron and supported with trestle style legs.

i am not too abusive on my tools. we have several heavy duty all metal workbenches if there has to be some serious beatings.

i like your foam tiles john, might have to get some for around the benches.

oh, and i will check out the scratch and dent area at IKEA. RONA also has an off cut section where you can find decent sized pieces on the cheap,

View Richard's profile


1938 posts in 3464 days

#15 posted 03-31-2012 11:06 PM

Others may have had good luck with IKEA products but I have never seen any that would hold up to workshop use and abuse.

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