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Small Workbench #4: The Top

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Blog entry by Mike Lingenfelter posted 12-30-2007 11:48 PM 6838 reads 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: The Base Part 4 of Small Workbench series no next part

For the top I wanted something that could stand up to getting wet. I thought I would use a laminate countertop (Formica). At our Home Depot you can get small 2’ x 4’ pieces of laminate. The selection isn’t that large, but I think I found something that worked for me. I glued and screwed to pieces of ¾” plywood together. Then I used some scrap pieces of oak to trim off the edges. I then applied some contact adhesive to the top and the laminate and put them together.


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I put small chamfer on the edge and attached the top to the base. I used pocket screws to attach the top to the base. I also added a shelf to hold my sharpening stones and tools.


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I made one last little fixture for the bench, a benchhook for the water stones. This also needed to stand up to getting wet. Also at Home Depot you can buy individual floor tiles. I picked up a 12×12 self-adhesive tile. I tried to find one that was relatively smooth. This was also a “hard” tile, not one of the softer vinyl tiles. I attached it to a piece of plywood, and added some oak trip. I left the oak about a ¼” up from the tile. I wanted to see if could keep the water contained. I used some silicone adhesive to attach the oak trim, to try and keep the water from seeping down into the plywood. I’ll have to wait and see if this works.


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You might notice that the top piece of oak, is at a slight angle. This allows me to slide the stone in and wedge it in.



9 comments so far

View Jamie's profile

Jamie

162 posts in 3273 days


#1 posted 12-31-2007 03:00 AM

Nice sharpening workbench. Pretty good idea with the benchhook having the angled wood to keep the stone from moving. Good job!

-- Jamie, Kentucky

View Thuan's profile

Thuan

203 posts in 3277 days


#2 posted 12-31-2007 04:46 AM

That’s a rugged little bench, but did you know oak has a high tannin content? This reacts with iron shavings from your sharpening and the water will carry the iron shavings deep into the oak’s open pores turning it black.

-- Thuan

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 3573 days


#3 posted 12-31-2007 05:46 AM

I assumed the oak would start to discolor. It’s what I had laying around. I figured any wood I used was going to start to look bad, with all the exposure to the water and mess.

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 3456 days


#4 posted 12-31-2007 06:20 AM

It is a workbench after all!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View itsme_timd's profile

itsme_timd

689 posts in 3290 days


#5 posted 12-31-2007 06:42 AM

Very nice! I’m getting ready to build a new bench for my shop and this gave me some great ideas.

-- Tim D. - Woodstock, GA

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4445 posts in 3422 days


#6 posted 12-31-2007 04:28 PM

well done, Mike

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 3573 days


#7 posted 01-01-2008 04:34 AM

Thanks everyone. I’ve been using the bench today and it’s working out well.

Thuan, the oak is already discoloring :). Not a big deal, as I expected it to start to stain. I just thought it would take a little longer.

The tile is working out great. The surface tension from the water makes the stone stick to it! There were a couple times I really had to work at getting the stone off!

View cheller's profile

cheller

254 posts in 3568 days


#8 posted 01-03-2008 09:23 PM

Great bench hook idea.

The bench looks nice and sturdy.

-- Chelle http://artsgranddaughter.blogspot.com

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13347 posts in 3132 days


#9 posted 04-04-2009 07:02 PM

Nice sharpening bench.

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