I’m asking for ideas/suggestions in building a workbench top.
I have an old antique oak kitchen cabinet base—four drawers, door and pull out flour bin in front. Two drawers on right side. Nice condition but it needs a top and a vise so as to serve as my workbench-assembly table. Throw a table cloth over it and it will become just another piece of furniture. (longer story… I removed 7 layers of lead paint from it about 35 years ago; its top got dropped out of a truck during a move and shattered along an interstate.)
The base is 40 inches wide, 30.25 tall, and 25.75 deep.
I’m thinking the overall height to be 32 inches? I need to keep the top overhang in front and on the right side shallow enough for access to the drawers and doors. I can overhang the left side to accommodate a vise and some extra overhang in rear for a little extra depth in top and possible clamping surface. I can pull the unit away from the wall when needed.
First idea was to do a torsion box top but I think a torsion box top would build out at 4 inches high and that would put me at 34 inches high—a bit too tall?
Torsion box would also be too thick for a vise? I’m looking at the Rockler's 9 inch vise as a good vise but it only fits benches up to 2.25 inches thick.
So, double up 3/4 MDF and add a hardboard top with hardwood edging? Or, do they make flat solid wood entry doors? I’m understanding that is another possibility—but I can’t find one. I’d like to have holes for bench dogs and a spot or two for a holdfast clamp. I don’t know what material and what thickness the holdfast does best in.
Anyway that’s the scenario. Ideas? I’m rather new at this so I’m not too inventive on my own. Second, I’m thinking I need to convince Karson to come over and help. He’d have this done before I could sweep up the sawdust—especially if Pete and Pat came along to supervise him. :>)
-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...