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Forum topic by Blackie_ posted 06-03-2015 06:18 PM 1346 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Blackie_

4531 posts in 1976 days


06-03-2015 06:18 PM

I’m in the starting phase of building a new workbench, I’ll be building it out of 2×4’s Mortise and Tenon, top layers are cabinet grade 3/4” ply and 1/2” ply with Lee Valley front vice and the dog holes, both the 1/2” and 3/4”have been cut to size and was just about to cut the masonite for the very top layer but after looking at it, it wasn’t as smooth as I’d like for it to be it appeared to be a bit wavy so I put it back in my truck to be returned, I’m thinking of going with melamine for the top layer instead, thoughts on this? Should I just forego the masonite and melamine all together and just stick with the ply board? The thought process of the Masonite would be to replace it once it got beat up.

Thanks

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs


17 replies so far

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1833 days


#1 posted 06-03-2015 06:23 PM

Are you talking about just a sheet of the plastic-like melamine applied to the 3/4” plywood top, or a sheet of particleboard with melamine surface? If attaching a sheet of melamine to the plywood, it should be fine, and things will wipe up easily, and glue will have a hard time sticking to it. If you’re suggesting the particleboard faced with melamine, I would not do it.

My previous workbench had a sheet of 1/4” hardboard. I screwed it down, so I could replace it later after it got dinged up. That lasted for 2 years, and then I ended up replacing the workbench first. Have you looked at that as an option?

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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Blackie_

4531 posts in 1976 days


#2 posted 06-03-2015 06:29 PM

Ed, one or the other not both together and yes the particle board covered, other words the Melamine boards is what I was referring too.

I think the Masonite is the same as the hardboard, and that is what I was going to do but.. as when I got the 4×8 sheet home and started looking at it in the sunlight it had humps in it.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

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Blackie_

4531 posts in 1976 days


#3 posted 06-03-2015 06:34 PM

Maybe I just got a bad sheet.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

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Rick Dennington

5177 posts in 2658 days


#4 posted 06-03-2015 10:50 PM

Here’s some food for thought on a new bench….I built this one about 5 years ago….It is 4 layers of 3/4” MDF, glued and screwed together to make a 3” thick top…Douglas fir, m & t joinery, and 6 coats of poly…Solid bench, and dead flat…I built the under cabinet w/ drawers from an old Shop Notes design….If you want to go that route…!!

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

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cutmantom

389 posts in 2499 days


#5 posted 06-03-2015 11:25 PM

Use o piece of mdf for the to layer, you can flip if over to renew it then replace it the next time

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Blackie_

4531 posts in 1976 days


#6 posted 06-03-2015 11:41 PM

MDF on top of the ply it is, thanks and Rick I like the poly idea too, as for as the drawers, I need the open shelving below, but I might do a partial drawer setup.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

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DocSavage45

7703 posts in 2306 days


#7 posted 06-04-2015 01:01 AM

Masonite is lower in density than hardboard. their is more pressure applied to harden the board.

I have used seal coat and or waterborne poly to get a more stable surface and moisture barrier on a few of my jigs and my table saw sled.

Right now I am using the collapsed cardboard in some of my plarger boxes as a surface for gluing and finishing. Then I toss it.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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Blackie_

4531 posts in 1976 days


#8 posted 06-04-2015 01:08 AM

Tom, I thought Masonite and Hardboard were the same, I just looked on the receipt and what I have is labeled as tempered Hardboard, so I stand corrected thanks!, once I got it home and on the saw horses ready to cut, it appeared to have small humps through out the panel, and my current workbench has a high spot in it so I’m a bit wary of it.

What I’m going to do tomorrow, is hit the hardware isle first and grab a 2” flat bar for a straight edge and gauge the sheets and if I find a good sheet I’ll go with the HB but if I don’t than I’ll go with the MDF.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

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DocSavage45

7703 posts in 2306 days


#9 posted 06-04-2015 01:18 AM

If there is a RE Use Store (habitat for humanity) You can find lots of goodies that might work for you. I stop in all the time after work on Wednesday. Seems prices are going up from when they first opened , but there are gems.

You got a reasonable plan there sir!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Roger's profile

Roger

19878 posts in 2268 days


#10 posted 06-09-2015 12:12 AM

Putting poly on the top will be good because glue won’t stick to it. Drips will wipe and pop right off.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 950 days


#11 posted 06-09-2015 12:17 AM

That or wax. I have a piece of ply for glue ups and the glue just pops off

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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Blackie_

4531 posts in 1976 days


#12 posted 06-09-2015 12:50 AM

What I’m going to do and hope all comes out good, 3 sheets of 3/4” bottom two low grade top is cabinet grade then 1 sheet of cabinet grade 1/2 ply and top will be 1/4 hardboard, I’ll top the hard board with poly.

My glue up area I have a melamine board work station setup.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

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WoodNSawdust

1417 posts in 640 days


#13 posted 06-09-2015 01:00 AM

That would make your top 3 3/4” thick (3x.75+.5+.25. If you plan on drilling holes for bench dogs and holdfasts there have been reports that sometimes holdfasts don’t hold well in thicker benchtops.

Having just worked with imported Chinese cabinet grade plywood I would suggest you avoid it. I had a lot of chipping of the face veneer and there was voids in the inner ply.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

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Blackie_

4531 posts in 1976 days


#14 posted 06-09-2015 01:05 AM

Hmm interesting, Yes the thickness was figured in, I had the through process of a thicker top would be a better foundation for the dogs, so are you saying WoodNsawdust that I should leave one of the 3/4” sheets out? I want to make sure I build this bench the right way having never seen nor built one before.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View crank49's profile

crank49

3981 posts in 2435 days


#15 posted 06-09-2015 05:27 AM

Mine is 4 layers of 3/4 inch sandply, then 1/2 inch MDF and topped with 1/8 inch hardboard. Banded with 1×4 Maple. All glued and screwed but the hardboard just sits on carpet tape. Can be removed/replaced if needed.
I have a problem with bench dogs holding.
But I love the big heavy bench otherwise.
Mine is 25 inches wide by 84 inches long.

Important construction note:
Be absolutely sure the top is sitting level and square and not racked or twisted when gluing up. I used winding sticks to check that mine was not twisted. Once the glue sets you have no way to correct it. A 3 or 4 inch thick top will not self correct, it will just sit there with one leg off the floor.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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