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Attaching workbench top (how to?)

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Forum topic by SomeClown posted 04-06-2010 06:58 PM 4179 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SomeClown

63 posts in 2440 days


04-06-2010 06:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bench workbench plywood

Greetings,

I currently have a large L-shaped workbench I built using framing lumber and methods (4×4 posts, 2×4, 3/4” ply) and I’m getting ready to add additional layers to finish it off. I’m going to lay down another layer of 3/4” ply, then a layer of either 1/2” or 3/4” finish ply on most of the table, and the same thickness melanine on the corner (shown below) for my built-in home-built router table. The whole thing was built and put together with 3” deck screws and can already handle several hundred pounds with no flexing.

My question is essentially this: what would be the best method to attach the remaining two layers to the lower layers? I don’t neccessarily want to have screw holes everywhere on the finish top, but I’m not sure how to get glue to work given the sometimes ahem non-flat nature of some big-box stores ahem plywood. I have a framing nailer and a brad nailer, screw guns, clamps, etc. Just not sure the best way forward.

I know it’s not fancy like a lot of the incredible benches I see on this site, but it gives me a work area, and a place to start from.

Workbench

-- There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.


5 replies so far

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Gofor

470 posts in 3247 days


#1 posted 04-07-2010 05:53 AM

1 1/4” screws, countersunk, run in from the top for the first layer. overlap any joints in the current surface by at least 6” but more if possible. Use 2” screws for the last layer if you use a 3/4” top, run in from the bottom, and offset the holes for any existing screws. (You may want to use pan-head or hex head screws to avoid running through the top for the finish layer). Predrill the holes through the existing boards at full size, but not into the layer being fastened. (for the melamine, you may also have to drill smaller pilot holes in the MDF core)

Start in the center of each board being attached and work outwards towards the edges/ends. This will remove any warp. Best to snug (but not real tight) clamp the board being attached to keep it aligned as you screw it in.

If you decide you only need one more layer, use the 1 1/4” screws from the bottom.

Go

-- Go http://ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=730

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SomeClown

63 posts in 2440 days


#2 posted 04-07-2010 06:04 AM

Wow, thanks for that… I was toying with “from the bottom, top, countersunk, etc.” but no firm plan. That gives me something to work with. Should I toss in any glue between the layers, or is that redundant or not needed?

Thanks again!

-- There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.

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Gofor

470 posts in 3247 days


#3 posted 04-08-2010 03:15 AM

Glue will make it more permanent, especially of you are going to put in any dog holes for bench dogs. It will also reduce any surface deviations due to humidity changes.

However (there is always a “however” isn’t here). If you glue, and it is not flat enough, you will have to sand/plane, etc the top to get it there. Not an option with the melamine. With the screws, you can loosen/tighten as needed to adjust the top flatness. You can always add more screws if you think it is not stable enough if you do not glue. You can also disassemble it if you want to change the design later (like a different router or a different router plate, etc)

Your call. If it were me, I would just screw it until I was sure it was like I wanted. Then I would glue if I felt I needed to.

Go

-- Go http://ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=730

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tblank

59 posts in 2430 days


#4 posted 04-09-2010 04:39 AM

I do like most have said but the last layer is 1/4 tempered hardboard put down with contact cement. This is my UTILITY bench, the one that gets all the banging and glue drips ect. It is very durable and cheap and easy to replace. One thing…. the edges are banded with hard wood (rock maple) that stand proud before hardboard is laid down to ultimately flush out. These are biscuited and trim screwed, glued, and bullet proof.

ps. you might want to think about drawers or at least doors to keep debris out of your storage.

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SomeClown

63 posts in 2440 days


#5 posted 04-09-2010 07:32 AM

Yeah, once I get a couple more tools I’m going to start working on some cabinets, drawers, etc. I eventually see myself rebuilding all of the benches in a more “skilled” manner, but I’m going to start first with some boxes, cabinets, other doo-dads. I was actually all excited to start practicing some dovetail joinery until I figured out I had neglected to buy a bevel and marking gauge. Doh! Looks like a trip down to my local Rockler or Woodcraft is in order for the weekend. ;)

-- There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.

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