Workbench Top Dilemma

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Forum topic by Chad Hamilton posted 03-17-2011 10:49 PM 1254 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Chad Hamilton

16 posts in 2849 days

03-17-2011 10:49 PM

I have a lot of walnut 4/4 stock. If I make the bench top what thickness would be desirable? I know the heavier the better. 3 inches or 4 inches? The number of clamps I would need would also be a sticking point. Does anyone offer any alternate method of clamping?

4 replies so far

View DIYaholic's profile


19709 posts in 2877 days

#1 posted 03-17-2011 11:39 PM

Duct Tape? Seems to work wonders on many a project!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3276 days

#2 posted 03-18-2011 01:23 AM

Walnut for a workbench seems like a waste of a quality wood. If you really want to use walnut, I suggest you put ib 1 or 2 layers of MDF below the walnut on the top. With a walnut trim no one will know what you did and the MDF gives you a great, heavy surface.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View adaughhetee's profile


104 posts in 2885 days

#3 posted 03-18-2011 03:48 AM

I’m too big of a tightwad to waste pine! I wouldn’t use the walnut. I found a 28” x 8’ solid core door I made my bench top out of. At $10 I was more than happy. It’s 1 1/2” thick. Then again not everyone is as cheap as me.

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Chad Hamilton

16 posts in 2849 days

#4 posted 03-18-2011 02:47 PM

I couldn’t get to sleep last night and I thought up that a clamping caul could be used to reduce the number of clamps needed. As for the cost of the walnut I have this wood because a friend of mine wanted 2 of her walnut trees out of her yard and I got about 400 board feet for just the sawyer charged me for cutting and drying.

View Jeff's profile


489 posts in 3396 days

#5 posted 03-18-2011 02:56 PM

I may be wrong but isn’t walnut a little soft for a workbench top? I’d prefer something that can and will take lots of punishment. My workbench has a sheet of replaceable 1/4” hardboard. I agree about the wood quality. Even if you got it free save it for a project that surely will come up in the future.

View Pete Mohr's profile

Pete Mohr

75 posts in 3290 days

#6 posted 03-18-2011 02:56 PM

. . . or you could sell some of the walnut and use the proceeds to buy something more appropriate to a workbench.

-- "Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another." -Anatole France

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