Can I use Oak flooring for the top of my workbench?

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Forum topic by Ric5 posted 12-12-2011 08:22 PM 7081 views 1 time favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16 posts in 2353 days

12-12-2011 08:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: workbench workbench top hardwood top

I have a few bundles of oak flooring… I was thinking I could possibly use them for the top of my workbench, placed on top of 3/4 ply? any suggestions?

20 replies so far

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1099 posts in 3803 days

#1 posted 12-13-2011 03:50 PM

I used Bamboo flooring for my kitchen counter tops and I’m pleased as punch! I can’t imagine using oak would be any different for your own workbench. A few lessons: you’ll need to trim the edgers to rejoin them as planks otherwise, you’ll have ruts in the top. You can leave to finish on them. However, I sanded the bamboo down to parade rest! The finish on the flooring boards is very hard! It will take some time with a 30grit belt sander to get to bare wood. As for ruggedness and weight, I used 3/4 ply underlay and my tops are solid! You can bang away at them and they don’t budge! My wife pounds the meat on them and there is no vibration or movement.

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View Ric5's profile


16 posts in 2353 days

#2 posted 12-13-2011 05:47 PM

The Oak is unfinished is I think 3/4” X 3” wide asst. lengths – tongue and groove

View brtech's profile


1029 posts in 2918 days

#3 posted 12-13-2011 06:24 PM

Yeah, but does it have a chamfer on the top edge? Most flooring is sold with a chamfer. You end up with a v groove between planks. On a floor, that is nice touch. On a bench top, not so much.

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16 posts in 2353 days

#4 posted 12-13-2011 06:29 PM

Nope.. Just flat strips.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4929 posts in 3956 days

#5 posted 12-13-2011 06:30 PM

Might even want to double the 3/4” ply for added rigidity.


View Ric5's profile


16 posts in 2353 days

#6 posted 12-13-2011 06:52 PM

Should I use 2 layers of MDF instead of Ply? does anyone have plans for a 30×60 bench. nothing fancy just 4 legs with a bottom shelf 1 or 2 vices.
thanks again.

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

685 posts in 2776 days

#7 posted 12-13-2011 11:56 PM

cr1 – you got me!

I was half expecting someone to come up with a scientific explanation of why not, and thought you had it!

Very funny!

-- Don, Somerset UK,

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2947 days

#8 posted 12-14-2011 12:36 AM

If you have a lot of the oak flooring, I would cut out the tongue and groves, then glue the pieces along their faces so that you have have a 2 1/2 thick oak bench top with no need for a substrate.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Ric5's profile


16 posts in 2353 days

#9 posted 12-15-2011 05:23 AM

Hey, Thanks for all the suggestions… I’m still deciding on the table I need.

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2921 days

#10 posted 12-15-2011 05:41 AM

Brandon, that was the answer I thougth of right away, it would make an awesome top.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View mikema's profile


180 posts in 2581 days

#11 posted 12-15-2011 05:42 AM

I am with Brandon and Randy on this as well. Doing it that way will make a very sturdy bench top, that will last a few lifetimes.

-- Mike ---- Visit my woodworking blog:

View Ric5's profile


16 posts in 2353 days

#12 posted 12-15-2011 03:37 PM

I will try it that way… I will take pics along the way and post the when I’m done..

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2947 days

#13 posted 12-15-2011 03:44 PM

Looking forward to the photos!

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5855 posts in 3190 days

#14 posted 12-15-2011 04:49 PM

I disagree with the idea that MDF is the “worst choice” for dog holes….My bench is 4 layers of MDF, which makes it 3” thick….I drilled 3/4” d.h., and it’s held up fine with no problems…the holes are all the way through, and I made my own dogs…...there is no reason not to use it for a bench top….and it is dead-flat….so if you decided to use it, don’t be afraid to put dog holes in it…..

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View HorizontalMike's profile


7755 posts in 2909 days

#15 posted 12-15-2011 05:15 PM

I guess CR1 has never made it to the Coyote Ugly Bar… or maybe he did…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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