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laminated strips or 12/4 slabs for workbench top?

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Forum topic by dahenley posted 01-29-2013 04:44 AM 1341 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dahenley

125 posts in 747 days


01-29-2013 04:44 AM

Im looking at building a assembly table/work bench.
ill put a vice on it and i want it to be strong and stable.

im thinking more of a traditional style (i dont want a split top)

but my main question is, i was looking at most plans, and people cut strips and glue them together to make a top.
but i have heard of people just using a few slabs and joining them together.

what are some advantages/disadvantages of both?

i was thinking the strips would be more stable? but if the slabs are dried and stable, would they move much over time? it wont be too much different in BF going either way. i just dont want to do it over again after the first time.

Thanks!

-- David Henley


8 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1504 days


#1 posted 01-29-2013 06:09 AM

Laminated: stronger, flatter, more stable than slabs. Defects minimized.
Slabs: quicker. And whatcha got is whatcha get (meaning any defects).

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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bondogaposis

2528 posts in 1005 days


#2 posted 01-29-2013 02:11 PM

Most people laminate tops because they don’t have access to thick slabs large enough to make a bench.. You have to allow for wood movement either way in your construction, so it is really a matter of preference.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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dahenley

125 posts in 747 days


#3 posted 01-29-2013 11:27 PM

Cool.

Im still leaning on the Laminated side…..
by my laziness/eagerness to get the bench done is still saying slabs….

-- David Henley

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4138 posts in 1605 days


#4 posted 01-30-2013 12:08 AM

Do your slabs contain the pith? If so, you’ll want to cut those out. See Mauricio’s bench top blog:

http://lumberjocks.com/mochoa/blog/28554

Check out his whole bench build too, if you’re so inclined. It’s a very nice bench and he’s on the cusp of finishing it.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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dahenley

125 posts in 747 days


#5 posted 01-30-2013 12:16 AM

that is nice.
i havent purchased the wood for the table.
Oak and Ash are very common woods (as far as price and availability goes. Maple is more by 1.5 at least)

i know that some of the slabs of ASH have no pith(the top ones in the pile)

i dont mind filing any voids or knots with epoxy if need be. and i dont mind cutting them out as well.
i will be checking out the build. (i like looking at all builds, because all are different and have different opinions and thought on what it should be like)

-- David Henley

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

9898 posts in 1272 days


#6 posted 01-30-2013 12:32 AM

Over the long run (with all respect to Maynerd Kaynes) you’ll be happier with laminated strips unless you have access to large and very dry stock. It’s more work, but worth it. That said, I have an assembly table (very vintage thing) that is made from 1×3 boards laid flat, likely T&G, to make a top and it’s fabulous. So you have options. It’s what you want to invest in the build (time, talent and $) that is going to determine your course of action.

Good luck, and post some pictures of the build! It’ll be fun to come along!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

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Brandon

4138 posts in 1605 days


#7 posted 01-30-2013 12:38 AM

BTW, though he didn’t link it here, Smitty’s bench is the best example of how to use a slab for the top:

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/46516

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9898 posts in 1272 days


#8 posted 01-30-2013 01:23 AM

Thanks, Brandon! Lots of benches here to get excited about. If I had to make one again, I’d try to find decent 4”x6” lumber to use. Too lazy to do all the laminations well…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

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