Workbench Top - Have Money.... but Not Time

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Forum topic by BigBadBen posted 02-18-2013 07:35 PM 1508 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View BigBadBen's profile


7 posts in 2217 days

02-18-2013 07:35 PM

I’ve made my base structure for my new workbench. It’s a hybrid design from lots of pictures and stories from this great site! I’m looking forward to sharing this project with LJ once complete.

However, I’m at a cross roads. My original plan is for a new 2.25” x 72” x 36” maple top from Global Industries for about $450 shipped to my house in North New Jersey. But my dilemma is I’ve built the base structure from left over lumber from my shop and reclaimed framing lumber from a neighbors house who’s adding an wing. I have yet to purchase anything from the local store. I’ve planed, joined, sanded and glued to manufacture my own structural lumber. I feel that I should re-use a workbench top from some other source.

I really don’t have the time to manufacture my own top. I’ve been scouring the web and Craigs List for garage sales or estate sales or closed businesses. There’s even an add for old bowling alley material in Brooklyn.

So I’m looking for some advice on where I might be able to obtain material I could repurpose into a workbench top.


10 replies so far

View kdc68's profile


2689 posts in 2418 days

#1 posted 02-18-2013 09:59 PM

Try Habitat for Humanity. There are Habitat for Humanity “stores” in my area, and maybe yours too, that sells a variety of home related items (ie – kitchen cabinets). Perhaps they may have an old butcher block counter top that you could use for your bench. Proceeds go to the charity

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View Nighthawk's profile


556 posts in 2498 days

#2 posted 02-18-2013 11:03 PM

Workbench Top – Have Money…. but Not Time

Three things need to be in alignment before things happen and they are Time, Money & Energy. You usually only have two of the three… and very rearly all three.

Teenagers normally have Time and Energy but no Money!
Younger Adults normally have Energy and Money but no time!
Older Adults Normaly have Time & Money but no Energy!


Sorry had to post that…. lol

-- Rome wasn't built in a day... but I wasn't on that job? ...

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2148 days

#3 posted 02-19-2013 02:09 AM

Any places near you that sell used/salvaged construction stuff? You might be able to find an old solid exterior door to use for the top.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 2076 days

#4 posted 02-19-2013 02:59 AM

My workbench top is a 1 3/4” wood door with a piece of plywood laminated to the top. It’s probably not perfectly flat, but it gets the job done and it was cheap.

I worked for a general contractor for 2 years and the stuff we threw away was outrageous. See if you can find buildings that are getting demolished, and ask the supervisor if you can snoop around a little. All they want to do is get all that junk out of the building, so you would be doing them a favor.

Good luck.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3243 days

#5 posted 02-19-2013 05:58 AM

I bought this a few weeks back and have no complaints. Rock solid….....................

-- mike...............

View bondogaposis's profile


4977 posts in 2492 days

#6 posted 02-19-2013 02:34 PM

Go to a cabinet shop and order one made to your specs.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View dhazelton's profile


2789 posts in 2438 days

#7 posted 02-19-2013 02:47 PM

I second the used solid core door. Put a sacrificial skin of ply or masonite on top if you want.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5066 posts in 4101 days

#8 posted 02-19-2013 05:16 PM

Mine is made from bowling alley. Been workin’ well for about 20 years.


View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2672 days

#9 posted 02-20-2013 04:41 AM

Why not make the top from framing lumber? If you can find an old building with 2×10 or 2×12 joists or rafters, you’d get some pretty good lumber for a top. Rip them down to whatever thickness you want, then glue up a big slab. You could use brand new dimensional lumber, too.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View BigBadBen's profile


7 posts in 2217 days

#10 posted 02-22-2013 10:19 PM

Thanks for the advise. I took a look at the bowling alley material today. If I had time, I could make a fantastic bench top. But since the place was not giving it away (infact over charging).....Bally Block here I come.

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