Work Bench Top Design Question

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Forum topic by trippcasey posted 03-12-2013 12:50 AM 1176 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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72 posts in 1918 days

03-12-2013 12:50 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question oak

I recently acquired several hundred board feet of red and white oak from my father (along with over a thousand board feet of walnut, cherry, poplar, and white pine when all combined. We will talk about that later. :p ) Anyway, I have plenty of oak to build a nice work bench. The problem I have is that most of it is just over an inch thick. The 3” thick and up stuff will just be enough to build a sturdy base. I was thinking about gluing three to four pieces of the thinner stuff together, with the top and bottom piece being about 6” wide and the middle piece(s) at 4”, leaving a grove so each fabricated beam would interlock like a tongue and grove joint. I know the top will not be as strong that way, but it seems like a better alternative than gluing 42 one inch pieces together for a top. I want to use the oak for this because I can get that all day long down here, where the other wood is hard to come by in my area and fairly expensive compared to oak. Does this sound good to you? Has anyone every seen a bench like this?

-- I almost post pics....until I see the daily top three...then I delete my post.

3 replies so far

View mbs's profile


1656 posts in 2935 days

#1 posted 03-12-2013 03:22 AM

I don’t see why your idea wont work. Make sure you plane your center pc the same thickness so you have a consistent tongue and groove.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View amite's profile


16 posts in 2205 days

#2 posted 03-14-2013 10:16 PM

Just a suggestion: many guys make their top needlessly thick all the way across, when the only pounding/super-stressing is done in the first 8 inches or so. I’ve read that in the old days benchtops were very thick at the front, and thin at the back.So, in your case, you could glue about 8 of those thin boards the usual way with the 1-inch edge facing up, then continue the way you mentioned above. You might not need even the three layers you talked about, because all that back part does is support the part of the piece you’re not working on, and your coffee mug!

-- "That's not a gap, it's an expansion joint!"

View HorizontalMike's profile


7755 posts in 2908 days

#3 posted 03-14-2013 10:57 PM

Check my workbench on my projects page. Look for the 21st Century workbench. Three inches on the first foot front and back, but center is reversable trays made out of 3/4 all around. I’ m on my phone or I would provide the link. This might answer your needs. Works great for me, and I like the +500lb mass to hold the bench steady. Yeah, it cost me an arm and leg, but to me it was worth it.

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

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