LumberJocks

question regarding lamination of workbench top

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by jdh122 posted 05-05-2013 07:17 PM 690 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jdh122's profile

jdh122

363 posts in 1484 days


05-05-2013 07:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: workbench lamination pallet wood

I just acquired a big pile of 2-3 inch thick oak and maple during the Spring garbage collection in my city. (see photo). It comes from heavy machinery pallets that someone has taken apart and has the nails cut off on one side, but the other side is clean on most pieces.
I was wondering about using it to make a new top for my workbench, to replace the spruce one that has serve me well but is a bit soft. The problem is that the wood is not long enough for the bench.
My question is whether doing a kind of staggered lamination would be a good idea, and whether anyone has experience doing this. I know that commercially-made wooden tables often do this, generally with fingerjoints at the butt joints, but is it practical and strong enough for a workbench?
Thanks for any advice.
Jeremy

here’s the photo:

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests


5 replies so far

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1825 days


#1 posted 05-05-2013 08:25 PM

IMO, there is absolutely no reason you couldn’t do what you want. Just be generous with the glue and flatten it back after glue-up. Many people will use a finger joint bit to connect the ends of boards together, but even that is not necessary.

BTW, it’s a workbench. I’m not sure why you feel compelled to replace what you have unless its just really thin and light weight.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

363 posts in 1484 days


#2 posted 05-06-2013 09:42 AM

Thanks for the help, Cosmicsniper. What I have is not thin since it’s made of spruce 2×4s (so over 3 inches thick) but I do find that it gets easily marked. But maybe I should save this wood for other things.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1825 days


#3 posted 05-06-2013 01:18 PM

No problem. At some point in my life, I will build an heirloom quality workbench. But that has more to do with pride than it does practicality. Right now, I have plywood on two sawhorses…and when I need something sturdy, I use my Unisaw top. No, it’s not a perfect solution, and I have left-over S.Y. pine from my back patio project that I’ll laminate together pretty soon to make an intermediate workbench…but that bench will probably end up lasting a lifetime.

Fir is softer than SYP, so if it becomes a matter of aesthetic for you, then I can see why you’d want to replace it…but I think as long as it remains flat…and heavy (on a good base), then it’s really not a “need” kinda thing.

However, if I had “bonus” maple, I’d probably use it on a workbench, especially if I didn’t have any pressing projects to use it on. I wouldn’t pay oodles of $$$ on maple for a workbench…but if somebody GAVE it to me…well, it’d be the perfect recipe! So don’t let my initial remarks dissuade you…I was just saying that you likely don’t gain much functionally by using the maple.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2315 days


#4 posted 05-06-2013 01:43 PM

yes you can and should use this for a new benchtop (I would). many of the commercially available laminated tops are made this way.

to reiterate – I made my workbench top from a recycled bowling alley. a bowling alley is several tens of feet long, and there are no boards that long, they use the same technique to make the long stretches of floor by staggering the boards. what is generating the strength is the long-to-long grain joints (lamination), the fact that each full length strip is made of several boards has no real value and does not reduce the strength in any way (actually it may increase longevity as the boards are shorter and are less likely to induce a larger degree of expansion/twist).

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

363 posts in 1484 days


#5 posted 05-06-2013 04:25 PM

Thanks for the great advice, PurpLev – based on personal experience too.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase