First workbench build help

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Forum topic by steversaurus posted 10-14-2013 10:23 AM 666 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 1127 days

10-14-2013 10:23 AM

Hey Everyone first major project. Going to build a workbench for the garage and a place to put the mitre saw. I’d like to use an old door that is taking up space. The problem is it’s a single panel door like in the like below

I had some ideas such as putting some (3/4”?) plywood or mdf on top of it. Or even somehow filling in the panel with a smaller piece of ply and topping it with hardboard. Or even finding another solid slab door and using that on top of the first door.

Whats the best option?

4 replies so far

View DrTebi's profile


242 posts in 2684 days

#1 posted 10-18-2013 10:09 AM

Of the options you mention, a 3/4” plywood piece is probably the best. You may want to cut it to size beforehand. I would also not try to glue it on, but rather screw it onto the door. That way you can remove it later if it get’s too banged up. Counter-sink the screws, or try to find the perfect length screw and screw the board on from the bottom.

A simple finish could be applied to the Plywood to make it more resistable to liquids.

Got feet?

View Tedstor's profile


1625 posts in 2050 days

#2 posted 10-18-2013 10:37 AM

- Plywood or MDF would work, and would probably be the route I’d go.
- I think another solid-core door would make the top too thick. You’ll likely want to install dog holes. Having a 4” thick top can make dog holes harder to install, and more importantly, harder to use. You’ll also have to construct a VERY robust base, to support a heavy top. Otherwise, the bench will sway. (opinions will vary about bench top thickness).
- If you have a Sears in your area, they sell a 1.5” hardwood workbench top. They cost anywhere between $110-140, depending on the demensions and current sale pricing. You can have it “shipped-to-store” for free. I’ve never personally seen this product in-person, so I can’t vouch for its quality. Looks pretty good on the website though. And the price isn’t unreasonable considering that a sheet of 3/4” hardwood ply can be $50+.

View TaybulSawz's profile


141 posts in 1100 days

#3 posted 10-18-2013 01:07 PM

Believe it or not, I’m building my solid Red Oak Work bench for FREE! Not counting a lot of Time and Effort. Does that Count???? I’m a C.O.B.!!!!

I have been cruising the Alleys of my city on the weekends, watching Craigslist etc and gathering up all the large Oak pallets I could lay my hands on. Most of them have either 2×4 or 4×4 Oak runners and 1” slats. I have been removing nails and jonting a planing for months but as you can see, I just about have it all assembled. Finished top will be 2 1/4” thick by 6 1/2’ long by 3’ wide. The Only thing I plan on buying are the locking casters.

-- Still got all my Fingers!!!

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3066 days

#4 posted 10-18-2013 01:21 PM

TayBulSawz – that is an awesome quest you were on and the results look great! can’t beat a workbench with such a story behind it ;)

To the OP: I think that topping it with plywood/MDF would be the easiest path.

But then again – if you are going to get a sheet of MDF/plywood – what would you need the door for in the first place seeing that this is a workbench to hold your mitersaw and doesn’t really require anything that this door will provide anyway)? why not just use the plywood sheet as the top for the bench and be done with it?

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

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