I would like to build a work bench to my specs and was hoping to get
recommendations of the best materials(Wood, as well as Metal
fasteners) to use.
Outside of heavier being better, I'd appreciated advice on the
specific kind of wood used by anyone who has done this.(I'd be bolting
my mini-lathe and mini-mill to this).
Thanks a lot.
Staten Island, New York.
I've built several out of 2x4's face glued together. I saw the best edge
to get a square edge (no chamfer, no wanes) drill 7/16" holes 2" from
the edge every 18", glue up with a gallon jug of Elmer's carpenter glue
and 3/8" all thread rod to clamp it down. Finish with a belt or disk
sander and a coat of varnish. I usually counter bore the front piece to
allow the all thread to remain in the top but not snag the pants. Stick
in some stubs to bolt the legs to if you want. Dimensions are open, you
can use short 2x4's, just stagger the joints. Used lumber is fine also.
My last one was when I got a great deal on some 6' 2x4s, wound up with a
9' bench that is solid as a rock.
I am building a bench right now; I happened to have some European Beech
flooring material. I built the frame from 2x4 and 2x6; for the top
surface I used a layer of 3/4 ply, then two layers of the beech, which
is nominally 7/8 (actually 23mm) thick.
Then I wrapped the edges with a mitered pine band, made from 1x6 and
1x8; which was cut along the width to match the thickness of the top,
for the most part. The band has some parts that dip down at the corners
and centers; these are handholds to pull it around as it's on casters.
There's also a lower platform made of one layer of the beech for
storage, which also has a 1x pine band that lips up above the surface to
keep things from sliding out.
I used Deckmate construction screws for the frame and the initial layer
of plywood; and 2" finish nails for the beech. The 1x pine band was
glued and also nailed with 2" finish nails. The whole thing is very
stiff and solid, and I especially like the beech surface as it's dense,
smooth, and hard.
Next up is some rasping and sanding to soften the edges, some wood dye,
varnish, and a couple vises.
I am ass-u-ming a lot here, so the advice is free and worth everything you
paid for it.
Whatever your craft is, build it so that it is resistant to that work.
i.e. if you are welder, build it of materials that won't burn.
If you work with woods, make it of something other than particle board that
won't go to pieces if it gets some kind of solvent soaked into it.
IOW, it's hard to tell what to make it out of without knowing what you are
going to use it for.
Just analyze what may get on it that would degrade/deteriorate/destroy it,
and choose materials that will resist those elements.
First factor to consider is rigidity. you need a solid foundation for
machine tools even the mini's.
Next thing to consider is the height of the machines. Build this to fit
Now utility. since you will be slopping coolant around from time to time
the bench should be impervious to a soaking and provision should be made
that it drain back and down into a bucket.
The bench should have drawers to hold tooling and fixtures.
Loaded, this bench will be heavy. Consider some way of attaching wheels so
you can move it when you need to.
Or a good, solid, steel desk with a couple layers of 3/4 ply on the top.
Gives you a shitload fo storage as well.
Not one of those piece of shit Ikea monstrosities.but an old time honest
"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western civilization as it
- James Burnham
Check your local Sam's Club or equivalent big box store.
They had a nice wood top work bench with steel tubing legs with
adjustable height for user preference. Under $200, and large enough to
accommodate both machines.
I can't build one this nice for that price.
It hasn't been mentioned here in a while, but a great not-so-easy-to-find
benchtop material is bowling lanes that are removed in sections when a
bowling business is demolished or remodeled.
The lane sections will provide an excellent top for tables or benches, when
mounted on a sturdy metal or wood frame.
My first benches I made out of wood. But they soaked up oil, grease
and other yucky fluids quickly and turned into eyesores.
Well one day I was at the junk store and ran across some excess
chemistry lab modules. They were made of steel and topped with some
sort of slate-like material. The top isn't slate but it is hard, non-
porus and holds up well to hammering. AND it is easy to clean.
See if your local college or high school is remodeling one of the
science labs and grab the top of one of the cabinets or better yet the
I LOVE mine.
Ebay would probably be better than trying to locate attend and
transport anything home from an industrial liquidation. That goes the
same for finding "chemistry lab modules".
What about these option?
I'm assuming something more local to me than these would be better:
Also not local to me, here is some bowling lane flooring:
Ok. I picked up the "Finley 2x4basics Workbench Assembly Kit #14090"
and the "Finley 2x4basics Shelf Links, Black, 6-Pack # 09106" from
Since bowling land flooring seems to be difficult to find, I'd
apprecaite any other recommendations on the best wood to use for this
Thanks a lot.
Staten Island, New York.
"Searcher7" wrote > Since bowling land flooring
seems to be difficult to find, I'd
Maple hearts, (think $$$$$) would be best. Birch would be good also if you
can't find maple. For softwood, southern yellow pine is pretty tough but
make sure it's very dry, as it warps considerably as it dries out. Douglas
fir is strong and stable but softer than SYP. where you're located will
affect pricing. Local stuff is usually less costly.
South American Bubinga Wood, but only from trees on the NORTH side of
A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical liberal minority and
rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media,
which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible
to pick up a turd by the clean end.