Workshop Bench

21 Sep 2005
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United Kingdom
Hello chaps,

I've just bought a new house which comes with a 13' x 6' workshop :LOL:

The workshop is built onto the side of the house, so has one solid brick wall and three shed-style wooden walls.

I want to build a 10' workbench along the length of the house wall, and was wondering what the best material to use is?

It needs to be pretty solid so that it can withstand general woodworking tasks without bouncing / flexing / moving.

So far I have considered something like thick MDF - I think you can buy 25mm MDF which would be OK I think. Problem is that if it gets damp / wet I'll be in trouble! I guess I could seal it with PVA or similar.

Also thought about buying kitchen worktop and maybe glueing two lengths together back to back for extra thickiness and strength.

Anyone got any other bright ideas - what have other people used?

My plan is to attach it to the house wall for a nice solid fixing, and use some chukny square wooden leg supports.

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We have large workbenches with 18mm mdf tops on a 4" x 2" frame (8' x 4' in size) and they are very solid. They have been wet and damp and they have lasted years. What is important is the framework, which needs to be solid. One advantage with this method is that when the top gets too knackered you can unscrew it and replace it in a few minutes and at no great cost.
You could also use green MDF to give a bit of extra protection.
I've Just made a 3.6m bench for my workshop..

I used lengths of 4''x2'' which I put together using a biscuit machine and clamps. I then sanded it and varnished it with floor varnish - it looks like a single piece of very thick wood!

The legs and frame I made from 3''x2''.

A very solid and hopefully durable bench...and if the surface gets too pitted over time, then I can turn it over and use the other side!
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I personally dont like MDF worktops in workshops especially if damp, though I conceed the benefits. But thats just my preference.

I use thick plywood or solid wood strips (4x2) etc.

I think, as has been pointed out, the most important thing is the framework. Good solid sturdy framework, with regular spaced supports is an absolute must, and the top can always be replaced then.

By the way, Kitchen worktops are great, but an expensive way of doing it, also work pices have a tendancy to slide on them when working.

Just my twopence worth. :)

i personally made mine out of blockboard on a timber frame , its cheaper than plywood but dearer than MDF ... :cool: ...its lasted me ( working on it nearly every day ) for 15 years :D
les, good choice, tend to forget about blockboard, years since I used it. Yep would make very good workbench.

A couple of old solid core fire doors work well, just look out for an office that is being refurbished.

Thanks for all the replies.

I will probably go for the MDF option...


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