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Thread: Plywood thickness for workbench

  1. #1
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    Default Plywood thickness for workbench

    I was reading Hawkeye54's thread on workbench coating removal. In reading it I had a question, but he closed the thread. I need to build a secondary bench for a remote worksite. I noticed Hawkeye glued two sheets of plywood together for his benchtop. I was thinking of doing the same thing - two 3/4 inch plywood to form a 1.5 inch benchtop. I was uncertain as to whether this would provide a sufficient top. Anyone have any experience/suggestions with this?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Plywood thickness for workbench

    How heavy duty does your new bench really need to be?

    I have a workbench/table in my shop that I put together 10 years ago framed with straight lumberyard 2x6s and a 3/4" particleboard top. After 3 small boats, a bunch of spars and a wide variety of other projects all I've done is occasionally scrape the paint and epoxy drips off.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Plywood thickness for workbench

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post
    How heavy duty does your new bench really need to be?

    It does not need to be as heavy or solid as my main bench (3" thick Maple). I just need a solid surface for repairs an limited projects with minimal labor and expense.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Plywood thickness for workbench

    Just cleat together 2 x 8s.

    The vise is more important, and the lighting.

    Workbenches need to be 2 heights, too -- one high for detail work, and one low for pressing-down-from-above work.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Plywood thickness for workbench

    When I was still working as a pro furniture builder, I had two main work surfaces. One was/is a heavy duty multi-sheets-of-plywood top bench with dog holes, vises.... the works. It sustained mallet blows as I chopped the rare mortise or whatnot. The other surface was the outfeed table for my table saw: 4'x8' heavy duty mdf covered with plastic laminate. This is where I did almost all the assembly and miscellaneous work. I think that two layers of 3/4 ply is one ply too many for a secondary bench.

    Jeff

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Plywood thickness for workbench

    Here’s mine, sitting on its accompanying flat cart. Designed as my chopsaw bench it has 6’ and 8’ outfeed tables that work with my table saw when the bench is on its feet. FCC93157-C83D-49A2-BC92-17CC81C95DA2.jpg
    3/4 fir marine ply has lasted well through multiple drownings. / Jim
    Last edited by chas; 05-24-2021 at 02:51 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Plywood thickness for workbench

    Get an old slab door from the Restore or a reno, and land it on a couple of sawhorses.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Plywood thickness for workbench

    6’*2’*9/8” particleboard is $15.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Plywood thickness for workbench

    I know a single sheet of 3/4 inch ply with 2x2 framing wasn't enough for me.. It's now got a serious bend in it.. Might be something to do with A 180KG keel that was built on the top... Now looking at how to correct it..
    Just an amateur bodging away..

  10. #10
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    Loon Lake, Washington
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    Default Re: Plywood thickness for workbench

    Mine are all 3/4 inch plywood, well framed and supported with poles and 2x6's. The posts are set into the earth.
    By all means go to 1" ply or whatever if you feel the need.

    It's an L shape. This is the short end - The long side is about ten feet long.
    It does seem to be as heavy as I'll ever need. I do have an anvil mounted on a stump and post-vice for wen I really need to hammer away at something, but have only needed 'em for blacksmithing.

    Heh, this plywood came from an Air Force base shooting range many years ago. When they rebuilt it and I scrounged a whole pickup load of good stuff. Them much of it went into horse stalls, which I really overbuilt, having past experience with some nasty brutes!
    Then the stalls got taken down and made into benches...


    SAM_8313.jpg

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Plywood thickness for workbench

    Quote Originally Posted by Boatbum View Post
    I was reading Hawkeye54's thread on workbench coating removal. In reading it I had a question, but he closed the thread. I need to build a secondary bench for a remote worksite. I noticed Hawkeye glued two sheets of plywood together for his benchtop. I was thinking of doing the same thing - two 3/4 inch plywood to form a 1.5 inch benchtop. I was uncertain as to whether this would provide a sufficient top. Anyone have any experience/suggestions with this?
    Boatbum, I apologize for closing the thread - it had appeared that all the questions had been dealt with As to the bench, when I first built the top, which I dragged along from Minnesota to South Carolina, I used a sheet of 3/4" A-C veneer core plywood ( 4' × 8' ), ripped into 2 pieces - one 23-1/4" and one 24" wide, glued together with titebond 3 and a few screws driven from the underside to hold it together as the glue dried. The front corners were radiused so I would not bump into a sharp corner, and an 8 foot 1"x 6" was slid into the gap at the rear of the assembled top to serve as a backstop to corral wayward tools and fasteners. Hope that helps !!!


    Rick

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Plywood thickness for workbench

    P.S. to Boatbum : I encountered a super-duper clearance sale at a big-box store, and bought some kitchen base cabinets. Joined together, they form the base of the bench, and a place to store tools and stuff.




    Rick

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