Bench top laminations - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 8Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 28 Old 05-28-2018, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
AmishElectricCo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Ohio
Posts: 332
View AmishElectricCo's Photo Album My Photos
Question Bench top laminations

Getting ready to start building a workbench for hand tool use. Haven't settled on a final design yet, but leaning heavily towards a modified Paul Sellers version (minus the aprons).

Just about any bench top plans call for 2x4 lumber. I've browsed the selection at all the local home centers and found them to be warped and full of knots. Even the so-called "premium" stuff. The 1x4's however, are very nice. Plus they've already been milled on 4 sides, so the amount of prep work and planing would be minimal.

Am I missing something? Would it be okay to just use 1x4's instead or would that weaken the top with too many laminations? Aside from the additional expense (1x4's are about twice as expensive) I'm not seeing much of a downside here.

⚡ Anthony
AmishElectricCo is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 28 Old 05-28-2018, 09:52 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,995
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmishElectricCompany View Post
Getting ready to start building a workbench for hand tool use. Haven't settled on a final design yet, but leaning heavily towards a modified Paul Sellers version (minus the aprons).

Just about any bench top plans call for 2x4 lumber. I've browsed the selection at all the local home centers and found them to be warped and full of knots. Even the so-called "premium" stuff. The 1x4's however, are very nice. Plus they've already been milled on 4 sides, so the amount of prep work and planing would be minimal.

Am I missing something? Would it be okay to just use 1x4's instead or would that weaken the top with too many laminations? Aside from the additional expense (1x4's are about twice as expensive) I'm not seeing much of a downside here.
If you are going to use pine use yellow pine. The wood is harder than most construction lumber. It will be more prone to warpage so you will have to carefully select the wood to insure the boards you get are straight.

It won't hurt anything but to use more glue to laminate 1x4's. Now if you stagger pieces together end to end in the top you need to insure they are the same thickness. Construction materials are milled really good but you can't assume all of them are the same.

If you plan to use a woodworking vise on the top most are made for a top that is 2" thick so you might consider the thickness of the top to fit the vise. Might buy the vise first.
Steve Neul is offline  
post #3 of 28 Old 05-28-2018, 10:00 AM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 27,167
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
laminated bench tops .....

The thing about a nicely laminated top, is it looks so nice you may not want to use it. That happened to me with a 2 1/2" Maple top. My normal work surface is a torsion box with a "loose" 3/4" particle board set on top. It was flipped over once already because it got a bit abused.

A simple glue up of some 2 X 6's or 2 X 8's with an additional hardboard or particle board top will be just as strong and much easier to maintain ... JMO.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 05-28-2018 at 12:34 PM.
woodnthings is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 28 Old 05-28-2018, 10:03 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 12,341
View GeorgeC's Photo Album My Photos
I used 2"x6" construction grade lumber laid on the 6" side to make my bench. Plenty sturdy for whatever I want to do. Had no problems finding good quality boards at Lowes. Covered it with 1/8" sheet of Masonite. Can change top easily whenever needed.



George
GeorgeC is offline  
post #5 of 28 Old 05-28-2018, 12:18 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Garland, TX
Posts: 4,232
View Toolman50's Photo Album My Photos
I think it will cost much more to laminate the 1 X material. More glue lus more boards.
If you have clamps, the 2 X’s will pull together. You can glue up only 3 at a time if you need to apply max pressure.
I agree with Steve on the Yellow Pine. I wouldn’t use SPF for a workbench.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
Toolman50 is offline  
post #6 of 28 Old 05-28-2018, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
AmishElectricCo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Ohio
Posts: 332
View AmishElectricCo's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
I think it will cost much more to laminate the 1 X material.
Yeah, that's the biggest down side. I decided to go ahead and pull the trigger on this since there was a sale on southern yellow pine today. Ended up buying 16 1x4's for my top - which was just over $100. Way more than I wanted to spend, but it was worth it. Got it glued up already and there are zero knots. Best of all, I won't have a lot of surface prep to get it dead flat.
Toolman50 and ramonajim like this.

⚡ Anthony
AmishElectricCo is offline  
post #7 of 28 Old 05-30-2018, 09:02 AM
Master firewood maker
 
Chris Curl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,973
View Chris Curl's Photo Album My Photos
So wait a minute ... 16 1x4s laminated ... each is 3/4" thick ... that would end up making a bench 12" wide, wouldn't it? Seems like a 12" wide bench is too narrow for many jobs. Or, how are the boards laminated?

... turning perfectly good wood into firewood every day ... :smile3:
Chris Curl is offline  
post #8 of 28 Old 05-31-2018, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
AmishElectricCo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Ohio
Posts: 332
View AmishElectricCo's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Curl View Post
So wait a minute ... 16 1x4s laminated ... each is 3/4" thick ... that would end up making a bench 12" wide, wouldn't it? Seems like a 12" wide bench is too narrow for many jobs. Or, how are the boards laminated?
You are correct, it's a 12" wide bench. I'm building the Paul Sellers bench, and that is exactly what it calls for. There's also a wellboard, which is about 11 1/2" wide.

⚡ Anthony
AmishElectricCo is offline  
post #9 of 28 Old 06-01-2018, 08:40 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 705
View gj13us's Photo Album My Photos
Paul Sellers' bench is only 12" wide?
gj13us is offline  
post #10 of 28 Old 06-01-2018, 01:28 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Troy Michigan USA
Posts: 1,203
View gmercer_48083's Photo Album My Photos
I am sure you will be happy with his bench...especially with all his experience. We all could learn a lot from Paul Sellers.
gmercer_48083 is offline  
post #11 of 28 Old 06-01-2018, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
AmishElectricCo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Ohio
Posts: 332
View AmishElectricCo's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by gj13us View Post
Paul Sellers' bench is only 12" wide?
According to the plans, outside edge to outside edge of the legs is only 25" wide. If you included the aprons, I'd guess the whole thing is about 26" at its widest point.

The bench is only 66" long also.

⚡ Anthony

Last edited by AmishElectricCo; 06-01-2018 at 08:05 PM.
AmishElectricCo is offline  
post #12 of 28 Old 06-01-2018, 09:56 PM
Senior Member
 
Alchymist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Central PA
Posts: 2,277
View Alchymist's Photo Album My Photos
Got one under construction now, but it keeps getting set aside as other projects keep getting priority. I used 12' 2X6s cut in half then ripped down the middle. Much straighter than using 2X4s, though the top winds up a little over 2" thick instead of the 3+ inches.

Plan is to glue them up in groups of 4, then run the groups through the jointer & planer, then glue up one set of the 4 wides, and run them through the planer, and then joint one edge on the 8 wide piece, then glue them together, total of close to 18" wide top. Then on each side, use one of the remaining pieces to cut a piece long enough to fit between 2X6 legs and a short piece to fill from leg to end of bench.

Last piece is then glued to each side over the 2X6 leg. 2X6 legs will be ripped to remove the rounded edges. 2X6 legs get 2X4 on the back to make an L, 2X4 stringers top front to rear,and near bottom front to rear and side to side. The last 2 2" pieces surrounding the legs will be glued with a few screws until the glue dries, then removed and hardwood dowels substituted. ANyway that's the plan.

Alexis de Tocqueville was a very smart man.
Alchymist is offline  
post #13 of 28 Old 06-02-2018, 10:22 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Troy Michigan USA
Posts: 1,203
View gmercer_48083's Photo Album My Photos
I made my bench based on 21st century bench by Robert Lang (popular woodworking). The bench is 27"x 60". It has a 7" opening right down the center of the bench that has 4 removable tool trays that are flush with the top. The tool trays can be flipped to provide a continuous flat benchtop between the 12"x 60" laminated bench tops that are 3" thick. I liked it because the legs are held together using 1/2 dovetails with wedges, and can be disassembled very quickly.
gmercer_48083 is offline  
post #14 of 28 Old 06-10-2018, 11:13 AM
Master firewood maker
 
Chris Curl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,973
View Chris Curl's Photo Album My Photos
2x6 ripped in half ... 2 3/4" thick. Are you ripping off the rounded edges too? That would make it about 2 1/2" thick. That getting pretty close to too thin, at least to me.

I used 2x6s, and I just ripped off the rounded edges, leaving about 5".

... turning perfectly good wood into firewood every day ... :smile3:
Chris Curl is offline  
post #15 of 28 Old 06-10-2018, 01:08 PM
Senior Member
 
Alchymist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Central PA
Posts: 2,277
View Alchymist's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Curl View Post
2x6 ripped in half ... 2 3/4" thick. Are you ripping off the rounded edges too? That would make it about 2 1/2" thick. That getting pretty close to too thin, at least to me.

I used 2x6s, and I just ripped off the rounded edges, leaving about 5".
I left the rounded edges, putting them on the bottom, leaving the saw cut surface as the top surface. A pass thru the jointer flattens the top side of the 6" sections and another hits the edges to make sure everything is square. Might make a pass through the planer to clean up the bottom side a little, but most of the rounded edges should remain. When two of the 6" sections are glued together, another planer pass with all parts and final glue up. Jointing & planing shouldn't eat up much of the thickness, and bottom of the top itself doesn't have to be perfectly flat, some of the rounded edges can show.

I toyed with the idea of gluing up the 3 6" wide pieces with a jointed 2X4 between each section to add a little more width and mass to the top,; letting them stick below the other parts by about an inch. The outside edge (one that covers the legs) might be a 2X6 also, but that might complicate adding the vise.
Chris Curl likes this.

Alexis de Tocqueville was a very smart man.
Alchymist is offline  
post #16 of 28 Old 06-11-2018, 09:46 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Troy Michigan USA
Posts: 1,203
View gmercer_48083's Photo Album My Photos
A 2-1/2" benchtop is plenty thick, and would be plenty solid...considering the placement of the legs supporting the whole thing.
gmercer_48083 is offline  
post #17 of 28 Old 06-14-2018, 03:03 PM
Senior Member
 
Alchymist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Central PA
Posts: 2,277
View Alchymist's Photo Album My Photos
Made some progress - had a couple spots tear out a bit on the last trip through the planer. Will hit them with a sawdust/epoxy mix before final sanding. Alignment came out pretty good, flat overall, most deviation less than 1/32, caused by warping. All salvaged construction grade lumber, so that's to be expected. One piece looked like a boomerang after sitting for a few days.

So far $$ wise only into it for the cost of 2 bottles of Titebond III and a few deck screws. Next step, square the ends, mount the casters and vise, sand the top. Thinking just a BLO finish.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_6474.jpg
Views:	78
Size:	261.7 KB
ID:	362864  


Alexis de Tocqueville was a very smart man.
Alchymist is offline  
post #18 of 28 Old 06-15-2018, 09:14 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Troy Michigan USA
Posts: 1,203
View gmercer_48083's Photo Album My Photos
Nice, Makes me want to build another bench, no room in my shop though.
gmercer_48083 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to gmercer_48083 For This Useful Post:
Alchymist (06-15-2018)
post #19 of 28 Old 06-16-2018, 07:44 PM
Senior Member
 
Alchymist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Central PA
Posts: 2,277
View Alchymist's Photo Album My Photos
Finish sanded to 120, filled the few divots with epoxy/sanding dust. Not going to sand any further, it's gonna get dinged up anyway. Added the 3 casters, have to pick up one more and some BLO. Then off to building a stand for the new (old) Grizzly table saw. After that it will be drawers for the bench.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_6485.jpg
Views:	82
Size:	406.4 KB
ID:	362922  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_6486.jpg
Views:	94
Size:	347.6 KB
ID:	362924  


Alexis de Tocqueville was a very smart man.
Alchymist is offline  
post #20 of 28 Old 06-17-2018, 08:58 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Garland, TX
Posts: 4,232
View Toolman50's Photo Album My Photos
I don’t see any locks on those casters.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
Toolman50 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bench Top Jointers For Furniture? justinthewoodworker Power Tools & Machinery 13 10-25-2018 11:58 PM
Bench is finished Bluenote38 Project Showcase 3 09-29-2017 03:08 PM
Bench Grinder Vs Angle Grinder chughes10 Power Tools & Machinery 27 03-26-2017 11:00 AM
New Work Bench MT Stringer Project Showcase 11 01-24-2017 04:41 PM
Work Bench Build tchara Design & Plans 5 08-13-2015 09:01 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome