Workbench top advice sought - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 11-21-2018, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Question Workbench top advice sought

Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum and a relatively low-skilled woodworker. I need a workbench and have two Ikea oak laminated table tops (31"x49"x1.25") that I'm considering using as a top for the workbench. However, I have no idea whether this will work and I need some advice!

I have had the tops indoors lying flat on the (warm) basement floor for about 6 months. They seem to be slightly bowed across the shorter dimension -- there is approximately 1/4" gap between the edges when they're lying on top of one another. They haven't shown any sign of getting flatter or more warped.

Here are some options I'm considering:

Option 1: glue, screw, and clamp them together and hope for the best. If I do that should I put the bows like this: )( or like this ))?

Option 2: sand them to open the grain and then try to clamp them to 2x4s in hopes they'll flatten out.

Option 3: use some other material, especially since a 6-8' work bench would be preferable to a 4' one.

What do you think? I'd love to hear which option you prefer and why.


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post #2 of 5 Old 11-21-2018, 06:14 PM
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Get them off the concrete floor! You can put 2x4s under them to allow even air flow. If you have time before you use them you can just wait and see if they will flatten again on their own. Otherwise, try using weight, or if your careful, you can wet the one side and it will help bend it back.

In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
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post #3 of 5 Old 11-22-2018, 08:49 AM
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You just mentioned table tops so I assume that you will be constructing your own legs? If so, and you want a large work surface how about building an 8 foot long leg frame, clamping (to flatten) and screwing the Ikea tops to the frame and putting a sacrificial (replaceable) surface on top of the Ikeas. The sacrificial surface could be tempered hardboard or a sheet of mdf......both fairly inexpensive, flat, and flip them over when they get dinged up.
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post #4 of 5 Old 11-22-2018, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Terry. Does it matter which side (bowed in or bowed out) I wet?
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post #5 of 5 Old 11-22-2018, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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JimmieM, yes I am going to make my own legs. I guess I could reinforce the join of the table tops from underneath.
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build a bench, ikea, warped wood, work bench

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