96" x 48" laminated maple top - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-30-2013, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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96" x 48" laminated maple top

I am planning to build a work bench with a 96" or 108" x 48" laminated maple top of at least 2" and can't find any available. Suggestions?
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-30-2013, 10:45 AM
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I would highly doubt that you could find any ready made 2" thick material. If you really have to have 2" then make your own out of two pieces of 3/4" ply and a 1/2" ply. The top piece would be maple and the other two whatever is cheapest.

George
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-30-2013, 01:38 PM
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The only thing you can do is purchase some maple and rip it into strips a little more than 2" wide and glue it together. I built a work bench a number of years ago with an ash top 2" thick. At the time I was working for a cabinet manufacturer making the faceframes for the cabinets. The wood that had bad color or knots in it that would have gone into the trash I took it home and saved it and when I had enough I just glued it up. A lot of the pieces were only about a foot long but I staggered the joints and it made a good top. After glueing it up it took a lot of sanding and all I had was a hand held belt sander but I started with a 40 grit belt and eventually got it.
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-30-2013, 10:01 PM
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Wow! That is going to be a really large workbench. Are you using this for assembly or as an actual woodworking bench? The reason I ask is because at 4' deep, you will be doing a lot of walking around. Only you know what you need and what you will do with the bench, but if you look at so many of the workbenches over the centuries, they were only about 2' wide because that is the average man's arm length. Just food for thought
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-31-2013, 04:31 PM
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Just an idea. But why not make 2 24" wide benches and push them together. Then if you find you don't like it you can just pull one away and have a more traditional width workbench. As Chris Schwarz says in his book "The Workbench Design Book" A workbench can never be to heavy or to long but it can easily be to wide or to light.
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-31-2013, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chopnhack View Post
Wow! That is going to be a really large workbench. Are you using this for assembly or as an actual woodworking bench? The reason I ask is because at 4' deep, you will be doing a lot of walking around. Only you know what you need and what you will do with the bench, but if you look at so many of the workbenches over the centuries, they were only about 2' wide because that is the average man's arm length. Just food for thought
I have a 4x8 bench in my paint department with a 3/4" plywood top I use for mixing paint. I have another one with a 3/4" plywood top covered with carpet for sanding. I have another that is made from 2x12 yellow pine glued up that is an assembly table and doubles as a cold press for veneer. Then I have this one that has a 4x6 top that is 2" thick ash top I use for woodcarving.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-01-2013, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
I have a 4x8 bench in my paint department with a 3/4" plywood top I use for mixing paint. I have another one with a 3/4" plywood top covered with carpet for sanding. I have another that is made from 2x12 yellow pine glued up that is an assembly table and doubles as a cold press for veneer. Then I have this one that has a 4x6 top that is 2" thick ash top I use for woodcarving.
Each to there own. I can tell that by your post you are not the typical hobbyist (paint department) I would assume that you are pro and have quite a big shop and perhaps more than one person working at a table. That's cool. I wish I had the space. I have one 4x8 table which is pushed off to one side and becomes a cluttered catch all.... Can't wait to be rid of it.
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-02-2013, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks

I'd like to thank everyone, GeorgeC, Steve Neul, chopnhack, and BKBuilds for your helpful contributions. I've waited until now to respond so that I can do more research and factor in your help and let you know what i'm doing at one time.

First, I have a large new shop and want such a big work bench so that I can use it to work on more than one project at a time, using it with vices etc for wood work as well as assembly. Since it will be in the middle of the shop it is easy to walk around and close to everything else. The reason I think most benches are not wider than 30" is that they are next to a wall or not in the center of things. I fixed on hard maple because of its durability and that it be at least 2" for stability and wear.

I looked mightily for a prefabricated source, but as you couldn't fine any. I thought the problem would be the 48" depth, and that I would have to glue up 2 24" pieces, but the 8' proved a problem as well. There were some 8' long maple laminates but they were 30" or 36" deep, and I don't think any were thicker than 1 1/2". Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods, www.bairdbrothers.com, has 2" thick hard maple laminates but not in 48", but they will custom anything, and I'm having them make up what I need at a reasonable price, with a two week lead time.

I'm now on to wall storage. In addition to peg board I plan to 4" grid wire mesh on the shop wall to which various shelves, bins, baskets and clips can attach from Globalindustrial, and above it on the wall heavy shelving for wood storage.

Thanks again.
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