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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to build a simple and easy workbench, and I need some advice.

I will be installing a heavy duty metalworking vise on one corner, and using the bench for metal and woodworking, among other things. While I have the base created, my issue is with the workbench top.

I have a 1.75" thick solid core door (particle board core) - however, I'm concerned about it's strength and suitability. With a solid wood top, there's no issue about strength, especially when you have to drill holes in it for vises or other purposes. But a particleboard core door? Not only am I concerned with whether it's strong enough to support the vise (especially when it's in use), but I'm also concerned about drilling holes in such a material (such as is required for the vise) - how well would it maintain structural integrity?

So, for those of you who are knowledgeable and experienced in such things - would this be a poor choice to make? Or can it take more than I'm giving it credit for?
 

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Should be fine if it's a true solid core door. It'll be heavier than a son of a gun if it is.

Worse case is you'll have to build another top if this one fails in a year or two but for free I'd use it first before sinking any money into something else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Should be fine if it's a true solid core door. It'll be heavier than a son of a gun if it is.

Worse case is you'll have to build another top if this one fails in a year or two but for free I'd use it first before sinking any money into something else.

I was under the impression that particle board didn't have much structural integrity to start with. What I really don't want to happen is for the entire corner my vise is mounted to to snap off sending my vise hurtling to (I pray "to" and not "through") the floor.
 

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Being 1 3/4" thick will give it structural integrity. Plus I would make the frame for the bench to come out to the edge of the door or at least to an inch or an inchandahalf of the edge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Being 1 3/4" thick will give it structural integrity. Plus I would make the frame for the bench to come out to the edge of the door or at least to an inch or an inchandahalf of the edge.

Well, there's an issue - due to the design of the base, as well as the clearance the vise will need, there will be a 9 inch overhang from the base on either side.
 

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Like Cabinetman said enjoy the fact that it's free. 9" overhang shouldn't pose a problem. If you have some scrap 3/4 plywood then cut a piece and glue and screw or nail it under the vice to give more support along with the bigger washers and bolts.
 

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I've got a bench with a solid core PB door and it as tough as nails. This one has a plastic laminate on both sides which helps 'bridge' the core and give it strength. I assume your door has at least a veneer on either side which will serve the same purpose. You'd have to work awful hard to bust off a corner. Go for it, Rod.
 

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Solid door for workbench top

I had one and used it for years for wood, metal and, anything and, everything. It had 3/4"holes all way down one side and one edge, a real big woodworking vice. I hammered onnit beat onnit Sawed the edge. It worked great till my shop burned down. They do NOT hold up well in fire envirenment. I wood go fer it. 1jack
 

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Slip,

My bench has a solid core luan door for a top that has seen at least 10 years of use and it is still in great shape. I even drilled holes in it and mounted tee-nuts on the underside for bolting down my lathe. I don't think you'll be disapointed.
 

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You could cover an area with metal (old litho plates). With washers should give ample support for your vice. My garage use old litho plates from a scrap dealer for fabricating small car body parts.
johnep
 
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