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Pain in the A$$
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After doing a search for benches and reading about the various ways people have built them, I am thinking about building a workbench out of standard 2x4 construction. I am thinking my bench will either be 2'x5' or 30"x5'. I have spoken with a local cabinet shop that if I brought all the material planed/jointed and ready to glue, they would glue it up and run it through their 42" finish belt sander until perfectly smooth for about $40-$50. I figure thats worth it.

My real concern is weather it is worth it to build the bench out of construction lumber. All I find locally is the Hem-Fir, which is a harder softwood.

So, for those of you that used this type of lumber did it hold up pretty well? Would you use it again? TIA

Mark
 

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Unless you are rebuilding car motors I think 3/4" plywood would work fine for a bench top. If you used birch plywood it would be less likely to dent than solid wood.
 

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I agree with Steve.... My bench is 14 feet long... Made by 2x4's framed up on 16 inch centers, and a sanded plywood top....
3 coats of poly... Has held up well....

Sent to y'all offen' a iPad thing......
 

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I use 1/2 inch plywood on top of 3/4 inch plywood. It gives me the stregnth and when I beat the heck out of the top I just put a new piece of 1/2 inch ply back on top.
 

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A top made out of 2x4 laminate will hold up fairly well, although you might want to think about tacking a piece of hardboard to the top in order to have a replaceable top. My first bench was built before I was born, and was made of 2x6 and 2x8 pieces screwed to the stretchers: it showed its age, and wasn't really smooth any more, but it was plenty solid. A hardboard surface made it a lot more pleasant to use.

I built the top of my bench (2'x4') out of 3/4" sanded plywood: I cut the sheet into quarters, and glued three of them, then trimmed with 1x4 to make a lip, and fit the last piece inside the lip. So it's about 3" thick, and I can replace the top layer whenever I want. It's extremely solid (and heavy -- about 75 pounds just for the top!), and unless I cut into it with a saw or chisel, I don't really expect I'll ever need to replace it for function.
 

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It really depends on what your vision is for the bench.

Is that vision a "traditional" woodworking bench like a Rubio bench that has a top made of laminated solid wood?

Or is it more of a utility bench? Such a bench would be more at home with a plywood top.

When I was planning my NFWB, I originally bought HEM-Fir (thinking it was Douglas Fir). I ended up returning it because I found the Douglas Fir I really wanted.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f11/new-fangled-bench-build-49002/index2/#post449305
 

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I have a bench 12' X 30," 2 X 4 frame work, 3/4" top, particle board with poly coat. 2 X 4 legs running at angle back to wall, allows easy cleaning under neath.

I stopped by a granite store, and was able to pick up a 1-1/4" slab 30" square scrap that they had removed from a home for $10.00. I have it sitting on the work bench, and use it all the time for all sorts of things. Love it. It is true and flat in all directions.

Dale in Indy
 

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Bench Tops

I was at a Resale shop about 3 months ago and Ran across a Fire Rated Door, That had a Price Tag $2.00, I bought it and had plans to Build a Work bench and use this a The Top. I swear the Door weigh's 80 lbs, so I would have to have a Beefey Structure to Hold it. But I like it so Well I may go back and Buy the other 2 they had Left, Boy My wife is going to Love me, I may use the 2 others and Put them together and build a Roll around Finishing Table, maybe even Carpet it?
 
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