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Old 04-13-2009, 12:29 PM   #1
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Benchtop....

I have a workbench that is 8 ft long and 36 inches deep. It is very heavy 1.5" or 2" MDF, so dimensionally very stable. But...I want to put a sheet of steel on the top to have a heavy duty work surface. Possibly stainless. Has anyone done this? If so, how did you attach it (bolts, industrial adhesive, etc.) and most importantly, where did you get it and how much? I am thinking I am going to have to find a metal supply and fabrication shop to do this for me (two of the four corners are rounded).
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:40 PM   #2
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You can get sheets of 18ga (16ga if you really want to go nuts) from Lowe's or similar hardware store. Just use a propane torch and mallet to shape it then glue it down. I'm thinking of trying that once I get my new workshop built.
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvillechopper View Post
You can get sheets of 18ga (16ga if you really want to go nuts) from Lowe's or similar hardware store. Just use a propane torch and mallet to shape it then glue it down. I'm thinking of trying that once I get my new workshop built.

Cool! Cville....you really think/know that Lowes sells these sheets? I'll check it out....this would be great. I can cut/grind down the corners....
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Cool! Cville....you really think/know that Lowes sells these sheets? I'll check it out....this would be great. I can cut/grind down the corners....
I've picked up 4'x4' sheets from Lowes plenty of times and I'm pretty sure that I've seen larger sheets there. I'll check next time I'm there.
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:20 PM   #5
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Last I bought ( a couple of weeks ago) a 4X8 sheet of 16 Ga. hot rolled was $61
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brunes View Post
Just curious...Why a metal top??
I was fixing the brass manifold and backflow preventer for my irrigation system this weekend (brass valve just split....bad forging) and it ripped the shit out of the top of my workbench. I have always thought a steel top, polished and coated, would look good and hold up a lot better. My workbench is entirely metal except for the top. It is a Craftsman with metal pegboard backwall. I mounted an electrical strip on it and recently installed a Utilitech overhead light.......
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:50 PM   #9
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::nods:: Makes sense....I wasn't thinking about an in general workbench...Cause metal could mar car parts if you were working on there...but makes sense cause you can throw a mat or something down to protect car parts....but having a metal top to avoid damaging a wood work surface makes sense.

Thanks!!
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brunes View Post
::nods:: Makes sense....I wasn't thinking about an in general workbench...Cause metal could mar car parts if you were working on there...but makes sense cause you can throw a mat or something down to protect car parts....but having a metal top to avoid damaging a wood work surface makes sense.

Thanks!!
Yep, I have rubber mats to put down when I work on more delicate items. But I want something I can hit with an errant screwdriver or hammer and not be bothered. I do EVERYTHING on my workbench....except wifee (and I wish she would)?
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pster View Post
Yep, I have rubber mats to put down when I work on more delicate items. But I want something I can hit with an errant screwdriver or hammer and not be bothered. I do EVERYTHING on my workbench....except wifee (and I wish she would)?
That sounds like a failure on your part....lol.
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brunes View Post
That sounds like a failure on your part....lol.
You got that right.....I've either lost my touch or her expectations are unreasonable. Perhaps some of both.
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:41 AM   #13
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lsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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I worked at a lawnmower shop and they put a stainless top on all their workbenches. That was probably 15 years ago, so my pricing will be pretty bad. Call around to a few different shops and get quotes. Some places really want the work and have taken the dropping steel prices into account.

You don't want to do two different sheets, so you'll have to order it from a metal distributor. I would have them put two breaks (bends) in the metal to wrap around front edge, then have them shear(cut) the other side. They'll probably debur(smooth the edges) it, but request it anyway. It would take them about 15 minutes to do everything and the results are much better than you with the jigsaw out. Once you get the top delivered you can cut curves out with a jigsaw.
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Old 04-14-2009, 07:37 AM   #16
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
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My last bench, I just used some heavy gauge sheet metal, and some 3M Super 90 adhesive...worked well.
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Old 04-14-2009, 11:05 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris4x4 View Post
My last bench, I just used some heavy gauge sheet metal, and some 3M Super 90 adhesive...worked well.
the thought of having a metal edge exposed on the front of the workbench gives me the shivers just thinking about it. I'd be the guy that slices open my stomach and spills my guts all over my tools.
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:02 PM   #18
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
chris4x4 is one of the sharper tools in the shedchris4x4 is one of the sharper tools in the shedchris4x4 is one of the sharper tools in the shedchris4x4 is one of the sharper tools in the shedchris4x4 is one of the sharper tools in the shedchris4x4 is one of the sharper tools in the shedchris4x4 is one of the sharper tools in the shedchris4x4 is one of the sharper tools in the shedchris4x4 is one of the sharper tools in the shedchris4x4 is one of the sharper tools in the shedchris4x4 is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsocoee View Post
the thought of having a metal edge exposed on the front of the workbench gives me the shivers just thinking about it. I'd be the guy that slices open my stomach and spills my guts all over my tools.
LMAO!!!! I used some rubber molding to cover the sides. I had a small lip of rubber going over the sheet metal. Worked for head bumpage, and keeping things from rolling off of the table. One thing to consider, though, is becarfull when working with electronics that have exposed leads on a table with a steel top. I never cut or bumped my body in a bad way, but I did manage to spot weld a metal ruler to my table, and I somehow started a small fire.
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:50 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris4x4 View Post
LMAO!!!! I used some rubber molding to cover the sides. I had a small lip of rubber going over the sheet metal. Worked for head bumpage, and keeping things from rolling off of the table. One thing to consider, though, is becarfull when working with electronics that have exposed leads on a table with a steel top. I never cut or bumped my body in a bad way, but I did manage to spot weld a metal ruler to my table, and I somehow started a small fire.
In my case, the steel would be on top of MDF and I would buff edges.....radius corners.....grit polished for a nice swirl and then clearcoated.
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Old 04-22-2009, 05:57 PM   #20
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I am now thinking about covering the bench with vinyl garage floor tiles. The benchtop is 24" deep, so 12"x12" tiles would work. Has anyone done this?
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