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I'm just about to build a couple of long work surfaces for my garage.

I've got a couple of big vices to mount on them.

I'm going to build a framework out of the standard CLS wood they have at the Local Trade Depot - It's a bit of an odd size but cheap, isn't as big as 3"X2" but not far off.

Just got to decide what to make the tops and the shelfs out of.

I was going to use ply for the shelfs, and I was thinking about Kitchen Worktop for the Tops.

So my questions are.

Is kitchen worktop strong enough?

Is Kitchen worktop deep enough? The one I was looking at is just over 60cm deep

Anything else I should consider?

Ikea do an Aluminium Look worktop for £29.90 for a 126cm x 62cm x 3.8cm

or they do a Stone Effect Black worktop for £25 for a 246cm x 62cm x 3.8cm

Any other thoughts, at that price I'm not bothered about damaging it as it can easily be replaced if neccessary, a friend who does kitchens said they'd keep any decent big bits they remove to one side for me, but again at that price From Ikea I might as well just buy it.

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problem with kitchen board is that it's only really light density chipboard- especially from ikea. Its quite easy to rip the 2 bolts from a vice through the kitchen board completely. 60cm is enough for work surfaces although 70 would be better.

Worksurfaces in my garage are a sawn up heavy duty fire door from Magnet. Cost about £70 is a good 2-3 inches thick of solid wood- extremelly heavy and very veyr strong. My 2 HD bnch vices aren't moving anywhere bolted to this bad boy. You will have to seal with something like Sikkens or similar but it will be far far better than kitchen top.

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Some worktops are made from 1-inch chipboard and are potentially a good work surface for a garage. When you mount the vice - put a spreader plate either side. Beating things with hammers will quickly damage it though, but you could put a pad of steel on it somewhere for that sort of thing. You might find that the depth of the work top is a bit restrictive though (about 28-inches). By the time you have things along the back, the vice, the job you are working on, etc - you may find that you'll be working on what has become a wide shelf. 19mm shuttering ply is very good for making a worktop. It's about £24 for an 8'x4' sheet, is made to building standard spec, and you can make a suitable bench from it to suit your needs. If you have free worktops, then go for it - you can always do something else once you have wrecked it :)

Les.

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Thanks for the replies, I think I'll go for it with worktop. I'm not putting anything along the back so I think the depth will be OK.

I'll use spreader plates for the vices, I think it'll be 2 x 2m worktops one down either side, keeping with worktop depths means there is still plenty of room round a vehicle as well.

Just got to finish emptying all the carp out then I'll start building

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Mine are made of lengths of 2"x2" cut to length & then held together with 2 lengths of threaded rod through holes drilled in them.

Glue between if you like.

Plane smooth after assembly & varnish to seal. Cover with steel sheet if you prefer.

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I use a 1/2 hour fire door as a work surface but I think kitchen work top would be a better surface, for what it's worth, fire doors are generally 44mm thick the same as external doors, you get 1/2 hour and 1 hour rating generally and although thought to to be solid, actually most are not, they are chipboard inside with circular voids running top to bottom. Weight and my jigsaw would say that the work top has the denser chipboard, Work top is available in 30mm, 40mm and the latest fad is now 50 or 60mm. A cheap 3m length of 40mm worktop should cost no more than about £70 and a 1/2 hour fire door about £40. Try your local Howdens for both or B&Q for the work top. B&Q normally have damaged worktops for sale and have the added benefit that they will cut it to length for you.

Just re-read your original post that black work to is bloody cheap for 2.5m!

The CLS timber is OK, some makes/types have a tendency to split near the ends or cut ends when you nail or screw them so beware.

A good clear work surface is one of those things you really begin to appreciate and wonder how you ever managed without.

Andy

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and although thought to to be solid, actually most are not, they are chipboard inside with circular voids running top to bottom.

go with the ones frmo Magnet. Not a single Void or chipboard in site- utterly solid wood. it was the cheapest way i foudn of getting a solid wooden machined worksurface

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest noggy

ive got 3 x 5ft by 3ft steel benches, with a big bottom shelf with loooads of scrap steel on to keep the bench solid when hammering with the sledge!

i used to have a wooden bench, but no matter how i fastenend it down, it could just collapse it when hammering things. although i did generally have it stacked high with heavy tractor parts :P

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My carpentry bench is 66"x30" and the top is made from solid 3" beech with 4" square beech legs. The space under is full of storage and the whole thing is on 70mm locking castors.

My metal work bench is old fire doors taken from my house, three in an L shape supported on 5"x3" legs at the front with a 5"x3" beam under the front across the legs and a 4"x2" at the back rawbolted to the wall.

For hitting things I have a 12" piece of 10"x12" RSJ as an anvil. I will need to get a big bucket of sand to put it in one day.

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Not sure how well cheap kitchen surface will stand the abuse - the good quality stuff is much denser (and hence heavier, so it's easy to tell). Keep an eye out for used surface going in skips or if you know anyone replacing a tired but good quality kitchen see if you can scrounge off them. Unfortunately good kitchen surface is not at all cheap new.

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I used B+Q's "value" worktop and mounted it onto a 3x2" frame.

Its had 2 years of abuse so far and is still in good nick. No complaints about it at all, and at less than £20 a length you cant go wrong. When it wears out I'll simply replace it.

Jon

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Well I just built my first of the two, built out of a free piece of kitchen worktop and some free pieces of 3x2 from a partition wall.

Mounted the biggest vice and will see how it fares before building the other one.

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At work I have a steel framed workbench topped with 25mm steel plate made from an old trench plate 6`x3` This really takes some abuse and Ive never had a problem with the vice ripping through it :ph34r:

Also handy for fabricating and welding ,just clamp the welder earth to the leg and weld away .

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At work I have a steel framed workbench topped with 25mm steel plate made from an old trench plate 6`x3` This really takes some abuse and Ive never had a problem with the vice ripping through it :ph34r:

Also handy for fabricating and welding ,just clamp the welder earth to the leg and weld away .

sounds like on of Nige's creations, you sure you didn't nick it from his garage :lol:

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sounds like on of Nige's creations, you sure you didn't nick it from his garage :lol:

If Nige built it you'd need to hire a heavy crane to nick it with... :lol:

Edited by Hybrid_From_Hell
I wonder if I can put Member "No 1" on mod approval :LOL:
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We have a monster bench in our workshop at work too!

It's an old robot cell floor plate 7' x 5' x 2" on a piercing machine frame which is fabbed from 8" box!

More on topic around the workshop everything is topped with 2" MDF it takes a fair abuse considering it's unfinished.

Really solid lol, at home i manage on an old workmate alike or the floor.

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