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  1. #1

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    Best workbench top materials

    I want to start building giant scale aircraft so I am going to build a new larger workbench. Does anyone have any suggestions for the best material to make the top? It seems like whatever I have used in the past it has always been a challenge to get it perfectly flat. Now the top is going to be much larger, it will be even more critical.
    I\'\'d rather be flying.

  2. #2
    Moderator daveopam's Avatar
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    Best workbench top materials

    Use a half sheet of waffer board cut long ways leaving a 2' by 8' board. Use 4 by 4 for legs 12" in from the
    ends. Then run 2 by 4's under the edges between your legs and one more down the center length
    ways. This will be as level as your floor. A center 2 by 4 leg can also be added to this. Then cover
    the whole thing with 1/2" sheet rock. The sheet rock is great for cutting on and sticking pins in. I would mount
    it to the wafer board with duct tape all the way around. That way it can be cut loose and flipped
    without messing it up. One sheet gets you 4 work sufaces. This whole thing can be built for $75. or less.
    later daveo
    "Every strike brings me closer to the next home run." - Babe Ruth

  3. #3

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    Best workbench top materials

    Thanks for the advise.

    Toby
    I\'\'d rather be flying.

  4. #4

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    Best workbench top materials

    I recently built myself a new workbench. I used a solid core door for the building surface. Very heavy and very flat. I mounted this on top of an old, solid maple (I think) chest of drawers I picked up at a yardsale for nothing. I mounted castors to the bottom of that.
    Now I've got a good building table/rolling toolbox combination for a little more than $50. Sheetrock or ceiling tiles work well on top of the door for t-pins and such.
    Been hearing for years that you could buy these doors for next to nothing if they were damaged on one side. I never found one that could be had that way so wound up paying full price.
    Greg Reid
    Palmetto, GA.

  5. #5

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    Best workbench top materials

    There's a plan onj my site for a bench.. www.aerotech.com, and click 'plans'

    We used 1" MDF and seems to be flat, and tough. We then through on a sheet of Gyprock / wall board. Works for us..

    Tyheh door is treh next best thing, and placed on top of a cabinet, great idea!

    Sometimes a dining room table, at teh local 2nd hand store is ideal, just bring alon a straightedge to check it before buying.
    Failure is not an option.
    It comes bundled with the software.

    www.brossair.com

  6. #6

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    Best workbench top materials

    I'm using a hollow door, the kind with the cardboard honeycomb inside. I check it every once in a while with a long straightedge just to be sure, but it has stayed good and flat for me. (Check it lengthwise, widthwise, and diagonally in multiple places each.) Mine was a throw-out from a neighbor's remodeling project, so it previously saw years of use as a door (of all things) and has a big hole in it for wires to pass through (once used for a doorknob, I suppose).

    For surface, I used "sheetrock" for a time, but got tired of the force it took to insert a pin. Now I use ceiling tile, which is much easier to pin to but still holds the pins quite well. Homasote would have been better yet -- also easier to pin to than wall board but doesn't seem to lose its pin holding capability over the years. Great stuff.

    Something else I've found invaluable is gravity conversion holders. I have a set of machined square, gravity-actuated steel workpiece holding devices: several are 2"x2"x4", a bunch are 2"x1/2"x4", and a few are 12" - 18"x1/2"x4". These things convert a little gravity into a lot of holding force, especially the larger ones. I really don't know why more people don't get a set of them, but then I never had any idea how good they are til I got mine!
    <B><I>. . . Aim High!</i></b>

  7. #7

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    Best workbench top materials

    Being a designer at a metal shop, I have my share of 'metal hold-downs' too!

    I get a few machined, so they're +/-0.00 true!! even angles! Of course, they are the throw-aways!

    I have a 1x4x6 machined peice, with is my favorite. A long 1/4 x 1 x 16 for wings..

    the list goes on!!
    Failure is not an option.
    It comes bundled with the software.

    www.brossair.com

  8. #8

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    Best workbench top materials

    I use a 4'X8'X1/2" sheet of tempered glass for a work bench. Without a doubt it is the best work surface I have ever used. Great for larger models and a flat as you could ever want. Plus you can glue parts right to the table and pop them off when finished. Perfect alignment every time!
    Hans

  9. #9

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    Best workbench top materials

    I have tried to attach a couple of pictures, but I made my work bench out of steel. This allows me to use magnets to hold parts in place. No holes poked in the wood parts by pins!! I have also attached a picture of my new wing press that I built.

    I do not know for sure if the pictures are going to work......email me if they do not and you wish to see them.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    CUSTOM GIANT SCALE BUILDER
    PROTOTYPE MODEL BUILDING for full scale aircraft
    current project can be seen at http://www.geversaircraft.com

  10. #10

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    Best workbench top materials

    Made my tops out of 3/8" aluminum, shimmed to be perfectly flat. Then use sheetrock over that for building.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Steve Dartez \"Juice-Dog\"
    Denham Springs, LA

  11. #11

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    Best workbench top materials

    Rip cut a sheet of 3/4 inch plywood. Using plenty of clamps, glue the two halves together. this will give you a
    2 x 8 foot by 1.5 inch top. Again, using plenty of clamps, glue a 2 by 8 foot piece of masonite on top of that.
    Build a sturdy 2x4 frame about 34 inches high and you've got a very flat working surface, strong enough that
    you could overhaul a chevy 350 on top of.



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