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Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Workbench surface
From: Robert Bastow <>
Date: Sat, 11 Sep 1999 17:15:31 GMT

Coupla thoughts!!

The best surface for metalworking is wood!!  Mine is laminated maple, that I got
cheap from a school lab sale.  

Reasoning being that it is "Dead"..thump a part or center punch something and it
doesn't bounce or "ring". It doesn't damage parts or tool edges either...Nor
does it rust!

However..I can see your need for a metal surface if you are going to be welding
on it.

Yes! YES! Definitely ground it!!

Stainless sounds great..'til you examine the cost.  But also consider the
"glare" factor of overhead lighting being reflected off it.

Black Iron (steel) sheet in minimum 1/8" thickness is the way to go! my
preference would be thicker.  The reason being, that if you pound on it much,
the thinner sheet will stretch and buckle.

IMHO the bench is the most important "tool" In your shop.  I have learned, from
years of experience, never to scrimp on it.  Try a local scrap yard, you may
find a chunk of steel plate big enough for the welding end of your bench.  Then
you could leave the fitting and assembly end with a hard wood surface.  (MDFB
won't last very long in that application)


Bruce Simpson wrote:
> I'm about to build a new bench for my workshop.  For various reasons
> I'll be building it from wood but with a hi-density particle-board
> benchtop.
> Since this bench will be used for all manner of metal-working
> activities (including welding), I want to surface it with a good,
> long-lasting material.
> I was thinking of some stainless steel sheet -- but my budget is
> limited.
> Any ideas?
> Material?
> Thickness?
> And... should I ground the metal top-surface?  It will likely have
> several electricaly powered tools on it such as a drill-press,
> grinder, etc.

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