Need help fixing-up surface of workbench!

Pamela

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I figured, if anyone would know what material to use in fixing-up my old workbench, someone from the HTF would!

The workbench in my garage is very old (circa 1933). I'm going to sand and paint the front. The top is cobbled together with corrugated metal, wood, and vinyl. As a result, it not only looks bad, but is uneven. I would like to re-cover the top, but do not know what material to use. It needs to be water proof, and also, not terribly expensive. I rent the place, so I don't want to put a fortune into it.

This is what it looks like:



Thanks
 

Patrick_S

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I'd go with a piece of hard board. It’s relatively cheap and you could also put on a coat of polyurethane to make it fairly water proof.

Edit: I didn't read you post carefully; I see that the surface is uneven. The hard board really won't help that situation.

How uneven is it? Depending on the answer there could be several solutions to the problem.
 

Pamela

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Patrick, it's not terribly uneven. Kind of rippled.
 

Ray Gutnick

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I agree with Patrick. Another choice would be melamine which is inexpensive and waterproof, but would be a poor choice for anything like woodworking where the surface could get cut. Melamine is used for shelving, and has a smooth slippery surface.
 

Ted Lee

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the first problem is levelling the surface. i suspect you may have to put in some thin wood strips (can't remember what they're called ... sorta like shims, but not exactly) first. fix the strips in the low-points, then sand (or plane) the surface until it's level.

once that's done, it should be relatively easy to put a new surface on top.

i sure miss my old garage. my neighbor (who was an award-winning wood-worker) helped me put together a really nice workbench/cabinet/tool area. god that garage was awesome....
 

Zen Butler

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For $40 and a case of Lucky Lager, the Ted and I will fix you right up. It'll be ready by morning


 

Ted Lee

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if zen's comin' along, better have some red bull, blue ox or nitros oxide -- or whatever the hell he's drinkin' these days.
 

Zen Butler

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Pardon me Pamela



the Ted, this is the closest to legal crank as I can get.
I say we take the $40, save the Lucky for the come down.
 

Philip_G

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doesn't look like anything a belt sander couldn't knock down. Though, how solid is it? might be best to make it scrap wood and build another.
 

Pamela

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Zen, Ted. . . You guys crack me up!


Philip, that did cross my mind. At least, tearing the top off. But me thinks that may be a little over my skill level! I'll take a better look at it tonight to see what it entails.
 

Philip_G

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I dunno what you use it for, but you could buy a new bench for 100 bucks or so, spruce aircraft supply sells a solid plastic bench one of my coworkers uses for welding.
 

Pamela

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I use it for potting the plants, which I kill. :b I also use it to put stuff together, and putter around. No heavy duty stuff. No woodworking, etc.

If I tore it out, it would be a mess. Its built into the wall, and the far end abuts a large cabinet.
 

Zen Butler

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Hmm, what can I do with a hand hoe, a sink plug, roll of paper towels, a brillo/sponge and 1 wire tie?


Pamela, seriously, some metal retailers sell blemished pieces at discount prices. Wouldn't have to be perfect right? I got blemmed diamond plate (which wouldn't be good for your gig) but for a 1/3 the price.

Maybe zinc, stainless or other non-pourous surfaces?

Well, then there's the getting it cut part...



EDIT: You know what might fit perfect? Something I sell everyday... A Putco Stainless Steel Tailgate Protector

 

Philip_G

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well, what *I'd* do (which is usually ass backwards..) is sand it down flat and smooth with a belt sander, then either put a new sheet of MDF over it (MDF is smoother than plywood and I hate the feel of plywood on my hands... lame I know) or I'd get a sheet of sheetmetal and lay it over the sanded existing top and roll the edges over so they're not sharp. I lean towards the sheetmetal, but with the MDF board it would be smoother as you could countersink the screws and fill over them if you wanted..
but that's just me.
IIRC you live in an old house? like 80-100 years old?
 

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