Workbench top help


I did see any mention of solid core doors. I have been using one for many years.
Solid core doors would work well; just not sure what it would cost for 6 - 12 (for a thicker top). And not sure I'd find that many on Craigslist in my time frame.


Co-director of Outreach
Corporate Member
I used a solid wood door On Mine. Infilled the panel sections with plywood to level the surface then used oak flooring for the top. It is very strong and very heavy


Senior User
If you have a Habitat for Humanity Restore, they may have solid core doors. I was at my local store yesterday and they had at least five solid core doors (Columbia, SC).


Corporate Member
I would wonder what the opportunity cost of building up your own verses buying a top from say, Grizzley, etc.?

Ed Fasano

Senior User
This relatively inexpensive and easy bench (top) has served me well for 25 years and is still going strong. If memory serves, I was guided by a Woodsmith plan that called for 2 layers of high-grade ¾” plywood (glue-laminated together) topped with strips of ½ to ¾” maple. The hardwood strips are affixed with construction adhesive, cauls and a few other MacGyvered clamping aids. Maple aprons (1 1/2 x 3 1/2) affixed with double splines bolster the overall rigidity and provide the inside face for the front vise. A friendly facility with a wide belt sander leveled it nicely for me for $20. If I had it to do over again, I might have used Baltic Birch plywood and used three layers instead of two. Greater thickness would give a bit more purchase for hold-fasts.

Other than the lower shelf, the base components are solid maple. A Veritas twin-screw vise is hung on the end.
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Senior User
Hey folks,

I'm looking for any suggestions for affordable tops for 6 workbenches I am planning for my new woodworking school.
Ideally, I'd like 8'x 2'+ widths. Butcher block would be nice and I can build up the thickness with hardwood ply layers and then edge with oak.
I just watched Chris Schwarz' excellent DVD on the "2-day workbench" (closer to 4 days probably :) where he used two 1 1/2" Ikea countertops attached for a nice and inexpensive 3" heavy duty top. Since that video, Ikea no longer makes these and the comparable ones they now make are quite a bit more expensive.

So, I'm very open to ideas and any known sources for solid tops.

An option is good quality hardwood ply for he uppermost layer and two lesser quality for the lower two layers, to give a 4"+ bench top, then edging with oak to hide the seams, etc.


Bill----have you considered a solid core door------they should be readily available at any mill work/lumber supply. Most places that have them probably have them unmachined, meaning no hole for lock sets or mortises for hinges.

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