Re: What material for a budget workbench top?
I'm a scrounger and a bit of a pack rat so my three benches were built at no material cost.
The first bench I built was about 20 years ago. I used that bench in my old shop and recently set it up in my new shop as a metal working bench.
It's constructed from recycled pallets. I don't know what kind of wood it is but its hardwood. It has sagged about 1/32" in the middle but that may be a result of being stored outside for a couple years. The 2"X6" cap on the end (originally part of the end vice) is what I started with for the whole bench.
My other two benches are long narrow benches. The tops are made from a solid core door (found) and covered with 1/4" mahogany ply (reclaimed packing material).
All are solid as a rock. The wood one is thick enough to be resurface a number of times if needed and the others I can replace the ply when it gets worn. I would have used masonite(hard board) for the tops but the ply was free.
Look around in industrial areas. Particularly if there are any metal working companies around you. They use hardwood pallets. Not skids, pallets. I got my pallets at a metal stamping company. They were all 8' 2x6. The pieces all contained the pith which was ripped out and discarded. The remainder was laminated on edge so the top is all quarter sawn grain.
J.P. Rap Mount Hope Ont.
Carpe Ductum (Seize The Tape)
"In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. Elwood P. Dowd