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Wood work bench: which type of wood to use?

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Cabinet Construction

Once the skeleton of the work bench is completed, measure the dimensions for the wooden cabinet which will fit between the top and middle frames. Construction grade plywood comes in various finishes, each with a separate cost. Choices will include Oak, Luan Mahogany and Douglas fir. For a good looking cabinet choose plywood with one good side. This will cost more, but nothing looks worst than building a custom workbench with a flawed wood finish. Carefully follow the measurements and dimensions for fitting the plywood cabinet within the frame of the bench, and build with the good side facing out. There is no need to buy plywood with two good sides, as the inside of the cabinet will often take a beating when sliding small machinery in and out of the cabinet.

wood working hardware


Work Bench Tops

One of the main considerations of a wood work bench top is that it be as flat as possible. To achieve this build a “sandwich” of a layer of medium density fiberboard placed between two layers of plywood. The top piece of plywood needs to be taken into consideration because it will need to stand up to hammering, drilling, and sawing, to name a few of the tasks that can be done on a wood bench.

wood work table


Alternatively, specially built tops made of Maple can used which will tolerate much abuse. An inexpensive method is to use strips of 3/4 hardwoods which are glued to the plywood top. Using hardwood instead of plywood for a top is a good choice because after several years of wear and tear, the top can be sanded and made to look like new. This is not so with plywood which has only a thin veneer of wood with which to work

wood working router


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