Workbench Top, Top Bumpers, and Lighting Questions!

Stratavarious

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Putting together an 8' x 4' workbench for guitar maintenance and repair.

2x4basics Workbench

What's the best, least expensive wood to use for the top (vices will be installed on the top)?

What's the best wood or synthetic surface to use regardless of price?

Can an 8x4 top be installed on that thing with a 7x4 base leaving a nice ledge around the table? Is a ledge a bad thing to do for a guitar maintenance and repair table?

What's the best, least expensive material to use to cover the top and to put bumpers around the edges to prevent damage to the guitars?

What's the best materials to use for bumpers and a table top covering regardless of price?

What's the best type of lighting to use for guitar repair?

Any other suggestions for building the 2x4basics workbench for guitar repair?

In advance, thank you for your replies!

Photographs will be posted upon completion! :cool:
 

Colt W. Knight

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Baltic Birch cabinet grade plywood comes in 8x4 sheets, and makes a great surface.

A 6" over hang is too much in my opinion.

I have an 8x4 table in my workshop, and Ill be honest. Its too big. I wish I had 2 smaller tables.
 

otterhound

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Manheim Pa.
I just bought two old work tables on Saturday . Both are 4' X 4' X 2" butcher block Maple from the Junior High school that I attended as a kid . They even have chewing gum stuck to the underside surfaces . Each table is at least 250-300+ lbs.
There is nothing wrong with using fluorescent lighting . Mix the tube types for a more warm type of light .
Nothing beats natural sunlight for surface inspections . Martin still places their inspection stations next to exterior windows in order to take advantage of the best type of light available for these purposes .
Multiple tables will permit you to establish dedicated areas of work for certain specific tasks .
Because furniture building requires larger surface areas , most commercial setups are built along these needs . Guitar work does not require these larger surfaces but actually benefit from numerous smaller work areas .
Food for thought .
 

Stratavarious

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Baltic Birch cabinet grade plywood comes in 8x4 sheets, and makes a great surface.

A 6" over hang is too much in my opinion.

I have an 8x4 table in my workshop, and Ill be honest. Its too big. I wish I had 2 smaller tables.

The specs call for a .5"-->1" thickness. What's the best thickness for a guitar workbench?

What size overhang do you prefer? The reason I want the overhang is to sit to be able to sit comfortably at the table when I need to.

What size would you make the two smaller tables?

Can you think of any reason(s) to have an 8' x 4' table? I want to keep the large table in the middle of the room and work around it, from station to station, keep a smaller table or two for procedures that demand it.

I just bought two old work tables on Saturday . Both are 4' X 4' X 2" butcher block Maple from the Junior High school that I attended as a kid . They even have chewing gum stuck to the underside surfaces . Each table is at least 250-300+ lbs.

Nice! Heavy duty tables!

There is nothing wrong with using fluorescent lighting . Mix the tube types for a more warm type of light .
Nothing beats natural sunlight for surface inspections . Martin still places their inspection stations next to exterior windows in order to take advantage of the best type of light available for these purposes .

Is there a better artificial light to use? If not, sunshine through windows and two types o' fluorescents it is!

Multiple tables will permit you to establish dedicated areas of work for certain specific tasks .
Because furniture building requires larger surface areas , most commercial setups are built along these needs . Guitar work does not require these larger surfaces but actually benefit from numerous smaller work areas .
Food for thought .

Chompin', thinkin'.

Thank you gentlemen! :cool:
 

adirondak5

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I made mine with a 3/4" laminated maple top , over a 3/4" plywood top , mine is not in the center of the room so I made it 27" wide , 4' wide would work in the center of a room but still thats a large surface , I just use pieces of carpet to protect guitar bodies , unfinished bodies I use bench cookies under them .

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otterhound

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Lighting can be a very personal choice . I , for one find it fatiguing to be under nearby high intensity lighting , particularly if it is in the white end of the spectrum .
Experiment a bit and find your preference .
 

Stratavarious

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I made mine with a 3/4" laminated maple top , over a 3/4" plywood top , mine is not in the center of the room so I made it 27" wide , 4' wide would work in the center of a room but still thats a large surface , I just use pieces of carpet to protect guitar bodies , unfinished bodies I use bench cookies under them .

101_0622.jpg


101_0734.jpg

The Herbster! Just checked out your Thinline build thread -- DSMOATeles!

I'm a Long Islander too -- living in LA now!

Real nice workbench. I like that maple top. Is there any issues using 1/2" maple and plywood? The table specs call for a 1/2" to 1" top.

Is there a benefit to using the 3/4" thick pieces verses verses the 1/2" pieces?

Are the two pieces glued together? Are they secured to the table (I don't see that in the de-structions) or is it a drop-in top?

Is there a type of carpet that should or should not be used? ...nylon, polyester, wool, loop, plush, etc.???

Bench cookies! Cookies good!

And yes, a large surface. It will have a computer screen, keyboard and mouse, tools and containers, vices, some girly stuff (hot chick is learning the art too), ...it'll also serve as a hang-out spot when the guitars aren't being worked on, and well...you know,...it better be real sturdy for those spesh-ul moments! ;)

Lighting can be a very personal choice . I , for one find it fatiguing to be under nearby high intensity lighting , particularly if it is in the white end of the spectrum .
Experiment a bit and find your preference .

"One overlooked option is t-5. You still have the benefit of instant on, although the price is a little steep. You can get bulbs in the 5000k range. I use these everywhere we grade lumber. We actually switch from 4 400w MH to 4 6 bulb t-5 with 52w 5000k bulbs and every grader told me it really helped them. Just remember that every scenario is different due to ceiling height and etc. Do remember that more fixtures will create less shadowing. You want the fixture above or in front of you as you work not behind."
Source: Shop Lighting

Is the t-5 a good florescent light to start with???

What else...a secure lighting structure for over the center of the table but not hung from the ceiling?

There's carpeting in the room that we don't want to destroy or remove. Any suggestions?

...pizza cooker, beverage dispenser, ...oh, shelving. One bottom shelf or two for stowing guitars? Is it not wise to stow guitars on the bottom shelf, shelves?

Is there a national, regional, or local wood supplier here in California anybody'd like to recommend for the birch plywood and a maple laminate?
 

Colt W. Knight

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The specs call for a .5"-->1" thickness. What's the best thickness for a guitar workbench?
All my guitar benches are 3/4" with 2x6" frames and legs.

What size overhang do you prefer? The reason I want the overhang is to sit to be able to sit comfortably at the table when I need to.

I don't have any overhang on my tables and benches. Overhangs have a tendency to sag. Unless you have a serious top. All my tables are built to be the right height so I don't have to bend over and such. So I don't sit down at my tables.


What size would you make the two smaller tables?
If I had to do it over again, I would build 3 tables around 30"x5'. That way I could reach across from both sides.

Can you think of any reason(s) to have an 8' x 4' table? I want to keep the large table in the middle of the room and work around it, from station to station, keep a smaller table or two for procedures that demand it.
:

For guitar building, I can't think of any reason for a large table. But its nice for building shelves, picture frames, and stuff like that.

When you have a large table, you want to make the most of it. For instance, you want to build shelves or cabinets in the bottom. Build outlets into the table or hanging from the ceiling. BUild it sturdy and heavy enough you can hammer, chisel, and plane on it with out it rocking all over the place.
 

piece of ash

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Woodworker's Source has Baltic birch ply nad the prices are reasonable.

Woodcraft has thick maple tops... nice but spendy... but when viewed on a board-foot basis are not that unreasonably priced.
 

Colt W. Knight

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MDF or Melamine also makes a nice work bench top. Plus they are cheap, and easy to replace when they get worn out.
 

piece of ash

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I made some "pallets" once for a factory. They fit into custom made racks... really like big baking sheets.

I had 1/32" formica glued on both sides of 1/4 fiberboard. About 100 4 x8 sheets. That stuff was steel plate for strength. The stuff did not sag a bit over the course of 8 years.

I wish somebody would sell like 1" MDF with that "dimpled" formica on both sides.
 

adirondak5

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The Herbster! Just checked out your Thinline build thread -- DSMOATeles!

I'm a Long Islander too -- living in LA now!

Real nice workbench. I like that maple top. Is there any issues using 1/2" maple and plywood? The table specs call for a 1/2" to 1" top.

Is there a benefit to using the 3/4" thick pieces verses verses the 1/2" pieces?

Are the two pieces glued together? Are they secured to the table (I don't see that in the de-structions) or is it a drop-in top?

Is there a type of carpet that should or should not be used? ...nylon, polyester, wool, loop, plush, etc.???

Bench cookies! Cookies good!

And yes, a large surface. It will have a computer screen, keyboard and mouse, tools and containers, vices, some girly stuff (hot chick is learning the art too), ...it'll also serve as a hang-out spot when the guitars aren't being worked on, and well...you know,...it better be real sturdy for those spesh-ul moments! ;)

Hi Stratavarious , L.I. in L.A. , better weather out there than here , that's for sure. The reason I went with 3/4" plywood under 3/4" maple was that I always practice the fine art of overkill , I wanted a workbench that I could pound a lump hammer on if necessary. I would think that as long as your table had enough cross braces for the top that 3/4" maple would be more than sufficient , the reason I got the 3/4 is because Lowes had 3/4" x 12" x 6' laminated pieces available , I also added a 3"strip of 3/4" flame maple down the center between the two 12" , gave a little more width and looked good. I screwed the plywood down to the cross braces and outer frame and then drilled holes and screwed the maple down to the outer frame and cross braces , the screws in the maple were counter sunk and plugged with hard maple dowel , and sanded flush. The maple is not glued to the plywood , but the maple is glued together , the three pieces. Here's the link to my New Shop thred , I showed how I built the work bench. http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home-depot/262674-new-work-room-shop.html

What type of carpet ? Well, for those spesh-ul moments I would say a nice shag carpet :lol: , but I just picked up two carpet mats , almost a Berber type , not to thick , I'm sure its some type of synthetic . Bench cookies are one of the best helpers in my shop at least , they are reasonably priced and work great . Good luck with the table , and post pics of the build .
 

Bud Veazey

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Sadly, I lack the self-discipline to have a neat workspace, though I certainly admire those who do. I think I could compete in a "most disorganized shop" contest. I've never mastered the art of putting away a tool when I've finished using it. I sometimes have to stop mid-project to clean up in order to find a missing tool. At my advanced age I'm not likely to change my work habits. I have two 8' x 2' work tables. One from Costco and one home built.
 

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Colt W. Knight

Doctor of Teleocity
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Sadly, I lack the self-discipline to have a neat workspace, though I certainly admire those who do. I think I could compete in a "most disorganized shop" contest. I've never mastered the art of putting away a tool when I've finished using it. I sometimes have to stop mid-project to clean up in order to find a missing tool. At my advanced age I'm not likely to change my work habits. I have two 8' x 2' work tables. One from Costco and one home built.

Ive got a shot in this competition.
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