Benchtop thickness

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    Antonio Santos

    I’m making my first workbench, and my only concern is the thickness of the benchtop.
    I could only get it to be 55mm thick, when the minimum recommended by Paul Sellers is 65mm.
    Have you built the workbench, with the benchtop to this approximate thickness?
    Do you think it will hold up and last as long as if it was 65mm?
    I don’t want to build another benchtop just becausebof this… 😞


    Matt McGrane

    If my metric is correct, 55 mm is just over 2 inches thick. That’s pretty good if it’s what you’ve got. The difference between 55 and 65 mm is not that great. My benchtop is 3 1/8 inches thick and it has been great. But if all you can get is 55 mm, then go for it. It’s possible that it will flex a little with heavy use, or that it might vibrate a little when pounding on a chisel. But if you chisel over a leg, it’s not a problem. The important thing is not to let these details get you off track. Build it. It will be fine for several years. If it proves inadequate later, make a new, thicker top.

    Matt, Northern California - Started a blog in 2016:

    Antonio Santos

    I think you’re right, thanks.
    And yes, you’re metric is correct 🙂
    It’s made of the same wood Paul built his, I think it’s spruce, so it might tend to “flex” more, no?
    But I’ll keep it in mind when I need to use the hammer, and do it over the leg.

    Benoît Van Noten

    You will have noticed that Paul Sellers works mainly in the vise and not so much “on” the workbench.
    (even when planing the face of long boards – see the table video in his blog: “newest piece for 2022” dated 21 January 2022 )
    So it should be ok if you follow his method.

    Make the under shelf and use it, it will add some mass.

    Antonio Santos

    Yes, you’re right.
    I was intending to do the under shelf, but now I’m definitely going to do it.

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