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  1. #1
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    Hardboard on a bench top???

    Has anyone used it to top a bench? I am thinking about using it on top of my main bench which is MDF that's looking and feeling a little rough. Does the dark color create any problems. How well does it wear? And is it too slick of a surface? If you have used it how did you adhere it to the top?
    Thanks in advance for any thoughts along these lines. I would hate to spend the money and time to realize that I made a mistake.
    Dave:-)
    :-D Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile :-D

    Honestly Honey, that will cost around $100 $150 $200, and I need a few more tools.

    Heard from a client..."If I had your tools and experience...I could do it myself"

    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
    --Dr. Seuss

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    Re: Hardboard on a bench top???

    Norm used it on the top for his "miter saw bench". Screwed it to the 3/4 CDX underlayment. Just a few screws in the corners and edges. RHC carries the tempered, smooth on both sides. Last I bought was about $13 a sheet (1/4), but it has been a few years.

  3. #3
    Returning Member christopheralan's Avatar
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    Re: Hardboard on a bench top???

    I have two work benches made from old office furniture. They are made from MDF and have a smilar surface "feel" of hardboard. I love the work surface and have had very few problems with it. If I am doing sanding or routing on it I just slap down a tool drawer rubber insert/routing pad and everything stays in place. Clean-up is fast because glue and paint won't stick to it very well. Hardboard should have alot of the same benefits.

    If I were you, I wouldn't glue the thing down. Just build a hardwood trim onto the MDF high enough to be flush with the hardboard. Drop it into place and it should fit snug. If it is a poor fit, use double-sided carpet tape to hold it down. When it is time to change it out, remove the trim and get a prybar to pull it up.

    I haven't had any problems with the color, but based on lighting and your type of work, it is up to you.
    ChristopherAlan
    www.projectwoodworks.com
    ResFirmaMitescereNescit

  4. #4
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    Re: Hardboard on a bench top???

    Tried it once a few years back (quite a few now that I think about it). IMHO it did not hold up well. Absorbed everything liquid and water finally got to it and swelled it so it started flaking. It was "tempered", and I did not coat it with anything. Did not resist gouging/scratching at all. Realize that it also had lawnmower/weedeater engines overhauled on it, etc, so the gasoline/oil may have contributed to its demise. I replaced it with a solid core door and the luan facing ply held up better. I had a section of old formica-covered counter top (particle board base) that held up much better on another bench.

    Go
    Practicing at practical woodworking

  5. #5
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    Re: Hardboard on a bench top???

    Dave,

    I built Norms bench plan about 12 years ago which included a 1/4 hardboard top. The original hardboard is still on it. It doesn't look pretty but it is still there. The surface will begin to break down over time. It is not resistant to any signiificant scratching or gouging. After several years the surface began to resemble suede. The upside to this is that nothing can get accidentally glued to the bench either. It is not an emotional event if I spill something on the surface or drill a hole through it. I could replace the original surface, but I'm too lazy. I recommend it.

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    Re: Hardboard on a bench top???

    I've only got a minute to reply, but what about using hardboard with the white finish on one side. It would reflect well and it is about the same price as regular hardboard. It would at least be somewhat resistant to absorbing water and such.

    Worth a shot for about $8 a sheet.

    Just my $.02.

    __________________________________________________ _______
    "If you will live like no one else, later you can LIVE like no one else!" Dave Ramsey (www.DaveRamsey.com)

  7. #7
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    Re: Hardboard on a bench top???

    I was considering using that white coated stuff for my benchtop too. I was hoping it would work like a dry erase board so I could write down measurements and rough drawings on it with a marker. Haven't gotten around to giving it a shot yet though.

    If you were to go with hardboard, could you give it a coat or two of poly to try to prevent it from soaking up moisture?

  8. #8
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    Re: Hardboard on a bench top???

    I have used it on my bench in my UK shop and it was great, I use it here on my assembly table. I consider it completely disposable so don't worry about sealing it or any other prep.When you don't loke it anymore throw it away and get some more. Getting it to lie flat is tricky when it's in pieces, bite the bullet and by a sheet big enough to cover the whole surface in one go.
    David
    "There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea" Bernard-Paul Heroux

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    Re: Hardboard on a bench top???

    Dave:

    I have it on my side bench. You know where I live. Come on by and check it out. LOML is reviewing your plans for the garden. Did your quote include labor and all costs?

    Getting back on topic..there are pictures of the bench here in the thread documenting the building of the bench. I like it and it is easy to clean. Also cheap to replace as needed.

    Doug
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Side Bench.jpg  

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    Re: Hardboard on a bench top???

    Doug, that's good to know. I think that I will go that route. I needed to make a decision before I sized my new apron if I was going to leave it proud to accommodate the additional thickness of the hardboard or not.
    Dave:-)
    :-D Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile :-D

    Honestly Honey, that will cost around $100 $150 $200, and I need a few more tools.

    Heard from a client..."If I had your tools and experience...I could do it myself"

    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
    --Dr. Seuss

  11. #11
    McRabbet
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    Re: Hardboard on a bench top???

    I glued tempered Masonite to my bench top several years ago and put a coat of shellac on it -- it has held up very well. Also put same on my outfeed table and it's doing just fine, too.

    Rob

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    Re: Hardboard on a bench top???

    DaveO,
    Iíve only had this bench for a couple of months now and the hardboard seems to be holding up pretty good. I did put several coats of paste wax on it, and after a couple of small glue ups the glue drops just popped off with very little persuasion. I did spill some mineral oil on it and got some discoloration but it did not bubble up as I thought it would. I have not secured it to the MDF under it yet, but I plan to in the future because the corners rise a little with the change in humidity. For the price I consider it a disposable surface easy to replace.


    Norm
    You only live once. If you do it right thatís all you need.

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