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Oak instead maple for workbench

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  • Oak instead maple for workbench


    I am thinking about building one of those solid wood workbenches for the shop (there has been a couple posted here). All the plans I've seen call for making the underframe and top out of maple.

    I can see building the top out of maple, but is there any reason the underside (i.e. legs, stretchers, etc) can't be made from some other hardwood, oak for example? Is there any special strength or other properties about maple that makes it better for the underframe?

    Let me know what you think.

    Last edited by FSK; 04-13-2007, 08:23 AM. Reason: typo

  • #2
    Re: Oak instead maple for workbench

    My one Maple top bench, the frame is constructed out of Pine, and I have no problems with it at all. My other two benches are made from all Pine. The surface on those benches can get all dinged up, don't really care. After a couple of years I replace them with another sheet of plywood. I do a lot of really abusive things on top of those two, so putting on a Maple top is a "no way" for me. The Maple top bench, I use only for woodworking and thats it. Using a different frame construction is all up to you, just make sure your bench is properly supported for your needs.
    Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

    A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!


    • #3
      Re: Oak instead maple for workbench

      I used pine for the frame too. The top is 3 sheets of 3/4" birch plywood, not full sheets tho. I agree with garager, when it's chipped and dinged up to much just replace the piece with another sheet.
      If at first you don't succeed, try reading the owners manual.


      • #4
        Re: Oak instead maple for workbench

        Thanks for asking this question, and thanks to those that responded. I have been wondering this same thing for some time now.



        • #5
          Re: Oak instead maple for workbench

          I am in the process of finishing this one. Top is white oak, bottom is pine:

          I'll let you know how it holds up. Oh yeah, the tail vise handle is just a temp.

          Practicing at practical wood working


          • #6
            Re: Oak instead maple for workbench

            Just a thought and one that's worked for me. How about adding a sheet of 1/4" think Hardboard on top? When it gets bashed up, just remove and replace. It would also help protect a nice maple top from getting dinged up. I cut mine about 1/4" x 1/4" oversize.