hey, its been awhile…but I had a somewhat weird question and thought this was perhaps the perfect crowd for it:
I am messy, my wife is not. She has a workbench in the garage I often use, very much to her dismay. The reason for her disappointment is the top of the bench is like a pressed particleboard. It dirties easily, and the likes things pretty.
I wanted to surprise her by getting some sort of a thin plastic to create a top-board to go over the crappy particle-board that could take some abuse and clean easily…and most importantly where dirt, water, etc. would actually clean off it easily. I was thinking material similar to cutting board, or possibly even plexiglass or whatever…I want it durable, but also relatively inexpensive and able to be custom-cut to 24" x 54" (the 24 side could be an inch or 2 wider and just overhang but esp. given the 54" side I am assuming, anyway, that this would be an atypical size for any sort of plastic and require a custom cut from some larger stock…)
Any thoughts on best plastics or material to choose from a cost/durability standpoint?
Any suggestions where I’d even begin to look for this? I assume there’s gotta be some sort of companies where one can get something like this locally but i have no idea where i would even begin looking…
Thanks in advance, guys,
Maybe a restaurant supply for cutting board type plastic in large sheets? Just a guess
The materials you mention above may be too slick for a workbench surface; applying pressure to work objects will make them slide around. A workbench person may not like that kind of surprise; consult her first.
My masonite-covered workbench has fared well over the past 30 years. I have always wanted to cover it with Formica or other brand laminate, some have a fine texture and are not slick, plenty of colors and patterns to choose from, including many wood-grain patterns. BUT–laminate is very thin and would have to be attached or glued to the current surface.
i should perhaps add that if i get the full 54", the bench has 3 screws on either side for bolting on side cup-holder/small part caddies, so it would actually be secured down at least…although good point, the top surface might remain slick
There is something called phenolic plywood or phenolic faced plywood.According to one user,it is sold at lumber yards as,reusable concrete form board,which is a less expensive way of buying it,than from a wood supplier.
There is also an anti slip version of the stuff,that may be more costly.
I’m not sure how thick you are thinking, but “StarBoard” comes to mind first. I’ve linked to TAP Plastics, which is a good in person source if you are in California or willing to pay for shipping, but some better stocked hardware stores will have the same material in 4’x8’ sheets. HDPE (which StarBoard is made of) is the same material as used for thicker plastic cutting boards. It’s pretty tough stuff, but ABS (which TAP also sells) might worth considering if you want something even sturdier.
Solid surface material, like Corian (brand name version) - these are poured resin sheets of “plastic” - would work well. It comes in 2’ x 10’ sheets in various grades and compositions, mostly polyesters and acrylics. It was about $250/sheet the last time I bought it (10+ years ago).
Thickness is 1/2" and you can machine it like wood, including sawing and sanding it. If you need to glue it, get a tube of the matching epoxy, it’s expensive but the results are excellent. You can make a professional level production. Kitchen/Cabinet shops may have random half sheets, Craigs’ list, ebay, etc. for sourcing.
The white cuttings board material is probably mostly HDPE, High Density PolyEthylene, Durable material, but not cheap either, probably even more expensive, harder to work and harder to glue.
Just saw the previous reply, the ABS looks like a possibility. Some good leads there.
if you know someone who woodworks get some hardwood boards. the harder the better. think maple, oak, beech, locust. planed they are good to go but if you want to wow her sand them to remove planer marks… treat with boiled linseed oil. or stain them the color you want. alot nicer looking for someone who likes nice looking. if you buy rough cut boards you can get them pretty cheap. they will last a lifetime or more if taken care of.