Surface for my build table

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Surface for my build table

Post by nanook177 » Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:50 pm

I'm attempting a large scratch build (1/350 Excelsior from Star Trek) and I'm thinking of modifying my work area. I use portable folding tables as my normal build surface but, with having to scratch build I want to work on a more consistently straight, flat and level surface with as little deflection and deviation as possible. The folding tables work great 90% of they times, but there are definite inconsistencies in their surface that makes scratch building difficult at best. Hopefully I've explained this all clearly. Thank you all for any thoughts or ideas you might have.

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Post by Rogviler » Sun Jul 17, 2016 12:39 am

Do you have a building materials recycling store near you? Here there's a Habitat for Humanity store, for instance. They sell just about everything, but of interest to you might be stuff like old countertops and doors, both of which make great surfaces to build on. They're usually cheap too.

Another good one is cabinet makers. I've gotten a ton of laminated MDF and plywood for free that way.

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Post by kenlilly106 » Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:27 am

Second the counter top and door idea, I like counter tops because the laminate surface is dead flat and can be cleaned easily.

If you can find a solid core door that's plain (no embossing or raised panels) they make excellent work surfaces.

You can also check out the clearance rack at the local home improvement store, sometimes they have laminate counter tops in there that have cosmetic damage and can't be sold as new. I've seen large sections go for less than half price as long as you're not picky on color or pattern.


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Post by USSARCADIA » Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:58 am

A solid core door is the answer. My dad uses one to do his architectural drawings on. A piece of laminate countertop is good too, but if you would spill glue on the laminate there may be ugly results. Most home centers stock at least one type of SC door.
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Post by Andrew Gorman » Sun Jul 17, 2016 1:07 pm

Best work benches I've ever had were industrial packing tables. Super sturdy with laminate tops:
If I had the space I'd buy another right now.

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Post by Rocketeer » Sun Jul 17, 2016 3:04 pm

USSARCADIA wrote:... if you would spill glue on the laminate there may be ugly results...
I don't think you have to worry about that. I have a formica-covered countertop as my work surface, and I've spilled just about every kind of thinner/cement on it, with no adverse results.

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Post by Wug » Sun Jul 17, 2016 4:15 pm

Go to a glass store. Buy a sheet of glass in the size you want and have them dull the edges so it doesn't cut you. It cost a lot less than I expected.

The glass is very flat and makes a perfect surface for sandpaper. You can scrape anything off of it with a razor blade scraper. Put a self-healing mat on it when you cut stuff.


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