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GabiLoraine 2014-06-01 5:53pm

Working surface
Hey guys, I didn't really research before posting, so sorry if this has been asked before...
My previous working surface had just been an old Formica desk that I just let get little burns from fly aways and other minor accidents... But I'm switching to a bigger table, that although is not a fancy table, I don't want to get burns on, in case later I want to use it for something else... So I was thinking of covering it up. The logical thing seems like aluminum or stainless steel but I'm thinking it might be cheaper and even nice to get a glass for it. But is it safe? And is it practical? What do you think???

shawnette 2014-06-01 6:05pm

Aluminum roof flashing is what I use. It's cheap and works well:


Eileen 2014-06-01 6:05pm

I think a lot of people cover it with large ceramic tiles. I would be nervous setting hot tools down on the glass. I found a sheet of stainless steel for the work area of mine, but I've burned it where the metal doesn't cover far enough.

GabiLoraine 2014-06-01 11:32pm

Thanks! Yeah I thought about the hot tools too.... I'm really leaning towards glass though - I love how clean it is. (Lol I feel kind of silly saying I love glass on this forum) maybe I can have a little heatproofed area to put hot tools on?

I actually also like the idea for the tile. And maybe I can get some for free...

Thanks for the picture shawnette! Your studio looks great!

Baywinger 2014-06-02 7:54pm

hardi backer which is an under lay for tile works really well

tonips 2014-06-04 6:18am

The Hardie backer board works wonderfully and looks good. It's inexpensive and you can cut it with a utility knife.

Here's a link from Lowe's, but you can get this at most building supply places.

Baywinger 2014-06-04 9:04pm

I tried using tile but I found it cracked and glass would get stuck between the tiles.

Baywinger 2014-06-04 9:05pm

Hardi backer is basically a concrete board so it is very heat and flame proof

Speedslug 2014-06-25 1:41am

Think about the things we know about sheet glass Gabi.

If it is regular glass and you drop something hard on it it will most likely crack, chip or break.

If it is tempered glass like for a shower area, the edges of it are especially prone to any hard contact causing it to shatter. Also if you drop hot molten glass on the surface it will most likely heat shock and then shatter.

I don't mean to rain on your idea but I think you will have to save the sheet glass for you writing desk.

They do make some very large tile these days and a two foot by three foot tile could look cool but I am thinking they are going to be a bit spendy.

I found three slabs of pool table slate from Craig's list for free and I like the dark unreflective background it has for finding my way around the flame.

If you have your heart set on a gorgeous work surface you could go granite or marble but again we are talking a sizable chunk of change.

Geary_Johns 2014-06-27 7:42am

We use galvanized sheet tin from Lowe’s, it comes in three foot by three foot sections and makes a nice fireproof cover that cleans up well.

JimW 2014-07-14 9:34am

Dark Background
Hi All (very new here)
I've been "lurking" around, reading posts, learning stuff.. Awesome.
I finally decided to chime in on a subject... workbench toppers.

After looking and thinking and trying different things, I finally chose dark granite.

Home depot sells do-it-yourself granite slabs that are 2'x3' and about 1/2 inch thick. They're about 80.00 for 2 "sheets" and they have 4 or 5 colors. 1 sheet is plenty big. One for me one for my wife.

I picked this because it's fireproof, shatterproof, stable, sturdy but most important, for me anyway was that the shiney metal tabletops have a glare that I find to distracting, this is a dark color that makes it easy to see my flame.

My opinion.

marcuscarr 2016-01-07 3:37pm

Warning about galvanized metal
I am coming into this from a welding background. When heated, galvanized metals put off a poison fume that will kill you. It doesn't take much either.

I would recommend something other than a galvanized surface for heat work.


Vicki Gough 2016-01-07 9:26pm

I ran into some heating/ac people and was given "scrap" sheet metal I use on the top of my work table.

NakedDogStudio 2017-10-05 7:28pm

Marble Slab. I've tried different work surfaces and the best one ever is the large marble slab from my mother's old coffee table. It was the coffee table in my parents home from the time I was a baby, so I have a heartfelt attachment to it. So perfect, it loves molten glass but it doesn't stick to it and does not absorb the heat from the Scorpion torch I have. The only thing I can say is that it does get lightly scratched from tools being used on top of the messy bits and pieces of busted rods that from time to time get in the flame too soon, but that is ok because it's not going to be a coffee table for the next twenty years. Besides that it's pretty, and about an inch thick. Go to one of those flea marketplaces that people have their own booths in, you'll find these coffee tables there, not much money and well worth the effort. Love mine!

5betsy 2017-10-10 7:00pm

Love the granite idea!

We're moving my studio over the next few months and I've requested a new bench.


Speedslug 2017-10-17 5:52am

Once you remove the granite from the coffee table you can always turn it over and use the bottom as a work surface to preserve the top nice and shiny.

It's also possible to get the surface restored by a counter top company.

hyperT 2017-10-18 5:43am

Table Top
I always just put a piece of plywood over the table top. Yes it will get small burns in it, but the glass will cool, way before it sets it on fire. Then a couple
small plates of steel or aluminum just to put something hot on.

Have fun, Wayne

kansassky 2017-10-22 4:47pm

Glass will scratch. Don’t.

EmeryLawson 2017-10-24 6:43pm

I use a granite slab that I bought as scrap from a place that made countertops. It is thick and heavy and oh so pretty. I love it!

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