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SmartsyArtsy

What Do You Cover Your Work Tables With?

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Just found this very good discussion

 

http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/412-alternatives-to-canvas-work-surfaces/?hl=covering&do=findComment&comment=2407

 

 

I am off to look at several options at HD and a local industrial fabric shop. Lots of good possibilities in the above linked to thread. I have several doors as table tops and am not sure how I feel about working on wood because of the dark color. I have also worked on Formica and liked that. Just need to keep the dust down as well as I can

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Well, I must say that HD and the fabric store had the most unhelpful and unimaginable employees!!! UGH!

 

In HD I looked at Formica (possible at some other time), coated MDF, which I think you use with the linseed oil, Neil ($9 a sheet; color is the issue with me), sheet vinyl (a very possible for me @ $12.50 for a 3x7 sheet). The coated MDF is only available in their larger store so I will be up that way in a week.

 

I was disappointed at the vinyl options in the fabric store. It appeared all the marine vinyl was coated with poly, and the rest seemed too thin. I am not, though, satisfied that I saw every possible option. Those fabrics were costly anyhow.

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Main 4 x 8 work tables are 3/4 CDX plywood covered with 1/8 masonite (not the tempered stuff). I replace the masonite about once a year. Great working surface. Tables are 35 years old now.

 

Glaze lab counter is formica.

 

Deck surrounding wheels natural wood (pine) polished by years of cleaning.

 

At the college we use MDF like Neil.

 

best,

 

................john

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John the masonite is a great idea,  I have been wanting to replace my canvas on my work tables and I have a bunch of masonite in my basement.  What type of screw did you use to hold it in place?   Denice

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What type of screw did you use to hold it in place? Denice

 

Sheetrock NAILS. (Hard to find these days.... sheetrock is now mostly put up with screws.) I used short ones... easy to remove when changing it. You don't need all that many. They have large flat heads, don;t impact the surface much at all.

 

best,

 

......................john

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In Australia we have a sheet building material that is made of cellulose held together by cement. We call it fibre cement and it replaces asbestos cement that is no longer made. It makes terrific bats and it's the perfect surface for work tables. It is cheap, porous, smooth and doesn't' warp, chip or rot. I have an old pine table that I have covered with builders' plastic with a whole sheet of fibre cement on top. To protect the plastic sheeting I have put some offcuts of my kitchen floor covering between the two layers. You can wet down the fibre cement when you want to get into hand building. When it is dry, it really sucks the water out of sloppy clay, so I use it to stiffen clay that is softer than I like.

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I have one canvas covered table that I use for hand building-rolling coils and slabs. The rest of my tables are 4x8 plywood painted grey. I do not use the surface other than to place ware boards when decorating.

TJR.

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to put polyurethane on a table:  sand table, wipe with tack cloth, apply urethane with brush or foam roller.  done.

 

we are a sculpture studio, so on all our studio tables we prefer to keep it either raw plywood (AC grade) so that it can still absorb some water from the clay when hand-building; or the entire table gets a coating of urethane.  lately i've been using Helmsman Spar Urethane water-based, because they stopped carrying the oil-based version at most stores (the water-based actually looks better IMO since it's a clear vs amber, and cleanup is MUCH improved with water/soap vs mineral spirits).  urethane coating is nice and helps preserve the wood, but the downside is it seals up the grains and no longer absorbs water - as a result the clay ends up sticking to it.  almost always, students end up using a 24"x36"x3/4" raw plywood board to work on regardless of table surface, so it isn't an issue.  we also have a concrete floor to use for absorbing moisture.  if we were a pottery studio where more water is around the studio, i'd be putting out more sealed up tables since it's the clay water getting up under plywood layers that degrades it.

 

glaze room has nice aluminum topped work table and the countertops are some sort of masonite/plywood hybrid that i keep a nice urethane coating on for easy wipe-down.

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After much thought on this I realized I cover my tables with work-they rarely are empty.

Mark

 

Very true! And the work area gets smaller and smaller as I pile up slip pails, paint brushes, tools and all sorts of crap.

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