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Glass surface for work bench?


MPWR
08-14-2015, 08:27 AM
So I'm in the process of building myself a proper workbench for modelling, and I'm considering what to use for a work surface. I've gotten it into mind that maybe a glass top would be nice- but I really don't know if this is a practical option or not. At the very least it would be easy clean up. I would likely be using a rubber self healing cutting mat atop the glass for cutting work.

Anyone build on a glass surface? Love it/hate it? Do you have a preferred surface that works better for you than glass? I've been known to be somewhat slovenly in my workspaces, and tend to spill all manner of interesting substances on work surfaces- so I would prefer something relatively resilient (on my last bench surface, I spilled something that appeared for all the world to have rusted plywood).

Thoughts and ideas enthusiastically welcomed.

freakray
08-14-2015, 08:31 AM
I have a glass surface, really makes clean up a cinch and paint drips and spills are easy to clean up even after they dry. My whole workbench has a formica kitchen countertop which I have 2 sections of glass about 36" L x 18" W on top of to give me 2 work areas.

When needed, I can throw a cutting mat on top of the glass surface for that kind of work.

jaykay640
08-14-2015, 08:47 AM
I've been working on exactly what you describe for the last 15 years.
My desk is a wood plate with glass on top and on top of that i have a big cutting mat that doubles as mousepad :-)
Over the years the glass gets damaged with many little scratches but that's cosmetic and would be the same with other materials. Any glue, putty, paint or resin can easily be wiped or scratched off.
If i were to get a new glass top i would get the edges more rounded/smoothed. They can be annoying to the lower arms and i have worked holes in a number of "modeling sweaters or shirts" over the years on them :-)

lemansnut
08-14-2015, 08:56 AM
Most of my work is done over a piece of art board but I do have a small piece of glass from an old outdoor flood light (about 9 x 6 x 3/16" thick) that I use as a surface plate when I need a good flat surface for gluing.

Mike

Dexter Models
08-14-2015, 09:06 AM
Since almost 30 years, I work on a glass surface with all advantages say above.
One of my work bench is full covered with a 1m x 2m glass, and the other with a smaller glass (60cm x 40cm)

On both case, the back of glass is darkened with paint or thick paper.
For me it's easier to see small parts on a dark surface...But you also see dust ! :grinyes:

GirchyGirchy
08-14-2015, 10:06 AM
I used to work on large glass sheets at a sign shop and loved it. Dulls blades quickly but lasts forever, easy to clean, is perfectly flat, etc. Just be careful bumping the glass (if tempered) against the wall...if you hit the edges funny the glass will explode.

MPWR
08-14-2015, 11:43 AM
Thanks guys, much appreciated. So it does work as a work surface. :thumbsup:

Anyone have trouble with lighting reflection? I'm guessing that placing the cutting mat properly should help with that?

afxracing
08-14-2015, 01:25 PM
I also have a glass top on my work bench and love it. Like Dexter Models stated above I put a piece of paper under the glass (I use white paper) for a consistent background. In addition to all the already stated benefits the glass is very flat. Helps insure all four wheels touch the ground on the finished model.

BVC500
08-14-2015, 04:44 PM
Glass is great. i would pour small amounts of glue on it to use, and when dried, just use a razor to clean it. Highly recommended. Just get an ikea glass top desk.

MPWR
08-14-2015, 07:37 PM
Just get an ikea glass top desk.

We probably shop at the same ikea (College Park?). :rolleyes: You also, AFX.

But no, didn't see anything there that I liked more than what I could make. I did however get another of those bookcases with the glass doors- to put in-progress works into.

afxracing
08-14-2015, 09:12 PM
We probably shop at the same ikea (College Park?). :rolleyes: You also, AFX.

But no, didn't see anything there that I liked more than what I could make. I did however get another of those bookcases with the glass doors- to put in-progress works into.

I have shopped there but my glass panel was an old sliding pass-thru window. A glass shelf from Ikea would work great.

MPWR
08-14-2015, 09:21 PM
My new surface is about 50.5" x 25.75"- an odd size, so I think I'm going to have to special order something. I probably don't need to go edge to edge, but I feel like that would be doing it right.

gionc
08-15-2015, 03:58 AM
My new surface is about 50.5" x 25.75"- an odd size, so I think I'm going to have to special order something. I probably don't need to go edge to edge, but I feel like that would be doing it right.

You're getting aged and the glass get cold over winter :D

kisses from inferno :D

You?ll try my strategic nomadic modeling: I have 5 workbench: when I bloody mess the first I switch to the second leaving all tools and unfinished models on the first, and so and so until the 5th (no more space, but I guess I'll rent a room on the basement from my neighbour for other 5 wbenches): when I have a mess in the 5th I switch to the first and do clean: all unfinished model and stuff and unused tools go to the wastes :D and I get a brand new first table to start something new until the bench is busy.... :D

MPWR
08-15-2015, 08:21 AM
:lol:


You're getting aged and the glass get cold over winter :D


This I did not think of! Perhaps I will build some electrical heating cables into the edges of the bench, to keep it nice and warm for my old arms.... :rolleyes:


You?ll try my strategic nomadic modeling: I have 5 workbench: when I bloody mess the first I switch to the second leaving all tools and unfinished models on the first, and so and so until the 5th (no more space, but I guess I'll rent a room on the basement from my neighbour for other 5 wbenches): when I have a mess in the 5th I switch to the first and do clean: all unfinished model and stuff and unused tools go to the wastes :D and I get a brand new first table to start something new until the bench is busy.... :D

I have tried your nomadic modelling strategy. The result? I build as slow as you do. :iceslolan Next I think I will try something else.

Kisses to you also! :smooch:

afxracing
08-15-2015, 08:26 AM
My new surface is about 50.5" x 25.75"- an odd size, so I think I'm going to have to special order something. I probably don't need to go edge to edge, but I feel like that would be doing it right.

Mine is 16" x 27" plenty big for me. It would be nice to have the whole bench top covered but not necessary.

If you want custom go to a glass repair shop the can cut it to size and grind the edges smooth.

is250
08-17-2015, 01:40 AM
i use a glass surface, works great. IKEA sells a white or black glass (meant to be an optional top for their besta book cases) for

Vric
08-17-2015, 09:27 AM
I'm kinda goofy sometime and while I did use a glass surface before, I found the surface too hard and I lost many hours of my life under my desk seaching for tiny parts that went away.

So for me, I use a 30"x24" cutting mat. Gives enough softness to keep falling parts from bunching on the ground.

nugundam93
08-17-2015, 04:00 PM
i'm working on a glass surface top, but it's ontop of a wooden table. so far it's working for me, but i do have some plastic sheets (bags from kit sprues actually) covering areas where i'll be putting paint jars, glue, etc. on. one part also has 2 self-healing cutting mats for the main workspace.

GirchyGirchy
08-27-2015, 03:40 PM
My new surface is about 50.5" x 25.75"- an odd size, so I think I'm going to have to special order something. I probably don't need to go edge to edge, but I feel like that would be doing it right.

Check around at your local commercial/residential glass shops, they'll cut to any size.

Just a thought, I also use a Blitz automotive drip tray on top of my work surface (which is acrylic, BTW...I cheaped out and wish I had glass!). It's 25x36 or so and has a lip around the edge, so it'll keep things from rolling off the desk. I wish I didn't have it up there all of the time but it's handy when working on certain items.

http://www.autozone.com/shop-and-garage-tools/oil-drain-pan/flotool-galvanized-drip-tray/475418_0_0/

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