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Old 10-28-2015, 11:54 AM
tgraytn tgraytn is offline
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Western Tennessee
Posts: 39
Default To Cover Work Bench With Carpet Or Not?

I have a 25" x 96" Gladiator table with adjustable legs to use to build my RV-8 empennage on. I currently have it covered with carpet to prevent marring the aluminum. However, I have heard several comments stating to not use carpet because it can cause aluminum shavings to become trapped in the pile and therefore scratch the aluminum skin as it is moved across the surface. I have heard others say the opposite: cover the bench with carpet to prevent marring the aluminum skin.

I wanted to pose this question to the group in order to get your feedback.

Here is a picture of my bench:


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Old 10-28-2015, 12:12 PM
JimWoo50 JimWoo50 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Chicago sw suburbs
Posts: 376
Default Covered mine in particleboard

Nice and flat and you can drill and Cleco into it and it's not expensive.
Jim Woolard C56
N9855J RV-6 Donated 2019
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Old 10-28-2015, 12:13 PM
flyinga flyinga is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Fredericksburg, TX
Posts: 541


First of all, your shop is entirely too neat!

I would not use carpeting for the reasons you expresses plus rivets, etc. will easily get lost.

I bought several of those long swimming pool type float thingies and used them for padding fuse, wings etc. when on my workbench.
Jim Averett
TS36 - Silver Wings
Fredericksburg, TX
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Old 10-28-2015, 12:14 PM
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tomkk tomkk is offline
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Port Orange, Fl
Posts: 815

I used a moving pad draped across the bench. Easy to get on and off depending on what I was doing, didn't trap metal shavings, easy to vacuum clean.
Port Orange, Fl
RV-12 N121TK ELSA #120845; first flight 06/10/2015
RV-12 N918EN ELSA #120995 Eagles Nest Project
SPA Panther N26TK in progress
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Old 10-28-2015, 12:15 PM
YellowJacket RV9 YellowJacket RV9 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Clearwater, FL / KZPH
Posts: 1,164

You will find yourself drilling into the table regularly (at least I did). I put a piece of MDF on top of my table for that reason, and replaced it after building the flaps which required a bunch of large holes in it. I keep pieces of carpet I can put on it when I need the protection, but can be removed.

And I remember when my shop looked like that...I was so innocent back then...

Chris Johnson
RV-9A - Done(ish) 4/5/16! Flying 4/7/16

Last edited by YellowJacket RV9 : 10-28-2015 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 10-28-2015, 12:18 PM
TFeeney TFeeney is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Floyds Knobs, IN
Posts: 136

I try to have the best of both worlds by using some removable carpet squares.
When I made my wing stand I got some carpet to use for the slings - since then the scraps (2 sq ft) have been used when I needed to protect something heavy (like the wing on the bench).

For everyday building though, I have the wood surface - much easier to clean up.
QB Wings done "for now"
Fuselage in process - working Cabin Top
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Old 10-28-2015, 12:18 PM
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airguy airguy is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Garden City, Tx
Posts: 4,467

I had a particle-board surface with 1/8" Masonite sheet on top of that - when the Masonite started to get raggedy I just replaced it.

Ditch the carpet.
Greg Niehues - PPSEL, IFR, Repairman Cert.
Garden City, TX VAF 2019 dues paid
N16GN flying 380hrs and counting! Built an off-plan 9A with too much fuel and too much HP. Should drop dead any minute now.
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Old 10-28-2015, 12:22 PM
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DaleB DaleB is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Omaha, NE (KMLE)
Posts: 1,988

I use a Masonite sheet on top of my bench so it can be changed out when it gets too scuffed up or mutilated. I also got some scrap carpeting and cut a couple of pieces to fit the top of the bench. When I need them I can roll them onto it, then roll them back up when not needed. If I need them to stay put I'll use masking tape or some staples. I definitely would not leave the carpeting on place all the time, but it's nice to have when you need to lay a wing or something on the bench.

Omaha, NE
RV-12 # 222 N980KM "Screamin' Canary" (bought flying)
Fisher Celebrity (under construction)
Previous RV-7 project (sold)
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Old 10-28-2015, 12:22 PM
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larrynew larrynew is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: In New Braunfels, ist das Leben schön!
Posts: 795

My favorite is 3/4 MDF (shimmed flat) that can be removed and replaced. I'll seal my next one so cold beverages don't swell the MDF. You'll drill 1000 holes into it, spill primer, paint, proseal and fiberglass on it during your build. After a few scratches, I kept a nice counter brush close and always swept before using.
Larry New
RV-7A - Flying 700+ hrs
48 States in 7 Days
VAF Paid - Annual Autodraft
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Old 10-28-2015, 12:43 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,693

I make my work benches from that white Melamine-finished particle board used for cabinets. No scratches and it works great.

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