Quick Tip: Removable Worktop

My half of a shared second bedroom oscillates in use from clay-working area to crafting workspace to work-from-home office. To accommodate the various demands each task presents, my choices in organization, furniture, and equipment are flexible and multi-functional. When I read Catie Miller’s recent Tips and Tools article on cement-board table tops (Ceramics Monthly, May 2021), I knew the material would be a great fit for my clay work. Since my table must be versatile, I made a cement-board worktop that could be removed and stored when not in use. Here’s how to make one of your own.

1

Measure the sides of your table, then purchase and cut lengths of 2×2 boards to frame the perimeter (1). Place a piece of cement board on your table (smooth side facing up). Position yourself so you can see underneath the board and the table edge. Trace around the perimeter of the table on the underside of the board. Lay the cement board upside down, then use the drawn outline as a guide to assemble the wooden frame. Screw the corners of the 2×2 boards together—an extra set of hands and/or corner clamps are helpful. Check that the frame fits snugly around the top of your table, then lay the frame on the cement board. Mark along the outside of the frame to determine where to score and snap the cement board to size. Note: I made my cement board slightly smaller than the frame and rounded the corners to protect the cement from damage.

2

3

Using a long metal ruler and a sharp utility knife, make several cutting passes to score each line, then apply pressure from the opposite side of the board along the score to snap it. Sand any rough edges with a coarse-grit sanding sponge, align the board and frame, then use screws to secure the two together (2, 3). You now have a removable, custom-fit cement-board worktop. 

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