We have a cool old soapstone utility sink in our laundry room that has developed a crack and needs to be replaced. We can't find/afford to replace it with the same thing, but I found a deep iron sink that would fit the space nicely and I'd like to build a stand like this for it:

sink stand

This would suit the space much better than adding cabinets. It would be much narrower as we only have ~25" to work with, but the basic concept of dropping the sink into a workbench is what I'd really like to replicate. The sink is pretty heavy and I am not sure how to select a material for the countertop that can support the weight of an iron sink. I could get a steel sink but I like the iron sink.

Not sure what the sink weighs but I found it difficult to lift so I'd guess close to 100lbs. And we need to be able to fill it with water so there's another 80lbs or so. Assuming I accurately calculate the weight of the full sink, how do I know that the countertop material I'm using can support it?

Can I use plywood for this? What should I be looking for in selecting wood?

  • How much does this iron sink weigh? 3/4" plywood with 2x4 wood supports under it can be quite strong. – JPhi1618 Feb 21 at 21:13
  • I'm guessing 100lbs? I had a hard time lifting it and I don't have a hard time lifting a 50lb kettle bell. – Amanda Feb 21 at 21:16
  • I can lift 30kg (around 66lbs) kettlebell with one hand. Last time I checked I could do it from the ground to up in the air 15 times in a series. I can draw 65lbs bow with my thumb repeatedly. And it was really difficult for me to move 29kg ceramic sink. Felt much, much heavier. So I suggest not to trust such comparisons. Sports gear is made to be lifted, that makes big difference. – Mołot Feb 21 at 21:26
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    Are you sure you can't seal the crack in the soapstone sink? A genuine soapstone sink is a prized item. There is a kind of glue that is used to join soapstone slabs in countertops. It's about the same color as the soapstone. if the other side of the crack is accessible, you could draw the glue in using a shop vac. Is the soapstone sink supported with braces from the bottom of the counter top? The installer of our soapstone kitchen counter related to me a custom sink he made out of soapstone (pieces joined together). It was heavy and for safety he installed wood suspensory supports. – Jim Stewart Feb 21 at 21:31
  • Also, what's the volume of it? You should calculate for the weigh with max possible amount of water in it, to be safe. – Mołot Feb 21 at 21:32

I think the general bench idea is fine, but depending on the actual weight and positioning of the sink, it might need a middle leg to support the weight. My plan would be to build wooden framing that would support the weight of the sink on its own so the choice of top material wouldn't matter as much.

In other words, build a top with a framed out rectangle of boards that would fit the sink and support the full weight. For the choice of top material, think about what is going to be durable in the possible wet conditions of a sink. Plywood would work fine, but will need to be sealed well against water. Wooden slats might work well also, but again it will be more of an aesthetic choice if the frame is made (or reinforced) to hold the sink on its own.

Just general guidelines - for a 6' long bench and a 60lb sink, I don't think you would need a middle leg if using 2x4's for the "frame" of the top and the sink on one side. If you needed longer and the sink is moved more to the middle, you might want a middle leg.

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