Bench protectors/mats:

Here is some feedback on bench protectors:

Masonite (hard board). The boards are not scorch resistant, but won’t scratch the benches, are light and easy to store.
Masonite is available at Bunnings.

Hardiflex, or fibro-cement purchased from Bunnings. It is available in 1800 x 1200 sheets and I cut it into 9 boards of 600 x 400. It is hard to cut.
Bunnings may be able to cut it to the required size, but they do charge.

Villaboard, similar to Hardiflex, but it is slightly thicker and more water resistant.
I have found these to be really good because they don’t burn, and spilled materials can be wiped or washed off easily. They are possibly heavier than other materials.
Villaboard can be sawn, or scored and snapped. Edges can be smoothed with sand paper. Fibro-cement cutters are available, either in the form of a guillotine-style, costing about $50, or a cheaper laminate and fibro cutter with tungsten carbide tip.
Available from Bunnings Warehouses.

MDF (medium density fibreboard). We’ve had these boards for ages and they have lasted well but I don’t know how they’d stand up to the rigours of a school.

Bench protection in the form of Benchcote: 515mm x 50m, plastic lined or plain is available from Perth Scientific Equipment, ‘phone 9209 3955 (they are agents for Livingstone International Pty Ltd).

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