gluing up a workpiece on top of silicone workbench mat

Protect your work surface or projects with one of our silicone project mats. These project mats are made from heat-resistant, easy-to-clean silicone, meaning wet glue rinses off and dried glue peels off.

Use this mat anywhere you want to protect your work surface or your project, whether in the garage, shop or on the dining room table. Since it's heat-resistant, it works well as a protective barrier for hot glue guns. The material is very soft, and one side has a textured surface to trap debris that could scratch or dent your project. Also great for craft projects, art projects and scrapbooking.

Chris Marshall: At glue-up time, you're probably like me, you don't want to get wet glue all over your bench. For years, I've used sheets of plastic, rolls of building paper, and even plastic trash bags to keep my bench clean, but after just a few uses, I end up throwing these things away, and that can lead to a lot of waste. That's why I like these new silicone project mats in the extra large size from Rockler. These mats are almost 2 feet wide and 30 inches long, and the silicone material is an eighth of an inch thick for durability. The ends have interlocking channels, so you can connect two or more mats together. Two of these, end to end, will just about cover my bench top.

Since these mats are made of silicone, most woodworking glues and finishes won't stick to them, so drips and puddles during glue up are no big deal. Yellow PVA wood glues like Titebond will peel right off of silicone once it dries, so you can use these mats and definitely without wasting paper or plastic, and your bench stays clean.

But glue-ups are just one way that I think these mats will be helpful to have in the shop. This soft-ribbed surface will also be handy if you're working with fragile materials like mirror or glass, or if you're working on a previously finished surface, like a tabletop that you don't want to get scratched by the bench. The grippy surface also does a good job of holding parts in place for sanding. When the mat gets covered with sawdust, you can just wash it clean again.

Then when you're done with the job, you can roll the mat up for storage. The great thing about silicone is, it doesn't have a memory, so it'll always lay flat again when you need it. Whether you use them for sanding, panel glue-ups, or when you need a softer working surface, these silicone project mats can come in handy. Rockler offers the XL size and also a smaller 15x30 inch version. I'm Chris Marshall with Woodworker's Journal Magazine, and thanks for watching.