I Think I Found The Ultimate Workbench Mathttps://www.tool-rank.com/media/listing/photos/thumbnail/300x300s/5e/72/ba/59282-08-1000-1-56-1539377175.jpg
A number years ago I wrote an article asking why it was so hard to find a good workbench mat. In that article talked about the various solutions people had tried all in the search for a good workbench mat; they tried everything from conveyor belts to yoga mats, but by the end of the article I still hadn't found a suitable mat. Since then, Rockler has come out with a silicone mat that solves most problems a woodworker would face, but it was still lacking in some areas. Finally, I think I can stop the search, the new Rockler Silicone Project Mat XL might just be the best woodworker's workbench mat.
All those years ago my search for a workbench mat started because of a need to protect my own workbench. I wanted something to protect the wood from minor bangs and scratches while also offering some protection from liquid spills. In the end, I went with a textured rubber mat that I found on Amazon. It was large enough that I could cut it down to fix my workbench perfectly.
One of the reasons I passed up on the first silicone mat Rockler came out with was its size. It offered the protection I was looking for in a mat, but at only 15"x30", it wasn't big enough to suit my needs. It would be great as a project mat, but not as a full workbench mat.
As you might have guessed from the XL in the product name, the new Rockler Silicone Project Mat XL is larger than the previous model; but that is not where the features end. At 23-1/2''x 30-1/4'', it is quite a bit deeper than their other product, but not much wider. However, to make this mat more versatile, Rockler included interlocking side edges that can join two or more mats together to create longer lengths.
Other nifty features of the new Rockler XL Project Mat are the built-in non-textured depressions at the front of the mat that can act as small parts trays for screws or other miscellaneous parts.
While the interlocking sides are not guaranteed to be "leak-proof" they should stop thick liquids like wood glue from getting through. If you are really concerned about liquids and you don't mind a permanent solution, you could always use silicone caulking to seal up the joints.
You can pick up the Rockler Silicone Project Mat XL in stores or online for around $40 or you can get a two pack for under $70. - Rockler
Now if only they would come out with it in black.