Kyle’s LVL Workbench

Viewer Project - By Kyle
Added on April 20, 2010

LVL stands for laminated veneer lumber. Its a product much like plywood, but the key difference is that the grain of each layer runs in the same direction. Popular Woodworking did a feature on this type of bench and can be seen here. Kyle’s design incorporates a number changes from the Popular Woodworking version. Check it out:

I thought I’d share pictures of my new Workbench and thank Marc again for answering a couple of question about LVL during the process. The bench has been up and running for about a month. I still need to add the sliding deadman after I finish the new shop cabinets.

Details on the form and construction: it is based on the 21st Century Workbench, the LVL Workbench, and the $175 Workbench. It is 6 ft long and 31 inches wide (I know, a little wide for Chris). The base is SYP with half lapped joints that are glued and screwed together. The long stretchers are bolted to the end frames. The top is lag bolted to the base. The removable/reversible tool trays are Baltic birch plywood that is simply glued and screwed together. The two vises (9 1/2 front vise and 7 1/2 tail vise) are Jet quick-release ones that I picked up from Rockler when they were on sale for $50 each. I used pine and MDF inserts to cover the inside jaws. I also anticipate replacing the front vise with a leg vise in the future.

I really enjoyed working with the LVL, it does have a tendency to splinter some though. But it came out much better than I imagined when I first picked up the LVL beams. I had to order them sight unseen. I also agree that movement of the top should be greatly reduced, if not eliminated, based on the properties of LVL–time will tell.

On a personal note, I was one of the winners of the “My Pathetic Workbench” contest. Mine was the lightweight one that was destroyed, with the rest of my shop, by Hurricane Ike. The DVD I received, “The Best of Shop & Workbenches”, has proved invaluable during my shop re-build, as well as Chris’ Workbenches book. And as soon as I complete my shop cabinets, I can get back to building furniture…at least that’s what I tell the wife!

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