Chris Schwarz's Blog

Introducing the 'Gluebo Workbench'

Last week Megan Fitzpatrick and I put the finishing touches on her new workbench, which was built using an ancient French design, 19th-century fasteners and modern materials (laminated veneer lumber).

We are pleased with the result.

The bench’s base and top are made of LVL and can be knocked down in minutes thanks to its nuts-and-bolts fasteners (the leg vise and sliding board jack are maple). The overall workholding and structure of the bench is ideal for anyone who uses hand tools, power tools or both in their work , thanks to Andre Roubo’s 18th-century drawings of workbenches.

Lately as I’ve been sketching workbenches (and I do sketch a good number of them) I’ve been incorporating more dramatic curves into the details. These curves are still based on traditional proportions (arcs, ogees etc.), but I’ve decided I like a good swoop or two on a rectilinear bench. This design is the first one of my curvy benches to see the light of wood.

The complete plans for this workbench will be featured in the November 2009 issue of Popular Woodworking magazine, which will go on sale in early October. We held a little contest for naming the bench, and Megan liked “Gluebo” the best (which was submitted by Joel Moskowitz, who is one clever monkey). And while its name won’t make it on the cover of the magazine (we try not to use made-up words) it’s what we call the bench when we accidentally run into it.

– Christopher Schwarz

15 thoughts on “Introducing the 'Gluebo Workbench'

  1. PAUL

    Mr. S,

    I really would like a close up of the top surface. I have laminated many thin strip stock blanks (as in firearms), but always used butt or scarf joints. Curious to see the steps, or?

    "Make chips not Sparks"

    Pablo

  2. John Rawlings

    Chris,

    Very nice bench. So tell me: the LVL is nice and straight, so you can skip the whole jointing and flattening process you’d ordinarily use on milled lumber, or is it the same? (You’d have true up after glue up of course) Looking forward to the October article.

    JR

  3. Christopher Schwarz

    Dan,

    The bench was a cinch to flatten. It was as easy as flattening any softwood bench. The glue didn’t beat up the A2 blade at all.

    Don’t fear the LVL.

    Chris

  4. Dave Anderson NH

    The bench came out great Chris. I think that I would like to put Megan’s name into nomination for the annual "Tom Sawyer Award". While it isn’t a fence, she certainly made out pretty well. While you might be editor in chief, now we know who really rules the PWW shop.

    Ducking and running.

    Dave

  5. Christopher Schwarz

    Those were the shavings left from flattening the top, actually. I told the staff *not* to sweep the shop after I flattened it.

    Chris

  6. Gye Greene

    Whose job is it to aesthetically sprinkle wood shavings about? (Nicely done, of course…) 🙂

    –GG

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