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Franklin International stock is not publicly traded , a crying shame ’cause I could use a no-fail get-rich-quick plan. Editor Christopher Schwarz is building another bench; Franklin International makes TiteBond Glue.

In theory, I’m building a bench. When I first began dabbling in woodworking a few years ago, Chris gifted me what I think was his first bench (maybe it was his second; it’s hard to keep them all straight). Since then, I’ve gravitated toward hand tools, but often struggle with workholding on my bench that’s better-suited to power tools. So when he’s not in the middle of a project (and sometimes when he is), I sneak over to Chris’s Roubo where the surface is long and level, and the workholding is easy.

This new bench, which Chris has written about on the Woodworking Magazine blog, is being made from LVL (laminated veneer lumber). Chris has never worked with the product before, and that’s just too much temptation for him to resist. And I’m happy to let him lift, joint and rip these heavy, splintery, 8′-long behemoths , I seriously doubt I could do the work. I’m content to serve as an outfeed table, clamp-getter, glue carrier…¦What I didn’t count on was having to wipe up a gallon of glue from the floor. Seriously. A gallon. After ripping the LVL, we laminated it back together in four-piece chunks with the plies facing up (and down) , in large part because it looks cool that way. Chris poured the glue, and I spread it with a 4″ roller.

Chris admits he’s often been accused of having a glue problem. But in his defense, he says he’s experienced only one de-lamination in all his years of building benches , and that one de-lam was because he was young and foolish…¦and took the poor advice of a more experienced but parsimonious woodworker. So now, he pours on the glue. Lots of glue. You know how when you glue up a panel and you look for tiny beads of squeeze-out along the seam? Apparently, when making a benchtop, what you’re looking for is Angel Falls.

– Megan Fitzpatrick


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Showing 7 comments
  • megan

    Samson,
    I have no idea why the lams didn’t stick to the horses – perhaps because those horses are so covered with glue-resistant gunk after years of abuse and use? We did have a handscrew stick, though, and knocked it off with brute strength. Too much brute strength. The jaws broke in the process.
    Megan

  • Samson

    Megan, plastic sheet or even newspaper spread on the floor under the horses is a good bet to make the clean-up quick and easy. I’m surprised you don’t have packing tape or something on the horses where they contact the glue-up. How did you keep them from becoming part of your bench forever?

  • Dave Anderson NH

    Hi Megan and Chris.

    When I glued up my 8 foot new benchtop last fall I use less than half of the gallon of Titebond Extend and still had plenty oozing out the joints. Extend really helps in allowing you time to spread the glue and it means you use less and have less to clean up. The other half gallon went to a friend who was going to build a new bench too. Personally I prefer using my American Express Platinum or Gold glue spreaders, and if it is a minor job I use one of the Geico or Mastercard glue spreaders I get in the mail.

    Have a great weekend.

    Dave Anderson

  • Herb,

    The reason I use so much glue with workbenches is:

    1. There is so much surface area
    2. I am using yellow pine, which resists the wetting action of the glue because of its resin
    3. Glue is the least expensive part of this project
    4. I never ever will be able to repair a delamination without major headaches.

    On other joints I am far more judicious with glue. But not on big laminations.

    Hope this makes things clear about this aspect of my nuttiness.

    Chris

  • Herb

    It’s funny how pendulum’s swing. Several years ago purist woodworkers were taking serious pot shots at another of woodworking’s gentle giants, Norm Abrams. They were criticizing him for anything they could find. But the one that seemed to hit the most serious cord was the fact that he liberally applied glue in gluing up project pieces. They nearly boiled him in a large tub of yellow glue in the fan mail section of another woodworking magazine. Well if you watch him now you see he applies glue stingingly using a plummer’s fluz brush and quickly uses a wet sponge to whip away any remaining tell tale signs of glue.

    This came to mind as I saw the glue uzzing out of the joints and long stream of drips falling on the workshop floor in this post. Looks like Megan the guys have you doing clean up. Times change but somehow mangae to stay the same!
    Herb

  • Steve

    Megan,

    Is there any woodworking-related "problem" that Chris DOESN’T suffer from?

  • Chris Schwarz

    Megan,

    Actually, you have my third bench.

    And be thankful that you’re not involved in my next bench-building scheme – threaded rod and wood putty.

    Chris

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