The “Gluebo” has been put through its workholding paces lately as I’ve been working on a 33″ x 84-1/2″ screen door for my house. I stayed after work on Friday to rout a 1/2″ x 1/2″ rabbet in which the screen panels will seat, and my bench is plenty long enough to securely clamp the door between the end vise and a bench dog to hold it in place for routing. I did, I admit, have a frisson of trepidation about routing on my new bench before we get to show it off at Woodworking in America next week (routing is not my strong suit; I’m always fearful of tipping the router base and ruining my workpiece, the bench, my hands…¦). But, because the long edges of the door hung off the sides of the bench, I didn’t have too much fear until I got to the ends. But no problem , I just moved slowly and carefully, and all went well.
Also, while I’ve been vocal about wanting to move my bench against a wall (it would be nice to have easily accessible hanging tool storage), it was easy to walk around the bench as I routed; I didn’t have to move the bench, or reposition my work. (Now that I’m done with that though, I’m eyeing a wall space again).
Then, I clamped the screen door into the leg vise with support from the board jack to trim the tenons and wedges flush at the through-mortises. Rock solid.
And as you can see, the large bench also came in handy for painting; I used Painter’s Pyramids to lift the door off the benchtop, and again was able to walk around the entire thing to easily get a coat on. Now it just needs a few more coats of paint to help it defy the elements.
When it came to attaching screen to my mitered frames, I was able to secure the interior of the frame across a bench dog and the adjustable “Wonder Pup” from Veritas, which allowed me to stretch the screen across the frame for stapling, without having to worry about flexing the frame as I pulled the screen snug.
All in all, I have nothing but love for my new LVL bench…¦except that it looks “pink” in a lot of photos. It’s actually a deep brown/red , the color of dried blood (I bloodied my knuckles on the “Pet Screen” , that stuff is seriously tough , and briefly thought about wiping it onto one of the legs. But I opted for a clean shop rag).
The bench will be featured in the November 2009 issue of Popular Woodworking (mailing to subscribers now, and on newsstands the second week of October). You can see a video tour of the bench here. Plus, we’ll be hauling it to Valley Forge for Woodworking in America: Hand Tools and Techniques, Oct 2-4 – and we’ve extended the “Early-Bird Discount through Sept. 27.
– Megan Fitzpatrick
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