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Megan Fitzpatrick’s new workbench is on the cover of the November 2009 issue of Popular Woodworking, which will be mailing to subscribers soon (I don’t want to be more specific than that). Of course, having a woman woodworker on the cover threw some people in our publishing organization for a loop.

“What? Where’s the middle-aged balding guy in a flannel shirt? You’re putting a woman on the cover in a down economy? Are you a mole for Fine Woodworking?”

Don’t worry. There are tons of middle-age guys featured on the inside of the magazine. I know that’s the real reason you buy woodworking magazines.

OK, back on track here. We’ve just posted a video tour of Megan’s new workbench, which is made from laminated veneer lumber (LVL). We’re teasing her mercilessly about it. Be sure to count the number of times she flips her hair. And be sure to wait for the satanic cackle at the end.

And please buy the issue!

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Showing 33 comments
  • Christopher Schwarz

    Actually, LVL is more expensive that yellow pine. However, it is more widely available and is more stable to work with.

    And I’ve wondered if it is more dimensionally stable in the long run as well.

    It’s simple to dimension/flatten it with regular tools. People get worked up about it, but posh posh…


  • John

    Chris, I like the idea of being able to knockdown the bench for moving etc., however, lvl? I would venture that SYP can’t be that much more expensive to build this bench out of over lvl, so the question would be why? What benefit is gained using the lvl? Or was it just a test to see if it could be done and how it would perform? Will you end up using a belt sander to level it? ;P

  • megan

    I’m not sure what it weighs, but Chris and I can pick up the top together (he’s doesn’t break a sweat, I struggle a bit); the base is actually fairly light – I’d guess about 60 pounds. When the top and base are together, however, they’re heavy enough that the bench doesn’t move while planing or anything. Bottom line – it weighs less than the Roubo or Bob’s 21st-century bench, but it weighs plenty.

  • Chester Field

    Hello: I was wondering what this table weighs. Chris? Megan?

  • Thomas Hanson

    Sandals ? !

  • thomintejas

    Meg – – I know you are happy to put away those high platform "planing shoes" – but you better get some WORK SHOES if you are in the shoppe.

    There are photos available as to what happens to a toe when it catches a chisel on the way down!!

  • Alex Acle

    Dear Sirs,
    Being an ardent admirer of PW mag and having purchased many of the DVD’s from PW in the past (and generally finding them to be very good to excellent), I must say that I was very disappointed with "Turning Basics". This was an amateurish production that did not even "master basics", much less go "beyond" as pitched. It was tedious and painful to watch the sloppy lathe work. I found myself hoping the torture would soon end. I do not intend to be mean nor harsh, but PW cannot maintain the excellent reputation it is earning by selling items of low quality such as this. You should remove it from sale.
    Alex Acle
    Benton, PA

  • Mike Z

    I’m delighted to see a woman involved in woodworking. The workbench she has built is fabulous and I’d love to have one so nice.

    Congratulations to Megan (for building the bench and showing it to us) and to Woodworking (for being open minded and not worrying about gender here).

    It’s interesting that many posters have ignored the gender issue and worried about minor technical details. That says that we’ve all arrived into the ’00’s.

  • Paul Lapczynski

    Where do you buy LVL from?

    How does the cost compare to a traditional top?

  • Greg Peel

    Thinking of buying the issue. What does the centerfold look like?

  • Charles K

    Hmmm, most of the hair flips were a result of Megan turning her head toward the camera, often at an off angle. Mighty considerate of her to keep her hair out of her face for us, CHRIS! Maybe as penance Chris should shave for a year… or until Megan’s (bench) top sags. You go girl!

  • Megan

    My mother reads this blog. All salacious comments will be deleted. Cheers.

  • Chris F

    Looks good.

    I’ll second the comment that the aspect ratio of the video looks messed up. Either it’s squashed vertically or stretched horizontally. I’m using Firefox on linux and using a widescreen monitor–maybe that has something to do with it?

  • Rob Porcaro


    OK, this is just way too easy. So, exercising great restraint, I will say only that the bench looks great and ought to give you many years of good woodworking. Enjoy!

    (To self: quickly, enter the code and exit)

  • Woodworking Hardware

    Great tour and detail!

  • Swanz

    LOL!! during the end of the video again saying to myself that the top looks think for a Reubo. She’s telepathic. hehehe

  • Ron Boe

    Hmmm, appears she has unsafe footwear there. Otherwise; I think you should put her in more video’s. Nice bench. Got me thinking here.

  • megan

    I seem to recall some aphorism about revenge and cold….hmmm…We shall see…
    (the Woobie was funny, though)

  • Michael Stone

    Now Megan won’t have to wear her "adjusting to height" heels while using a bench!


  • Christopher Schwarz

    Megan sold my woobie on eBay. I think we’ve had enough revenge this year. Right Megan?


  • Marco Cecala

    OK Megan, Chris had some fun with you. Now I think it’s about time for a Christopher Schwarz blooper/outtake reel.

  • Narayan


  • Charles Davis

    That bench came together great… I get the sense Megan won some beers by testing the top out? She definitely earned some style points there.

  • Sandy Navas

    I am sorry guys, but I didn’t see anything wrong with the thickness of Megan’s blouse.

  • Dave

    IS the base of the bench "PINK"!

  • Gail

    Megan, you can be sure I will be tuning into your issue to see what revolutionary bench you have made….that’s what I am talking about…

    I wish you continued sucess,

    Hometown Woodworking

  • Rick Harding

    Ah, sorry Chris. I didn’t notice that it screwed in from the top of the bench. Mind is the jorgensen that mounts from underneath so it’s not as easy.

  • Christopher Schwarz


    We don’t know how much we’ll have to flatten the top. That is one of the "big questions."

    We countersunk the hex-head bolts that hold the vise fairly deeply just to be sure. You can always unbolt the vise, flatten the top and then sink the counterbore a little more if need be. Not a big deal.


  • megan

    Tony, Glen just put it together and finished testing it. We’ll have something to say about it very soon.

  • Tony

    Hard to not notice the massive box behind the scenes: Sawstop 10" Professional. What’s the plan with that? A new permanent addition?

  • Steve

    We expect to see some hard data on the stiffness of that top. Get out your feeler gauges and measure the deflection when Megan is standing on it.

    Of course, we’re going to need to know exactly how much Megan weighs, too…

  • Mattias in Durham, NC

    That bench top looks thin but I bet you can park a car on top of it. Pretty neat.

    I was wondering about the L-shaped vise chop (sp?). Does that get in the way? What’s the reason for not doing a filler strip on the bench side, or recessing the vise?

    By the way, there is something going on with the aspect ratio of the video. It’s like it’s vertically compressed. May just be my computer.

  • Rick Harding

    Do you never need to flatten the LVL? One of the things I was worried about was mounting my quick release end vise down a bit so that I have stock above I can flatten, without running into the metal of my end vise.

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