Introducing the 'Gluebo Workbench' - Popular Woodworking Magazine

Introducing the 'Gluebo Workbench'

 In Chris Schwarz Blog, Schwarz on Workbenches, Woodworking Blogs

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

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Showing 15 comments
  • 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"


  • Christopher Schwarz

    Nah. You still have to mill it. It is just stiff and stable.


  • John Rawlings


    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.


  • Christopher Schwarz

    About $200 for the wood. Plus more for the vises.


  • Chris

    Very nice… Can’t wait to read the article.

    What was the estimated cost?

  • Christopher Schwarz


    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.


  • Dan

    Love the bench….love the shavings. How hard was it to work / flatten with hand tools?


  • 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.


  • Gary Roberts

    Despite my internal rumblings regarding LVL (or maybe it was last nights dinner?), ’tis a fine looking bench if every I saw one!


  • Wes

    That is a sharp looking bench.

    It’s on the short list for my Bench project this Fall/Winter.

  • Swanz

    Nice looking bench. I like the milk paint look of the base. Top looks a bit thin from here.

  • 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.


  • Gye Greene

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


  • TS Jones

    I think it is a handsome bench but I must say I would color the bolt heads a dark green.

  • Dan LaJeunesse

    "GLUEBO" – Perfect!

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