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    I think this is my first post here but I have been lurking in the back ground for a number of years and putting off the work bench build even longer, however I am now looking to start my work bench over the next week or so but have a few questions that I was hoping some of you guys that have already completed your benches may be able to answer?

    Did you square the timber? I picked the best pieces I could and while they were pretty straight it wasn’t until I got home that I noticed how out of square these lengths are.

    When Paul flattens the top I don’t remember him making the underside parallel to the top side did anyone do this?

    I am sure I will have more questions during this process and appreciate any guidance, thanks.

    Joe Kaiser

    no, I didn’t worry about it. In his YouTube series on building the bench he says something along the lines of:

    Don’t worry about getting all the cup out. Just remove the machine marks. If you can squeeze the top together with your hands it will hold

    Seattle, WA

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 9 months ago by Joe Kaiser.

    Thanks for the reply. That will make the job a little easier.

    I have watched the bench series a number of times and couldn’t remember Paul checking the timber for square or mentioning it.


    Daryl, make yourself some wide winding sticks. These help flatten and square the tops up once you’ve done the glue up.


    David Perrott

    or you can just get aluminum angle iron from a hardware store, as winding sticks. Think I will do that for my next bench.

    Matt McGrane

    I’ve just finished my bench, which I’ll be posting shortly. The 2×4 boards that I bought for mine were quite twisted and I had to try to remove some of the twist. I created many bags of shavings in the process. But like Joe said above, if you can squeeze them together, that’s good enough. I had to use lots of clamps to squeeze it all together.

    Regarding your question about making the bottom parallel to the top, Paul flattens the bottom first, making sure it is dead flat. He later uses a marking gauge to set the overall thickness and flattens the top to that line.

    Good luck.

    Matt, Northern California - Started a blog in 2016:


    Just wanted to say thanks for the replies. I completely forgot about this thread since the work bench build was put on temporary hold.

    I aim to get cracking in the spring when I have more free time.

    Thank you.


    Hey Darryl. Hope you’re enjoying the bench build. I’m in the process of building my second bench. It’s almsot done. As a side note to others comments I would make sure your top material is acclimatized to your shop before gluing up. I didn’t wait long enough on my second bench. The tops after cross cutting have end checked pretty badly.
    The first bench I built I used old 2x material I had for a few years and that top is perfect no checks or cracks after two years. Our weather in Canada has really changed in the past couple weeks too which has made my problem worse.

    Good luck



    Thanks for the heads up cubb.

    I still haven’t found the time to get started as I am busy with school work but hopefully the next week or so I will get a shimmy on and start building the damn thing!

    I delayed the build initially as I subscribed to Richard Maguire’s English Workbench build and wanted to see if I could amalgamate both Paul and Richard’s designs.


    I bought Richard Maguire’s workbench videos too. Personally I find Paul’s design to be superior but Richards videos are good in terms of learning how best to conserve energy and make the building process of your projects very efficient.


    Well I officially started work on the bench today.

    The B&Q timber that has been sitting in my loft for a few months was all kinds of shapes other than straight so I took the opportunity to run the pieces over the surface planer and through the thickness planer at school. As a side note, I am at furniture making school, but I am not very good. I didn’t bother trying to be too accurate and didn’t worry too much about tear out. That’s what the hand plane is for.

    Once I got home I whipped out the Veritas LA Smoother and removed the machine marks and any nastiness around the many knots.

    Once the timber was as clean as it was going to get I orientated each piece so that the best lengths were to the front of the bench top.

    Set clamps to the required sizes and got the glue out.

    With central heating warming the house, the glue grabbed quick and I decided to only glue four of my pieces at a time.

    Tomorrow I will glue the remaining four lengths and hopefully start the flattening at the weekend.

    Size wise this bench will be 1400mm in length. I am around 6’3″ and will start off with a height of around 965mm (38″) and adjust accordingly.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by Darryl.

    Thats some nice clean timber and your glue up looks very good. Doesnt look to need much flattening. Are you using 2″ wide material? So each of your tops are 8″ wide if you’re using 4 lengths?


    Yeah the visible face is pretty clean, the underside is a bit scruffy but I am not too concerned about that.

    I am using 2 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ timber for the top lamination. I am however only having one side. Space is pretty limited at the moment so I am aiming to keep the wish to around 20″.

    I have been thinking about leg options and due to lack of space I keep coming back to a leg vice.

    Anyway that is a way off right now.

    Matt McGrane

    That’s a great start, Darryl. You mentioned above that you’re not too worried about the other side of the top being scruffy. If that side is the bottom, I hope that doesn’t mean you won’t be flattening it. Flattening the bottom is a very important step in bench building.

    I love the “bench” and stop you’re using in the photos to build the new bench. Paul would be proud to see you building this bench without a bench to build it upon. I love how you’re using the door as a planing stop.

    Matt, Northern California - Started a blog in 2016:


    Hi Matt,

    thanks for your comments. I am not too concerned with a scruffy bottom but it will be flat, by scruffy I meant that it is a bit knotty etc.

    My aim is to start flattening the under side of the laminations this weekend. I have now laminated all nine pieces of timber and need to pop to the store to get materials for my leg and apron components.

    Paul’s butt it up to a tree technique wasn’t wasted on me, hopefully I won’t put my plane through the glass!

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