Plywood Workbench: Episode 4

Plywood Workbench Keyframe Episode 4

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The leg frame joinery is a very precise fit and things can go wrong if you are not experienced with how to deal with what we call glue freeze. One of Paul’s leg frames starts to stick but Paul explains throughout the glue up exactly how he deals with stubborn assemblies for a successful outcome. Paul deals with accurate alignment and cutting of the inner apron pieces including the wedges. His unique wedging method guarantees perfect alignment of the leg frames to the aprons while at the same time allow the leg frames to be detached for moving etc.


  1. Julio T. on 22 March 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Hmmm… when I watched your first video series about making a workbench (the one filmed on your garden) I ended making a workbench. This plywood bench is very gorgeous. I don’t have free space for a new one, but perhaps tumbling down a wall in the house…

    Very interesting and instructive, as always. Thank you very much.

  2. Martyn Fryer on 22 March 2019 at 1:30 pm

    I can’t make out whether it is retirement or watching your videos that makes me feel so relaxed ! A truly inspirational series.

    Is it too late to take up an apprenticeship at 58 years young ??

    I’m just going to the bottom of the garden to measure out a workshop!

    Thank you.

    • Gregory Dent on 5 April 2019 at 5:08 pm

      I know right. He is just so relaxing to listen too. His soft voice kind demeanor I cant move after one video. LOL

  3. Gary Mercer on 22 March 2019 at 1:33 pm

    I am really enjoying watching this series. You never get stressed.

  4. Eddie Sewell on 22 March 2019 at 2:56 pm

    As always Paul, your such a great teacher.

  5. Jeremy Smith on 22 March 2019 at 6:59 pm

    Man oh man. I would’ve been sweating and needing a glucose infusion by the end.

  6. Berry Kercheval on 22 March 2019 at 8:07 pm

    I like how it’s all coming together.

    Would it make sense to lay out the apron pieces BEFORE gluing up the legs, so you only have to manoeuvre a single leg instead of the whole subassembly?

    • Benoît Van Noten on 23 March 2019 at 9:03 am

      good idea.
      I see no drawback. Even if you plane/clean the leg after, the wedge will compensate any reduction in leg width.

  7. ted clawton on 23 March 2019 at 3:45 am

    First time I’ve seen the dreaded glue freeze in one of Paul’s videos, though I’ve heard him warn of it many times.

    Out of curiosity, and as a matter of tempering expectations, about how long did it take to set those glue-frozen rails?

    Thank you

  8. c fenton on 23 March 2019 at 4:16 am

    First, I am very much enjoying this build (as well as all of your other videos) and want to first
    thank you for sharing your skill and vision with us. Second, in am currently building the solid wood version of this bench and am at the same point of preparing the apron for the legs. Since I don’t need the the ability to disassemble the bench, would I lose any structural integrity to subtract the wedges and glue and screw the legs into the dados cut to fit the legs only? I of course will still glue the skirt to the top. Thanks

    • Benoît Van Noten on 23 March 2019 at 9:03 am

      The advantages of the wedge are:
      – it will compensate any leg shrinkage;
      – you would have no racking even if your dado was not snug fit.

      Screw holes risk ovalisation with time, with subsequent racking.

      • c fenton on 23 March 2019 at 10:48 am

        That makes sense. I hadn’t considered shrinkage. Just a noob trying to be too clever for his own good I suppose 🙂

  9. Shawn Geraghty on 23 March 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Really enjoying this series. I am replacing old crooked tables in my shop with plywood cabinets. But I’m incorporating many of this bench’s design elements into the cabinets. I have one cabinet built, 3 more to go. Then I plan to do this bench. Thanks so much for this build!

  10. Noel Castles on 23 March 2019 at 10:07 pm

    Just 3 words: Awe-inspiring (4 if you include a hyphenated word as 2 words), relaxing inspirational

  11. Afzul Ali on 26 March 2019 at 3:30 pm

    Brilliant as ever thank you can’t wait to see more

  12. don glick on 2 April 2019 at 5:37 pm

    This is a wonderful project presented by an excellent teacher. How soon until you upload Episode 5?

    • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 3 April 2019 at 8:37 am

      Hi Don,

      Plywood Workbench Episode 5 is due to be released on Friday (5th April).

      Kind Regards,

  13. don glick on 3 April 2019 at 8:41 pm

    So far the build has gone without a hitch. But now I’m a little puzzled regarding the placement of the runner. From the endview in the plan it looks as though the top board of the bearer is slotted to allow the insertion of the end of the runner. Is that correct? Thanks for your help.

    • Simon Jones on 4 April 2019 at 10:09 am


      Im at the same point is the build as you its seems

      I suspect the runner, as you suggest is slotted into the bearers because the drawing shows it as the same height as the top of the bearer. Its the only thing that would make sense to me, but looks like episode 5 is out tomorrow and hopefully all will be revealed ready to carry on at the weekend


    • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 4 April 2019 at 12:20 pm

      Hi Don,

      Paul says:
      All the runners are separate, so you have two end pieces and then one long one in between.

      Kind Regards,

  14. Kevin Dowd on 5 April 2019 at 5:07 pm

    The dreaded glue freeze!
    Paul… I really appreciate Your calm.
    Your example is that of Calm Thought when issues come up…
    Just like the tenon that was damaged durning assembly… Nothing being thrown across the shop… just simply picking up a chisel and cutting off the broken part… I suspect even if it was damaged beyond repair, You would have simply said “Oops! Ok… We’ll redo that!”

    Your attitude is calm which allows clear thinking… and this is what you teach, this is your example!
    The mark of a true Master / Teacher!

    Oh by the way… Your April Fools Post was truly unbearable… I was ready to throw my computer out the window!
    Yes… I did have a good laugh! 😂

    Be Well Paul Sellers… 🙏🏻

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