Flat grain up for a bench top?

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Blog entry by benchbuilder posted 12-04-2011 10:17 PM 1560 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have read about using yellow pine that is glued face grain to face grain, (stacked one on top of the oter) as 2×12s and using that as a bench top unlike the standard edge grain as the top. This would be used as a split top workbench. What I would like to ask is, how much expansion and contraction would there be if three 2”x 12”x8’ yellow pine board were glued up face to face ( one on top of the other). It may be that cutting each 2×12 into different widths and gluing them back into 2×12s and then gluing these one on top of the other may produce less cupping. But would the srinkage and expanding in thier overall widths still be a concern. This may only matter if an end cap were added. Any thoughts on this???

2 comments so far

View indianawoodbutcher's profile


34 posts in 2745 days

#1 posted 12-05-2011 01:55 AM

Bench Builder,
I made my bench top from standard pine 2×4s that I cut down to about 2 1/2 inches wide. I then glued them on the faces and the bench is 2 1/2 inches thick. built the bench in three sections so after the pieces were glued, I could run them through my planer. After each of the three sections were glued and planed to the same thickness, I used my router to rout a 1/4 in dado on each edge. I then glued all three pieces together with a 1/4 inch spline to hold it all together. After about 1 1/2 years, I am really starting to see the changes in the bench. It is no where flat anymore, and there are a few splits in it. This was my first real attempt at such a large laminating job. It works well for a bench that I don’t care about damaging. Eventually, I will run my belt sander over it again to scrape the high edges down.

View benchbuilder's profile


284 posts in 2506 days

#2 posted 12-05-2011 02:45 AM

indianawoodbutcher, Thanks for your reply, I have used the method as you spoke of and yes it works great, but I am refering to just gluing up 3 2×12s, one on top of the other and using that as one side of the split top workbench. Cutting the 2×12s into narrower sections and gluing it back into a 2×12 and doing this to all 3 2×12s then stack gluing them. Looking for info as to the movment (expandtion and contraction) of this lamination and how it will effect the end caps and skirts.

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