Composite Lumber Workbench

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Project by Michael posted 10-26-2010 06:50 PM 4015 views 5 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For those of you not familiar with PSL and LVL its a highly engineered composite thats typically used in the place of steel I beams or other areas in building construction where a high load carrying capacity is needed. Both composites have a higher stress rating than solid sawn lumber. Anyways back to the table, the legs are made of PSL and measure around 3 1/8” x 3.5”. Next the top is LVL and is around 1.75” thick. The bottom cabinet space is made of birch plywood and some cheap (junk) pine plywood for the drawer components. The drawer fronts are old red oak barn boards I found around the farm (yes the off color one is rotted some). The thing is mostly put together using motise and tennon joinery but there are some sliding dovetails and rabbits also. I’ve been using this thing since June so it does look a little worn in the pictures. I topped it off with 4 coats of poly. Feel free to comment!

-- "A woodworking project is either a masterpiece or a POS" Dr. Lang

15 comments so far

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 3591 days

#1 posted 10-26-2010 07:05 PM

Looks awesome. Where/how did you get your LVL and PSL?

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3028 days

#2 posted 10-26-2010 08:36 PM

What a great bench.
It looks really heavy.
What does it weigh, any idea?


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Michael's profile


201 posts in 3169 days

#3 posted 10-26-2010 10:26 PM

I got the LVL and PSL from leftovers from my a friends thesis work. How much does it weigh? Geeze, I’d say around 250. I know you dont want to try to handle it alone!

-- "A woodworking project is either a masterpiece or a POS" Dr. Lang

View JasonD's profile


180 posts in 3033 days

#4 posted 10-26-2010 10:39 PM

Great looking bench.

I do have a question about the finish though. It seems like 4 coats of poly would lead to the top being a bit too slick; making some work holding tasks more difficult.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3458 days

#5 posted 10-26-2010 11:24 PM

Looks like it should stand up to anything

Thanks for showing it to us


View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4195 days

#6 posted 10-26-2010 11:30 PM

How hard is that stuff on your blades & bits?

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View srdesign's profile


7 posts in 2941 days

#7 posted 10-27-2010 01:36 AM

I know you can get LVL from most major building supplie houses like 84 lumber but most home centers do not carry it. Also if you look in at Popular woodworking mag. they just did apeice on an LVL bench. But, I do agree it looks great and I’m sure it will give you years of service nice work.

View Paul2274's profile


330 posts in 3284 days

#8 posted 10-27-2010 02:29 AM

That’s a nice bench! A big heavy monster of a bench too! What a great solid surface to work on.


View Roger's profile


20949 posts in 2975 days

#9 posted 10-27-2010 02:02 PM

this is one awesome, beefy, very versitile workbench. Nice

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3038 days

#10 posted 10-27-2010 02:09 PM

That is a great heavy looking workbench and I wish that I had it in my shop.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View KTMM (Krunkthemadman)'s profile

KTMM (Krunkthemadman)

1055 posts in 3365 days

#11 posted 10-28-2010 06:58 AM

Looks like the vise screws are wood. Is there any specific system or method you used for making them? The bench looks great and ready to work. I really like it.

-- Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Vince Lombardi

View Michael's profile


201 posts in 3169 days

#12 posted 10-28-2010 11:32 PM

LVL isnt bad at all on bits and blades when you knick it. This LVL is made from poplar. It is a slick working surface however I bought a rubber shower rug from walmart to lay on top of it when i need to hold a piece steady for sanding or whatnot, works good for $5. The end vise has a wooden screw, but when i went to make the screw for the shoulder vise my threader broke so I made it from a piece of 1 1/4” all thread.

-- "A woodworking project is either a masterpiece or a POS" Dr. Lang

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3713 days

#13 posted 10-30-2010 01:32 AM

Very cool.

I’d say more of an engineered wood than composite….When I saw the title, I was thinking of something like composite decking material… Very different stuff.

-- Childress Woodworks

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3844 days

#14 posted 10-30-2010 01:35 AM

Nice looking workbench.

View edm14's profile


13 posts in 2825 days

#15 posted 02-21-2011 04:16 PM

Awesome, If I can locate some of the material I think I should make one for my shop.


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