My LVL Gallery Bench

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Project by doorslammer posted 11-01-2010 01:45 AM 4245 views 9 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been spending some time lately over at Chris Schwarz’s Popular Woodworking Blog and was inspired by a couple things I saw. Much of Chris’s content is centered around the Roubo workbench and in particular the dovetailed tennon that attaches the top to the base. This was the first thing that caught my interest. I knew I wanted to try to incorporate this joint in one of my projects. The other posts that attracted me were the ones dedicated to Megan Fitzpatrick’s LVL workbench. Coincidentally, I had a large piece of a 12 inch LVL beam left over from the construction of our house. I came up with this small hall bench to incorporate the two themes.

I think the edge grain laminations look really cool, but I veneered some walnut on the face surfaces to cover up the ugly pine cathedrals. The LVL was surprisingly easy to work with the saws, jointer, and planer, but cleaning the mortises for the Roubo joint was murder on my chisels. I had to re-hone twice just to finish. Overall the design was rather simple, but I think it turned out well and I got the urge to try this joint out of my system!

-- Aaron in TN -

10 comments so far

View jjagerson's profile


42 posts in 3000 days

#1 posted 11-01-2010 01:51 AM

Wow this is really great. I read that same article last year and actually built a work bench based on the same design. The edges of LVL, plywood or even OSB (gasp) is very visually interesting to me. I was really struck by how beautiful your bench is and how the edge pattern just highlights the joinery nicely. Great work!!!

As a side note, I built a stand in my workshop out of laminated OSB that is kind of based on the same concepts as the LVL bench. The joinery was half-lap joints but the clean up was murder on my chisels as well.

View bigfish_95008's profile


250 posts in 3126 days

#2 posted 11-01-2010 02:03 AM

What a great combination of woods. Love the Walnut it really set of the LVL. And it would make great scaffold when the need arises. LOL

-- bigfish "I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it." Vincent Van Gogh

View Woodwrecker's profile


4153 posts in 3598 days

#3 posted 11-01-2010 02:54 AM

Really nice job on that bench Aaron.
I would like to try that joint on a project and I hope I can do it as nice as you have.
Thanks for sharing.

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View Skylark53's profile


2671 posts in 3082 days

#4 posted 11-01-2010 05:29 AM

This is really good work. Using the left over LVL so creatively must be especially satisfying for you.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View kw193's profile


48 posts in 2837 days

#5 posted 11-01-2010 07:03 AM

That is neat looking . Love the joinery- that is some craftsmanship. Nice job!

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4269 days

#6 posted 11-01-2010 02:35 PM


-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2905 days

#7 posted 11-05-2010 05:10 AM

beautiful bench!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View ~Julie~'s profile


607 posts in 3057 days

#8 posted 11-05-2010 06:50 PM

Looks good enough to scribble on! Just kidding… very original.

I’m curious…
Does the bottom of the leg ride along the floor?
If so, is it easy to balance and level it so it sits straight?
Just wondering because I have read that a 3-legged stool or table is the easiest to get to sit flush with the floor and your design seems (if the leg rides on the floor) that it would be difficult to level.
(I struggled with getting my four legged log table to sit properly)

-- ~Julie~

View doorslammer's profile


108 posts in 3591 days

#9 posted 11-06-2010 03:46 PM

Julie, yes the bottom of the leg is just flat and sits on the floor. I suppose it depends on how level the floor is that it is going on. Right now I haven’t noticed and issue. I guess I could always add some felt bumpers to the bottom to give it four distinct contact points.

-- Aaron in TN -

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 2853 days

#10 posted 11-06-2010 03:57 PM

And to think of all the LVL and Paralam scraps I have thrown in dumpsters over the years on my sites. Your bench looks fantastic. The walnut accents really set it off. I’m sure it could hold up a tank.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

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