Bench top quest.

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by Mark posted 09-24-2013 02:50 PM 1070 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mark's profile


973 posts in 2180 days

09-24-2013 02:50 PM

Morning all. I’m going to make a bench for my lathe using 2×4 cut down to 44”. I would like to laminate the 2×4 the flat (glued and screwed) after I square up the edges. Should I be concerned about wood movement? I built my work bench with 2×4 but I built it with the 2×4 on edge.

Thanks for your help.

-- Mark

6 replies so far

View brtech's profile


1052 posts in 3128 days

#1 posted 09-24-2013 03:29 PM

Yes, of course. The width of the wood (3 1/2) will change with humidity relative to, say, the length of a stretcher on the base of the bench. So, use lag screws to hold the top to the base, tie one side down (maybe the side that faces you as you work) and put an elongated hole in the stretcher on the opposite side so the width of the top can change relative to the base.

Matthias measured pine at about 1% shrinkage, so if the drawing is accurate (5 boards at 3.5” each), you have to account for .175” of movement.

View bigblockyeti's profile (online now)


5291 posts in 1927 days

#2 posted 09-24-2013 04:31 PM

I would definitely take wood movement into consideration. On projects such as the one your suggesting I’ve found that if I secure only one of the sides so that it can’t move then leave the opposite side secured (usually with a screw) in a slot to allow the panel to expand and contract with changes in humidity. The same would be done in the middle, but with the slot only needing to be half the width.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View shipwright's profile (online now)


8166 posts in 3004 days

#3 posted 09-24-2013 09:42 PM

Why not plywood ???

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3854 days

#4 posted 09-24-2013 09:54 PM

yes you will need to plan for movement – but not in regard to the top glue-up – in that it won’t matter as all the parts will move in the same direction. where you need to account for this is where you connect the top to the base/legs. you will need to either use figure-8 or similar hardware to attach the top, or only screw it to the front of the base leaving the back the ability to move with seasonal changes.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19018 posts in 2773 days

#5 posted 09-24-2013 09:59 PM

No, you shouldn’t be concerned. You should however allow for it.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Mark's profile


973 posts in 2180 days

#6 posted 09-24-2013 11:04 PM

Thanks for all the advice gents. I’m thinkin’ I’ll build it like the work bench with the 2×4 on edge.

-- Mark

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics