Workbench Top Questions

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by ChipByrd posted 01-10-2014 04:35 AM 919 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ChipByrd's profile


146 posts in 1955 days

01-10-2014 04:35 AM

Hello All,

I am building my first workbench.  Next week I hope to begin gluing up my top.  I have SYP cut and sticked in my garage.  After I joint and plane it the final dimensions will be about 1 3/8” x 3 3/4” x 59”.  I have a couple questions and was hoping to tap into the experience of those on the site:

First – I was thinking of gluing up the boards in three groups of seven.  Is that too many?  

Second – Immediately after jointing and planing, and just prior to the glue up, I read it is a good idea to wipe down SYP with acetone.  Do you simply wipe the acetone on and then wipe it off?  Can I glue right after this step?

Thanks for the help,

5 replies so far

View shampeon's profile


1775 posts in 2211 days

#1 posted 01-10-2014 05:43 PM

3 groups of 7 doesn’t sound like too many to me. You’ll want a lot of clamps, a relatively flat place to work, and an extra set of hands doesn’t hurt either. Pro tip: make sure you do a test run putting the boards together and clamped without glue to get the procedure down. Pro tip #2: make sure you arrange the boards so the grain is going the same direction; this makes flattening the top a ton easier.

As for acetone, I don’t think it’s necessary. I’ve used this trick on particularly oily woods like cocobolo and rosewood, but SYP shouldn’t cause any issues with glue adhesion I wouldn’t think. If you’re dead set, acetone flashes off so fast there’s no need to wipe it off.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View jdh122's profile


1018 posts in 2845 days

#2 posted 01-10-2014 06:01 PM

Three groups of 7 will certainly work fine. I it were me I’d probably do it in four pieces and plan it so that I could fit the two halves through my 13-inch thickness planer after the 2nd round of glueing and before the final glue-up. But with 21 pieces at 1 3/8 that won’t work anyway. Are you sure you need those extra 2.5 inches or so? 29 inches may be wider than you need.

I’ve glued SYP quite a few times (yellow glue, no acetone) with no problems.

Good luck – you’re going to love having a real bench.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View ChipByrd's profile


146 posts in 1955 days

#3 posted 01-10-2014 10:52 PM

Thanks, this is just the kind of help I was looking for.

View JayT's profile


5679 posts in 2239 days

#4 posted 01-10-2014 11:12 PM

When doing my pine bench last year, I did groups of 6 and wouldn’t have wanted many more. Seven should be doable, especially if you take shampeon’s advice about doing a test run and having your clamps set and ready, though personally, I would do three groups of five and one of six instead.

Don’t know what glue you are planning to use, but something that might help would be to use Titebond III or similar instead of standard yellow glue such as the original Titebond. The extra open time can be invaluable when working with that much surface area.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View ChipByrd's profile


146 posts in 1955 days

#5 posted 01-11-2014 03:10 AM

I will be using Titebond III. And I will be doing a careful dry fit. Again, as a novice I really appreciate the advice.

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