During the last 20 years, I’ve experimented with a lot of alternative (or odd) materials to build workbenches. Most worked fine. I think the raw materials are less important than their dimensions and the bench’s design.
Megan Fitzpatrick and I encountered laminated veneer lumber (in the video I erroneously call it LVL) used as a worksurface at a noodle restaurant near the Popular Woodworking offices. Of course, I’d seen LVL before in commercial construction. But the person who made these tables had cut slices of the stuff, rotated them 90° and glued them together. Basically, they had created a surface composed entirely of the edges of plywood.
So I helped Megan build a workbench using the stuff. It was featured on the cover of the November 2009 issue.
The benchtop has held up great during the last 11 years. It’s still as flat as the day we finished it. And it takes a beating, despite the fact that it’s only 2-1/2” thick. I wish we had time to rebuild the base. The video discusses the other modifications we’ve made to it over the years.
Some of the items shown in the video (these are not affiliate links)
- Gramercy holdfasts
- Lee Valley Quick-release Steel Vise (7” model)
- Veritas Quick-release Sliding Tail Vise
— Christopher Schwarz