You know the the saying, “Everything old is new again?” As you may or may not know, I have been in the process of building my workbench for over a year now and I have been struggling with the benchtop glue-up as I have fewer clamps than I would like and my boards for the top were slightly bowed. Well, after getting my copy of “Roubo on Furniture” from Lost Art Press a few months ago, something I saw in the plates, specifically plate 18 had my subconscious mind working. Specifically the “straightener” that Roubo talks about for edge gluing boards in figure 19 of that plate.
Suddenly a few weeks ago, It came to me, I could use straighteners to face join my benchtop boards and solve several problems at once. First and foremost, it would solve my clamping issue as 2x4s are cheap and would be sufficient for the task. Second, it will help straighten the bow out of my boards as gravity will do most of the work. Also, as a side benefit the top will be mostly flattened up against the upright boards called “twins” (some flattening work is always needed after glue-up).
I need to slightly modify the design to accommodate the wider face of the boards, so I would need to make wider wedges to ensure pressure is applied to the full width of the boards being clamped. The benchtops I am gluing up are only 11 inches in width so the twins do not need to be very long, in my case I am using 24 inch long boards. I am also going to apply paste wax to the twins inner surface to keep the glue squeeze out from sticking to them.
Below is my test setup with some narrower wedges, but sighting down the boards, they look very straight and no bow at all. I have looked for examples of this procedure for face gluing boards and I could not find any.
Thanks to Andre Roubo and Lost Art Press, I am back in the workbench building business and hopefully in a couple of weeks I will have a fully functional and beautiful workbench (not like the pathetic one seen in the background).