Gluing Up A Workbench Leg [VIDEO]

by | Jun 4, 2022 | 17 comments

Right then, I finally got round to starting some of these question and answers.

This is a bit of an odd ball, but it’s something that’s asked a lot. I also see this issue happening a lot… sadly.

The problem is delamination.
An issue where a big face to face glue line starts to fail or peel open. I use a workbench leg as an example in this video, as this is where it most commonly happens. And despite making two workbench videos, neither of them required leg glue ups, so I finally found the excuse to go through the process here.
We take a look at how to glue up face to face laminates successfully and make sure that they last.

On a side note, we’re getting ready for a big build launch next week. Hopefully Tuesday, so pop back then for more details. If you want a clue, think Russian doll!

And if you’ve missed it and fancy watching something else right now, then you can find the shooting board build video here.

Or learn how to build the rest of your workbench here!

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About Richard Maguire

About Richard Maguire

As a professional hand tool woodworker, Richard found hand tools to be the far more efficient solution for a one man workshop. Richard runs 'The English Woodworker' as an online resource and video education for those looking for a fuss free approach to building fine furniture by hand. Learn More About Richard & The English Woodworker.


  1. Noah Freeman

    Perfect timing — I’m gluing up workbench legs this weekend!

  2. Mark Shelton

    Thank you for this and all the other videos you do. Very much appreciate you sharing your knowledge with us.

  3. Jim Pape

    Every time I think I’ve learned all I can about a topic, you prove me wrong. Excellent presentation of a seemingly uncomplicated procedure. I loved your explanation of wood movement “the wood grain wants to straighten out”, and the end staple trick is brilliant. Well done Richard!

  4. John

    Great tip on using staples to secure the end grain. Thanks!

  5. David R

    Hi Richard,

    that was an interesting perspective with the plane cam 🙂

    I understand the drawback of one part D4 is that the shelf life is considerable shorter that D3 or two part D4. An alternative to Epoxy to fix a delamination would also be hide glue.
    I think if you enclose the glue patterns, it can happen, that the air cannot escape and you get dry spots. It’s probably not terribly problematic in general.

    Looking forward to seeing your new video series. I always enjoy watching them.


  6. Peter

    Great information, thank you.

  7. Suze

    Thanks for the informative video. So many useful tips.
    Loved the plane cam!
    Still very envious of the beautiful plane shavings. Still haven’t got there yet 😔

  8. Vidar Fagerjord Harboe

    Excellent as always! Great tips and a very useful video.
    The camera on the plane was a real good idea – I want to see what you see. 99.99% of woodworking videos has that «class room view» which is fine, but subtle details is lost. Seeing the shaving develop, told me a lot on its own. That way I know what to look for.

    Once again a masterful video from, in my opinion, the best educator and film editor in woodworking. By far!


    Excellent, as always! Your tip of placing the pieces with their growth rings opposite each other, and the reason to do it makes perfect sense and contradicts the advice of another well-known woodworker. The difference is that you are a professional workbench craftsman and he isn’t. And it shows, not only with this, but with other details like making the boards with a cup and a spring and stapling the ends to keep them from sliding around. It is this level of precision that sets you, as someone who actually earned his living making workbenches, apart from all the others. I do have a couple of questions, as I am about to take a crack at making my own workbench: I understand how to make the cup, but how do I make the spring? Increase the pressure on plane toward the center? Also, I have your video on making the English workbench, and was about to make that, but then saw your intro to the French Roubo workbench. I’ll buy that video too. But I noticed that in all your videos since you made it all those years ago, you are using that French workbench instead of your English bench. Do you now feel that the French bench is the better design? Thank you Richard for your inspirational and next-level woodworking tutelage.

    • Rico

      Nicholas, it was covered in the video. He makes stop passes with the plane, by starting the pass after the start of the board and stopping before the end, only covering, say, 3/4 of the board. I tend to start with a small pass in the centre, and then work my way out, getting longer and longer with each pass and finish with a full length pass or two. It’s not something I do in this application, as I rarely make legs, but I do it quite often when laminating edge of boards so that I need less clamping (clamp in the middle as the edges will always be touching).

  10. Adam

    Hello. So what do you do to hide the seam after gluing the two boards together? Or do you just leave it as is?

  11. Joshua Rosenthal

    Brilliant! Sadly, I’m two thirds of the way thru my workbench and the first thing I had to do was glue up the legs. Time will tell if Inhabe a problem. Be sure to put a link in this to an appropriate spot in the workbench narrative.
    Thanks Richard.

  12. Agnes

    Thanks, that was a very useful video, and right in time, as i need to glue up my aprons (boards are only 3 cm thick).
    I was wondering, instead of using sandpaper, would it work to just wipe the boards of with a damp cloth, since water makes the grain stand up as well? Letting it dry before applying the glue of course.

  13. Peter Johnston

    Packed with useful information thank you. What also I really like is the finesse, although that only could come from years of doing the basics right I assume. Top video.

  14. Max

    Loved to see this new video! The different camera settings were really nice. The plane cam was my favourite:)

  15. Monte Milanuk

    Any idea on whether Titebond glues fall under the D3 or D4 classification?

  16. John Thomas

    Great info. I had no idea that the placement of the grain was that critical. I have been informed 👍


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