I’m tackling the “essential workbench” covered in and article and plans by Lon Schleining, a project that is a bit of a stretch for me given my skill level and, in some cases, my equipment (e.g., I don’t have an 8″ jointer). It calls for hard maple 8/4 plainsawn stock set on edge and laminated face to face to yield a finished slab that is 2 and 1/2″ thick. The article states that the editors thought 2″ would be plenty, and I’m sure that would be the case for my needs. So my questions are:
1. Is there any need to cut the boards lengthwise only to glue them back up again to form a slab the same width as milled boards were in the first place? Could I just take 3 or 4 boards, properly milled, and just glue them together directly? Does cutting them into smaller boards have any inherent advantages with respect to bowing, expansion, or otherwise?
2. If the answer to 1. above is, yes, I should cut each wide board into 3 or 4 narrower ones, is there any particular advantage (strength, aesthetics, etc) to “setting them on edge face to face” as suggested by the author versus just gluing them back up side to side as they were cut (since I would be fine with a 2″ thick slab).
Any thoughts would be kindly appreciated.