The next step was to glue those three sheets of EconoKore into the shape of the final bench. We decided that polyurethane glue would be our best option for two reasons. The first was the expanding nature of the polyurethane glue would aid in filling the voids of the EconoKore and help to stiffen the glue-up and minimize any flexing. The second reason was the fact that polyurethane glue is activated by moisture and we needed to soften the EconoKore at the curve to try and alleviate any stress, so now, the water that would activate the glue, would also help to soften the curves.
We sprayed all the mating surfaces with water and liberally applied the polyurethane glue. We used a platen and cauls on the top to help distribute the clamping pressure and should have used platens on the sides, but totally forgot during the craziness that was this glue-up, and instead only used the cauls.
I was a bit nervous about whether or not the laminated EconoKore would be stiff enough to support a person's weight, but once we removed clamps and tested the strength of the assembly by sitting on it, our fears were put to rest. Keep in mind, we still needed to add trim to the front and the back and add a shoe rack to the underside, which would increase the rigidity even more, but even without those pieces, the assembly was strong enough to hold 150lbs without flexing.
Now that we have the basic design built, we can move on to the final steps in completing the stylish shoe bench. Next time we will address the final cuts and veneer work we had to do to complete the project.
After getting the fundamental size and shape in place, I cut the uneven sides and bottoms off using our sliding table saw and then glued on a 1″ thick piece of Sapele to protect the EconoCore.
We used an automotive putty to level out some of the depressions that were created during the gluing stage as a result of not using a platen on the sides.
With the bottom trim attached, we milled, glued, and clamped on the side trim. We also laid out the placement of the four shoe rack pieces before we adhered the inner sheet of veneer.
In the last part of this project we handle finishing cuts, veneer work and completion.