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Roubo Schmoobo- A hybrid approach to that massive dovetailed bench #2: How about them dovetailed legs.

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Blog entry by BigRedKnothead posted 561 days ago 2890 reads 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Millin it up, layin it out, gluin it up Part 2 of Roubo Schmoobo- A hybrid approach to that massive dovetailed bench series Part 3: Stretchers, Vises, Finishing up »

“Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.” Besides, I try to challenge myself every project. The dovetails/mortises are time-consuming, but they make the bench.


After milling up the 8/4(2in)walnut, I picked the best looking pieces for the face/dovetails. In a bonehead move, I milled the walnut exactly the width of the dovetail/mortises. I should have made them a little wider to give myself some play when I had to laminate the legs later. They turned out alright though. I did however, leave them long. That way if I messed up a tail, I could just lop it off and try again.
Anyway, scribed and cut the tails on the tablesaw. This was a little tricky. I have a left-tilt saw. I made one cut while the piece was flat, and the other on edge. A sacrificial fence was needed to line up the cut. My home depot hand saws in the background explain why I didn’t attempt this entirely by hand. This pic is right before I had to finish the process with hand saws.


Like any machined tenons, I tried to make them barely oversized. Used a dado blade to take hog off material on backside for thickness. Then the hand tools. Not gonna lie, took a couple of hours with chisel and plane to get that piston fit. One more project where my Lie Nielson Rabbet plane was worth it’s weight in gold. Why don’t I have anything else by LN? Oh right, I’m just a po white boy. A freckled one at that.

With the dovetails done. I laminated two more pieces of 8/4 stock. Dado blade used to juse like any other tenon. However, care taken to line everyting up with dovetail.

To avoid any variances in lining up. I did the last leg lamination with the leg instailled. Worked alright. Masking tape to keep the leg from gluing to the top was a good idea.

Wifey snapped a shot of me truing up the legs with my prized stanley 8c. Would ya look at the size of that gargantuan cranium. It’s like an orange on a toothpick!

Bam! Now we’re getting somewhere. Sidenote: Going with 37” for bench height. I know C. Schwarz is shreeking. But I’m 6’6” with a bad back. I can always trim it down if I don’t like it. Who’s gonna help me turn it over to trim the legs after it’s done? Anyone? Anyone?

Not too bad for my first dovetails. Huge ones at that. It has went as well as I could have hoped. Surely I’m not the first guy to do it this way, but I just pulled from my furniture making experience. I am definitely more experienced with power tools. But the hand tool skills are developing. I have already used planes more on this project than any other. There’s not much fear factor on a bench. Little tearout, woopdeeedooo.

Questions and suggestions welcomed. Heck, make fun of me if you want! I love to laugh.
Happy shavings ya’ll, Dan

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman



10 comments so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9765 posts in 1245 days


#1 posted 561 days ago

Out-friggin-standing! Very cool, from the #8C to the dovetails to the walnut. Congrats, will follow along!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View CL810's profile

CL810

1961 posts in 1615 days


#2 posted 561 days ago

Love the walnut. It’s gonna be a beaut!

-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1346 posts in 810 days


#3 posted 561 days ago

Beautiful. I like the contrast between the legs and top, and I love red oak workbenches.

Are you going to add some stretchers on the legs to prevent racking? Maybe dovetailed stretchers?

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View BigRedKnothead's profile

BigRedKnothead

4700 posts in 609 days


#4 posted 561 days ago

Thanks guys. Starting the stretchers tomorrow. Probably just pegged mortise and tenon. More oak. Still thinking about a sliding dovetail or breadboard for the ends for the top.

Also can’t decide if I should glue the leg to the top. It’s so heavy and tight, there’s no way it would lift. I dunno.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

View Don W's profile

Don W

14842 posts in 1194 days


#5 posted 560 days ago

i guess it’s ok if you like that kind of thing. I meant the perfect dovetails and the tight tenons and all. It doesn’t leave much room for the shims and wood filler though! That would cut out my whole day 2.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2275 days


#6 posted 560 days ago

looks good so far

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Boatman53's profile

Boatman53

836 posts in 823 days


#7 posted 560 days ago

Nice job on those dovetails. And a simpler take on that whole joint. Thanks for taking the time to share it. I’ll look forward to the next installment.
Jim

-- Jim, Long Island, NY Ancorayachtservice.com home of the chain leg vise

View Chris Peroni's profile

Chris Peroni

101 posts in 565 days


#8 posted 559 days ago

looks great and your head is a normal size- no huge pillow needed.

-- Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. -Plato

View BigRedKnothead's profile

BigRedKnothead

4700 posts in 609 days


#9 posted 558 days ago

Ha! Wondering if anyone would catch the “so I married an axe murderer” joke. Classic. Little Ferris Bueller in there too. “Anyone?”

Couldn’t help but joke around to spice up the blog. But I must be stuck on the old movies. Haven’t had cable for years. I’d rather be in my shop anyway.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6799 posts in 1778 days


#10 posted 542 days ago

I see you flexing the guns in front of your lady! LOL. It came out great man. Good work!

Wow, what a great idea on laminating the legs, you saved so much chopping!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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