LumberJocks

Roubo Schmoobo- A hybrid approach to that massive dovetailed bench #3: Stretchers, Vises, Finishing up

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by BigRedKnothead posted 552 days ago 2903 reads 4 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: How about them dovetailed legs. Part 3 of Roubo Schmoobo- A hybrid approach to that massive dovetailed bench series no next part

The difficult dovetails done. But it was far from complete. On to the stretchers:

I hogged out most of the mortise with a forstner bit. Then cleaned em up with my mortising machine. That machine is just too slick not to take advantage of.

The stretchers are a piece of 8/4, and a piece of 4/4 oak laminated. The front stretch has that peak angle designed to be the runner for the deadman. Unlike other designs, I made small cheeks on my tenon. No other reason than I belive this to be a big factor in the strength of the joint. Check out my neighbors sweet Napoleon Dynamite snow boots.

I admit, I didn’t drawbore the legs. I glued and pinned them. I don’t think there is any way this joint will loosen. i’ll let you know if it does in the next hundred years;-)

Now we’re getting somewhere. I made my retired neighbor sign a waiver before he helped me turn it over.

Next I had fun one afternoon making the leg vice and deadman. The were made from two of the better looking walnut shorts I had. Here’s roughed out after the bandsaw.


Then I played with planes and scrapers for awhile. I had this design in my mind before I even started the bench. This chunk has some burls toward the top which made it interesting. Little danish oil and we’re lookin about right.

NOW…..Breadboard Ends:

I use breadboard ends all the time in my furniture. I took a couple extra shots of my method because I realize not everybody realizes there is funtion behind the design. Meaning, one has to leave room for the wood to expand our it could blow out.
I do the bulk of the work with a router, and tune the joint with hand tools. That being said, I’ve never done this joint on a 4” thick top. I admit, it was a bear. Here’s the first step. Well let me back up. I did the bottom rabbet before I turn the bench over. Always thinkin.

Then I attached two scraps to true up the tongue with a pattern bit.

The end cap is made with a dado blade. Then I use my rabbet plane to get the right fit. I drill the holes on the end cap on the drill press. Fit it, then use a brad point bit to mark the holes on the tongue. Notice only the center hole is the same hole. The others have 2 holes drilled side by side. Then cleaned up with a chisel or round file. Now, when pegged, the top will be able to expand and contract.

Fit the pegs as needed. Block plane and was can help. Only put a little glue towards the top of the peg.

Here’s shovel, can ya’ll dig it?

Robbed the vise off of my old bench for my end vise.

Similar breadboard thing. But I beefed up this end.

Next I busted out the stanley 8c and flattened this bugger. I also have a veritas low angle jointer. For some reason, it caused worse tear out on oak. I even honed it at a different angle. I want my money back;-P Got the rest of my life to get better at it I guess.

Marked and drilled some dog holes. I’ve always be decent at drilling straight free hand. A long bit helps you eye it.

I knew there was a chance my gramercy hold downs wouldn’t work well on a 4” top. I was right. So I took a stepped bit, or unibit, and reemed my dog holes from the underside of the bench. This took care of the problem.

Next a planing stop done like our forefathers did.


The stop rod for my leg vise (to keep it from racking) is made from a landscaping nail. Thrifty.

Lastly, some oak boards for my lower shelf. I was diggin the two vise setup already. Another coat of danish oil and good German beer later, I have a bench. Final pics can bee seen on my project page.

I almost couldn’t believe I had done it. My old bench, now just a sharpening station in the background, shows how far I’ve come in 5 years. I’ll close this blog with something I posted elsewhere on this site:

“I will forever encourage people to build their own bench. It’s such a great opportunity to practice your skills while being easy on yourself because… it is just a bench. My first was Schwartz’s $175 bench and I used the tar out it. Just today it got demoted for my new roubo, but I’ll keep it. Build one. Not up to your standards, sell it, and build another. That’s how we improve, by just doing it.”

Questions, comments welcome. Really only started this blog because a few guys asked how I was doing that darn dovetail joint. But I’m glad I did.

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



11 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2285 days


#1 posted 552 days ago

very nice build.

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

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6811 posts in 1788 days


#2 posted 552 days ago

Great attention to detail man. I really like the unique shape you put on the chop.

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

View grfrazee's profile

grfrazee

325 posts in 776 days


#3 posted 552 days ago

That bit you did with straightening the breadboard tongue with a pattern bit is very ingenious. I wish I had read this entry before taking on the breadboards on my bench – it would have been a bit easier.

Did you do anything special to the planing stop to keep it in its hole or is it just friction-fit?

-- -=Pride is not a sin=-

View papargbear's profile

papargbear

74 posts in 2258 days


#4 posted 551 days ago

Great job!

View MaroonGoon's profile

MaroonGoon

280 posts in 595 days


#5 posted 551 days ago

This is a great write up, Dan. I wish everyone would write a good article explaining their design thinking and construction process for every project that they do. It’s a great way to spread the knowledge whether you are the teacher or the learner. In architecture school, I would always have to explain my design intentions and how my project came to completion during my critiques so I guess they just ingrained the habit into my being :P Again, I’m very impressed!

-- "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." -- Pablo Picasso

View BigRedKnothead's profile

BigRedKnothead

4792 posts in 619 days


#6 posted 551 days ago

Thanks guys. Seems like I crammed a lot in this last entry without a ton of detail. Part of me cringes to sit down and do the blog because its time-consuming (I’d rather be in my shop hehe). But I know how much I’ve learned from other folks taking the time, and I just hope ya’ll can gain a little from what experience I do have. Also, having a smartprhone with a camera in my pocket makes it pretty easy to snap photos of progress.

grfrazee- My 2” pattern bit was barely able to reach thick top. Of course, if the tongue is much over 1/4”, your gonna want to do it in multiple passes. I even done this by starting with the scrap oversized and then ripping it down some.
The planing stop is just friction fit. Whenever I chop a mortise by hand. it always ends up wider in the bottom. I ripped it oversized, then jack-planed it til it was snug. Works fine so far.

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

View Xyloid_Curt's profile

Xyloid_Curt

108 posts in 723 days


#7 posted 551 days ago

Thanks for posting this, it is nice to see the construction process.

-- Xyloid Curt www.etsy.com/shop/xyloidcreations

View sb194's profile

sb194

176 posts in 1655 days


#8 posted 550 days ago

That is a damn nice bench. Something to be proud of. It will last a long time and can be passed down to the next generation.

Sean

View Gibney's profile

Gibney

8 posts in 580 days


#9 posted 434 days ago

Do you have any pictures of how you buried your end-vise into the end cap? I’m working the same design – and think the breadboard end with pegs will work great, but am not sure what do to with the endcap and vise (a 7” rockler, but looks like the same basic design as yours.)

thank you

View Buckethead's profile

Buckethead

1920 posts in 505 days


#10 posted 434 days ago

Beautiful bench! How many board feet do you estimate are in the bench top?

-- Bucket, any person that spends 10k on a bicycle is guaranteed to be a $@I almost started to like you. -bhog

View BigRedKnothead's profile

BigRedKnothead

4792 posts in 619 days


#11 posted 432 days ago

Buckethead- there are 14 literal 2×4x8 footers. If my math is right, it’s about 75 board foot dressed. Probably 100 ft rough.

Gibney- I beef up that end a little. Maybe these pics will help


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

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase