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Roubo-ish Workbench Build

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Blog series by BikerDad updated 03-08-2016 07:09 PM 14 parts 23118 reads 18 comments total

Part 1: Catching up, or "where we're at now."

09-11-2014 06:47 AM by BikerDad | 1 comment »

Yes, another workbench build blog series. Not exactly a novel topic, and I will strive to keep the series to less than novel length as well. Of course, given how long this build has been simmering, if I posted on it once a week, it would be closing on Russian novel length. So, some quick background. I’ve been working wood for about 15 years now, not that my output would give much hint of that. Still, I have graduated from using a Black & Decker Workmate (a wondrous, underrate...

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Part 2: Gorilla Glue, or more accurately, grrrrrrrrrrrr glue.

09-15-2014 08:45 AM by BikerDad | 2 comments »

Today, I spent some more time working on the timbers for the top. The top will be about 27” wide, laminated from 18 segments of 8/4 hard maple. Actually, its going to be more than 18, because I only was able to get 14 width pieces (@ 5” wide) from my stock, and I’m gluing the remaining four segments up from the ripping leftovers from the 14. That means one 3 piece glue up, and 3 2 piece glue ups. I got through all three of the two piece glue-ups today, the first two I d...

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Part 3: Bump in the build, or how a crappy mobile base can bring an Italian Stallion to a halt...

09-20-2014 08:53 AM by BikerDad | 1 comment »

So, I’ve managed to get everything face jointed and the first of the big lamination done. I’ve decided I’m going to go with 8 segments in each half, at least for the moment. The first big lamination was 4 segments, and I had intended to do 3 more 4 segment laminations. That plan has changed though, for two reasons. First, getting all four segments to align turned out to be more trouble than expected. Second, too messy. I’m going to do them in pairs, then glue the...

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Part 4: Hangin' with Uncle Max

09-21-2014 06:28 AM by BikerDad | 0 comments »

Today was a semi-productive day. I got two 2 timber segments glued up, and got Uncle Max off/out of the crappy mobile base. That took a bit longer than I expected, as I had to go forth and get some more hardware for the task. The trip forth ended up including dinner, and a stop at Lowe’s for some other hardware for the base, which I ended up not getting as a different approach came to mind. Pictured below is the tool I used for moving Uncle Max off the lousy base. It is heavily s...

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Part 5: Where's the onion dip, I've got bags and bags of chips...

10-13-2014 04:36 AM by BikerDad | 0 comments »

I’mmmmmm back! I kinda got derailed over the last two weeks. Between trouble with trying to get a mobile base built for Uncle Max (my jointer/planer), job search & interviews, and wasting time, I didn’t get much accomplished until last night, when I glued up two more pairs of timbers. Today, I got down to some serious milling. 1 1/2 bags of chips later, I’m ready for the final glue ups for the slabs. Well, milling wise I am. I’ve still got to lop some length ...

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Part 6: Working on some Popeye arms here...

10-20-2014 02:19 AM by BikerDad | 3 comments »

So, the pictures above are the two slabs. The larger slab is at the back, on edge. It will be the front slab, and is actually still going to get two more timbers added to it, a dog strip and the face strip. The slab in the clamps is the back slab. Rather than going with a “normal” split top design, this one is using asymmetrical slabs. The front slab is going to be about 16” wide, while the rear slab is a bit over 11” wide. Both slabs are out of their c...

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Part 7: New Year, same old slow...

01-13-2015 09:00 AM by BikerDad | 0 comments »

So it seems like it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted. I have gotten some more progress on the bench, but not nearly as much as I’d like, nor nearly as much as I’ve had the opportunity to accomplish. I got the slabs out of the clamps, and finished flattening the bottoms using my existing arsenal. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, my sons were all here, so I found a cabinet shop that would run my slabs through a drum sander. We loaded the slabs into my truck and...

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Part 8: Prepping for Takeoff

03-10-2015 05:30 AM by BikerDad | 2 comments »

More progress has been slowly taking place on my Roubo. Because the endcap tenon was just a bit long, and my pattern bit was maxed out for depth, I went to town chopping the mortise a bit deeper by hand. It looks ugly, but it’s the bottom of a mortise, which is now deep enough. The next step was to drill the holes for the barrel nuts and bolts for attaching the endcap. So, I read the instructions, and based on them I find that, oh noes, I don’t have a 1” Forstner bit. ...

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Part 9: Slabbin' like bacon!

04-16-2015 05:36 AM by BikerDad | 0 comments »

Almost finished with the front slab. Cut the sockets for the Condor Tails, let’s just say that Jameel’s instructions, while excellent, aren’t quite as easy to pull off as one would think. Also, when test fitting Condor Tails, it’s a good idea to use more than simply press fitting by hand. I ended up cutting the sockets too deep, which I discovered when I was fitting them and knocked the joint together. “Hey, why did the tails go in so far??” Fortunatel...

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Part 10: Wow, it's been a long time, back to it....

10-28-2015 07:20 PM by BikerDad | 0 comments »

Summer and motorcycles seem to have interrupted my bench build for far longer than I thought. Six!!! months. Wow. I did get the dog block fitted and installed before getting distracted. All that’s left to do on the top is cut the mortises for the legs, drill the dog holes, (yes, round pooches for me), rout the mortise for the sliding deadman, and cut the tops to final length. ALL of those depend on the location of the legs, which depends on the final length of the base, which won...

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Part 11: Fat tenons and some pics...

11-02-2015 07:18 PM by BikerDad | 1 comment »

Spent a bit of the weekend doing some tenons. Fat, long tenons. Completely by hand. Not because I had some burning desire to do them by hand, but because I’m not confident in any setup I could jury rig for putting tenons on the ends of 5’ 5 1/4” timbers. I’ve gotten 3 of the 4 tenons done. The two completed on the back rail are 2” long, 1” thick and about 3 1/2” wide. The front rail tenons are only 3/4” long, but about 2 1/2” thick b...

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Part 12: It's starting to look a lot like bench time...

11-16-2015 05:10 AM by BikerDad | 2 comments »

This weekend I finished up cutting the tenons (80% by hand) for the base, fitted them into the legs. Router planes ROCK!!!! I also drilled the long stretchers for the bench bolts and smooth planed all the legs. That was a lot of work! Today, I mixed up some epoxy and put the ends of the base together. A pic of the ends cooking in the dining room is below. After taking them out of the clamp, I cleaned up the squeeze out, moved the top slabs onto my existing bench. I’ve got t...

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Part 13: March of the Dogholes....

12-07-2015 04:54 AM by BikerDad | 2 comments »

So, I’m closing in on the finish line. Since my last blog entry, I’ve made the mortises in the top for the legs, and lo yea verily, it took just a couple swipes with my new LN Rabbet Block plane to get the beastly top segments to drop right on the tenons. After that, I took a break over Thanksgiving and didn’t get back to working on the bench until this weekend. So this weekend, my first task was to cut to the slabs to final length. This simply wasn’t going to ...

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Part 14: Done!! Mostly.

03-08-2016 07:09 PM by BikerDad | 4 comments »

So, I haven’t updated since December. I spent most of the holidays driving all around the Western US, and didn’t get any work done on the bench. December starts “gift season”, which doesn’t end until early March, so most of my shop time went to turning gifts, but I did get the deadman runner and deadman made in January, followed up with some benchdogs in early February. In late February I started on the filler strips for the gap, and this past weekend I drille...

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