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Dan's Blackbutt Roubo Bench

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Blog series by DoctorDan updated 07-01-2010 10:22 AM 20 parts 38490 reads 71 comments total

Part 1: The Beginning

02-25-2010 11:57 PM by DoctorDan | 3 comments »

Have you ever started a project, given yourself a budget and a time frame… and then well… you go over budget… and you need that new tool… oh and you got busy, or had to redo something… and well… If you haven’t; welcome to woodworking. I’m sure you’ll enjoy your first project and many more to come. At the start of 2009 I decided I wanted to build a new workbench. I was taking on a new job so I decided 12 months would be a good time fr...

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Part 2: The Design Process

03-01-2010 10:46 AM by DoctorDan | 4 comments »

The decision to go RouboAfter my initial research, I like many woodworkers, fell in love with the roubo. My old benches were designed to be portable or were made from old desks. They never stood still. Planning, even chiselling would cause them to move about. There’s something rather solid about having 5”x5” legs. SizeOriginally, I thought I could do most of my work on a 3’x3’ bench. All my heavy chopping/sawing on a solid base and use work horses to support l...

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Part 3: Timber & The Initial Cuts

03-03-2010 02:07 AM by DoctorDan | 3 comments »

The Source of Timber – Boutique TimbersI purchase the vast majority of my timber from Mal Ward of Boutique Timbers. Mal is an interesting bloke, who lives on a small property near Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia. (He is also brother of Tony, a fellow LumberJock.) His property is just littered with stacks and stacks and stacks of timber. He deals in a variety of species and primarily sells in rough slab form. Yes, they are joey’s or baby kangaroosBoutique Timbers at the Sydney Wor...

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Part 4: The Top: part 1

03-04-2010 11:41 AM by DoctorDan | 6 comments »

The next step in the project was to cut the laminates 4 1/2” x 100 x ~1 3/4”. I chose the sections with the best (ie. straight) grain for this. In retrospectoscope I should have thought – I need straight pieces for the long stretches, and which pieces do I want to have showing. Tricky fiddleback grain although attractive was very hard to work. (Note: my old workbench in front of it.) Here you can see I carefully planned sections for bench dog holes, space for the...

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Part 5: Handles: Part 1

03-06-2010 01:57 AM by DoctorDan | 4 comments »

(Click for fullsize pic) I need to make/have made some handles for the steel rod that functions as the parallel bar stopper. I’ve come up with a few possibilities trying to incorporate the concave, and convex curves of other details on the bench, as well as traditional chisel design. The bench is blackbutt, the vise handles rosewood. I have blackbutt (fiddleback, burl or straight), redgum or blackwood available to use. (Discussion at WoodWork Forums.) Any thoughts or suggestions? ...

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Part 6: The Top: part 2

03-11-2010 10:38 PM by DoctorDan | 4 comments »

After the glue up of the bench top I moved onto some initial hand flattening. With the top in two halves and then again as a single piece; I took to the number 5 and number 7 stanleys (and a lot of sharpening). My new veritas straight end came into it’s own at this point. Recognizing that it might be some time until i’m up to ‘finishing’ the top, I gave it a quick sand and a thin layer of shellac. (The father-in-law inspecting the progress.)

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Part 7: The Vices

03-18-2010 11:59 AM by DoctorDan | 4 comments »

The HardwareDeciding on what type and which brand of vice to use was an ordeal in its self. I have to say I changed the design a number of times – eventually deciding on a leg, sliding leg, and tail vice. Then I had to decide on brand. Well… should I buy cheap carbatec $40 ones… or should I go traditional Big Wooden Vice style… but I couldn’t go past BenchCrafted. Two factors stood out… the precision build and the use of a wheel rather than a T bar which pr...

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Part 8: Metal Work

03-27-2010 12:38 PM by DoctorDan | 3 comments »

Metal WorkI can list the number of metal work project I’ve completed on one hand. All of which I completed at school. However, the need arose when some research showed certain components of this build required re-enforcement. Strong UnderwearBefore I glued the top, I cut a section to receive the spike from the sliding leg vice. Despite the 140mm of wood between the slot and the front, several sliding leg vices I’ve seen (including Bill Liebold's ), use metal to prevent warping ...

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Part 9: Handles: Part 2

04-06-2010 10:25 AM by DoctorDan | 3 comments »

Some of you may remember a previous post, where I was looking for someone to turn the handles required for the bench. Old Pete from the Australian Woodwork Forums answered the call. The original handle brain storm. The completed project, arrived in the mail today. The timber is Australian Blackwood. Pete, was more than generous, turned two alternate handles for the wheels, and two handles for the pins, and offered to re-make them if they don’t feel right. I do like the online wood...

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Part 10: The Sliding Leg - Video

04-17-2010 03:29 AM by DoctorDan | 4 comments »

IntroductionThe sliding leg vice offers a great deal of versatility, offering the function of a twin screw vice, but at a variable screw to screw distant of up to 1.6m. Video – The Leg Feature 1 – Parallel Below the ShelfThe first problem I noticed with sliding leg vices is the parallel bar sliding along the shelf colliding with anything you were planning to store on the shelf. To overcome this, I put the parallel guide underneath the bench. To achieve this I reduced the heigh...

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Part 11: The Shelf

04-21-2010 11:02 AM by DoctorDan | 3 comments »

DesignThe shelf was originally flush with the top of the stretchers. However, because the stretchers needed to be so high, and the screw so low, that limited my storage. To counter this, I’ve lowered the shelf within the stretchers. This also made away with support pieces. ConstructionLacking the new lei-nielson tongue and groove plane (I have a birthday soon… anyone… anyone…) I used a circ saw and a small router to cut the tongue and groove joins. It was a little r...

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Part 12: Stretchers: Part 1

04-24-2010 11:39 AM by DoctorDan | 3 comments »

DesignThe four legs are connected by 7 stretchers; 2 on the short sides, 2 at the front, 1 at the back. ProgressI had been waiting for a new Chris Vesper Square before cutting the joinery. However, this week I received news that the square I expected for Christmas, will be arriving closer to July. So I decided to just use my old trusty $3 square. The results were actually quite good. I made the tenons using a circ saw and guide. Not a romantic hand tool technique but it works. ...

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Part 13: The Design: Part 3 - Sketchup

04-29-2010 01:59 PM by DoctorDan | 3 comments »

During the design process lasted 6 generations of sketchup designs. The final model (which doesn’t include some decorative details and is 10cm taller than the final build) is now available online. Google Warehouse

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Part 14: The Undercarriage

05-09-2010 07:20 AM by DoctorDan | 1 comment »

The UndercarriageI’ve already made progress on the Stretchers, Shelf and glue up for the legs. The legs however are little complicated… I made a list…- 7 Stretchers = 14 mortises (2 pairs interlocking) – done- Drawer bore pins = many holes – leg holes done, tenon holes to go.- 1 Parallel Guide = 1 through mortise – drilled, yet to clean up- Screw Mechanism = 1×35mm hole and – done, need to sand- Screw Mechanism = mortise for screw nut – ...

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Part 15: Undercarriage Glue Up

05-16-2010 11:53 PM by DoctorDan | 3 comments »

The bench undercarriage is now together. Glue-ups are by far the most stressful period of any project. I did this in stages. First the legs to the front and back carriage. Then with the front on it’s side, glued the mortises and tenons (titebond III), inserted the shelf pieces unglued, and then (with the wifes help) lifted the back on top to drop into place (with the mallet’s help), then put it on it’s legs, the ratcheted straps to square, then drawbores. Aspect view ...

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Part 16: Undercarriage Over Top

05-21-2010 06:54 AM by DoctorDan | 2 comments »

A little shaping (rasp to miter the round overs), a little sanding, and a little oil. It’s starting to look like a bench… only upside down. Now just need some help to flip it.

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Part 17: Back on your feet and looking like a real workbench

06-01-2010 10:45 AM by DoctorDan | 3 comments »

I’m making progress on the workbench. Over the past few weeks I completed the glue up of the base. I assembled it upside down to allow work on the base without having to manipulate the heavy top. This morning with a little bit of planning, levering and muscle power, it’s back on it’s feet. It’s actually starting to look like a workbench now Now the fiddly pieces… end caps… vices… The individual components are largely complete but the assembly h...

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Part 18: End Caps

06-05-2010 08:38 AM by DoctorDan | 5 comments »

So there are two end caps. I made them a while ago. Laminated two pieces of wood. Drilled the bulk of it on the drill press. Tidied it with router and chisels. They will be attached with slotted bolts and captured nuts. End Cap 1. End Cap 2. Unfortunately end cap 2 is not up to standard. It is is about 2-3 degrees out. Which means it is not accurate enough for the wagon vice. The solution, which will have to wait, is a straight edge and a router. However, as I’m seem waiting o...

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Part 19: 1 and 3/4 leg vices installed

06-06-2010 09:24 AM by DoctorDan | 4 comments »

Photos and details at the love of wood.

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Part 20: Bench Update - Penultimate Tour

07-01-2010 10:22 AM by DoctorDan | 6 comments »

The bench is not quite finished but here’s a sneak peak. Bench tour @ the love of wood.

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