After getting my legs glued up, I decided to look at my plan to see how it would fit the likely final leg dimensions. And realized that the 6×6 legs in the SketchUp model would likely end up at 5 1/2” x 5 1/2”. So I spent a couple hours making tweaks. Adjusting the leg dimensions was easy. I also simplified a bunch of the joinery. Used LayOut to make dimensioned drawings for leg joinery.
After all, I have 4 legs glued up and waiting for action.
Was about to start cutting wood for stretchers and I realized that before I could do the leg/stretcher joinery I would need to know the exact dimensions of the top.
When building furniture, I build to a plan. The table is a certain size, the mortises are in certain locations, the legs are so long. Everything is decided beforehand, and you can safely make any individual piece independent of the others and it will fit. Pretty much, anyway. Some joinery does need to fitted by hand, but those fittings generally mean using a chisel or plane to take a 1/100th off here or there.
With a Roubo workbench, the joinery must be made to fit the top. One face of each leg needs to be coplanar with a edge of the top, and just about everything else is fitted from that. And while I have a specific dimension in mind for the width of the top, the reality when gluing up large slabs is that you may not exactly hit that dimension. It isn’t that critical if the top is 25 3/4” or 26 1/4” wide, or if the length is +/- 3”. You can force the issue, but that might mean wasting a whole board just to get that extra 1/2” in width.
So I started on the top this afternoon. First task – retrieve the boards from up there:
using only one hand.
First board down:
The top will be about 8’ long, 26” wide and 4” thick. Did I say 7’ long in the first blog entry? I did! That’s another one of those things I tweaked last night.
I’m hoping for 1 3/4” from each piece, so I need 15 lengths. That’s 8 boards at 9” widths. Pulled them down, cut them to length and ripped them to about 4 1/2”.
Slight oopsie. 2 of the boards I pulled down were jatoba instead of cherry. I thought they were kinda heavy. I’ll have to put them back up and pull down 2 cherry boards. Munyana.
Here’s the 11 pieces I ended up with:
Skinny bench, anyone?
If that was stable enough, I could see getting work done. There wouldn’t be any clutter building up on top, at least.
Let’s try four legs:
Time to call it a day.
-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design