With plan and materials in hand it’s time to build panels that will become the Roubo Cabinet (with pictures!) Not for the faint at heart, this entry contains extensive hand plane use that many would consider exhausting and (essentially) pointless in the modern workshop. I, of course, see things differently.
Up to this point, I’d not had a project that required solid wood panels that had to be joined / assembled to this extent. So ‘gluing up panels’ had meant rail and style stuff, not what I’d need for the Roubo Cabinet. While I have a ‘traditional’ bench in the shop with shoulder vise and square dogs that would do the job of holding stuff for work on their faces, I really prefer the Roubo. But with all the directional changes I’d have to do to work up these cupped boards, hold fasts just didn’t excite me much. So this Resurfacing section actually will begin with a workbench modification.
Short and sweet, I bought a Veritas bench pup some time ago but hadn’t cut a line of holes along the bench that would allow me to use it for face work. Why? Really because I’m essentially a chicken when it comes to modifying my bench in such a permanent fashion. Which is also why I have a vintage Craftsman 10” face vise on hand that I’m ‘supposed to’ add to the right end of the Roubo for essentially the same purpose. That would take more cutting than I was prepared to do, hence the Veritas mod. Pictures tell the story: cutting the row of holes (the first two spaced apart from the rest to avoid the right leg) went smoothly
except for the last one – I hit a cut nail that had to be extracted – a leftover from the bench’s former life as a main entrance threshold (see Roubo Bench in my Projects area).
With all holes cut, I took my router out of storage and ‘coved’ a recess around each hole to minimize splitting as pups / dogs / hold downs are repeatedly pulled out, and the mod was complete!
Whew. Glad that’s over. Finally a major mod to the bench that just may prevent me from adding any kind of wagon or end vise to the bench. Let’s see how it works in use and go from there.
With the bench mod complete, work began on the faces of the walnut being repurposed from the $1.00 table. I got a serious workout! Applied an edge bevel to each to prevent blow out
then worked one face on each of the three wider table top boards to get a nice surface.
Used the Stanley #5C for 90% of the straight-across and diagonals work. Pulled the #7 into service ‘jointing the faces of the boards, then tried out the #5 ½ a bit for a combination smoothing / jointing exercise.
I think I’ll camber that #5 ½ iron and set the frog back to put it in between my heavily cambered T11 #5 and the straight-bladed #5C.
Work holding with the bench pup was outstanding! I did have to adjust my planing movements to avoid the top of the pup but that ain’t so bad. Planing at a skew every once in awhile is a good thing, and if push came to shove I could adjust the board(s) to allow a straight run if needed. With the three ‘big boards’ faced, I moved on to the pine boards that are needed for the bottom of the cabinet. I’ll edge them in walnut at glue-up for an optimal front view. Gotta use pine in these places because there’s just not enough walnut to go ‘round.
Pictures of the pine facing workout are pretty interesting. Really some butt-ugly stuff at the start, but looks pretty good when all is said and done. And surfaces on either side don’t have to be perfect with the pine in that they’re either inside the cabinet or underneath it.
All faced board were run through the thickness planer to remove (most of) the bow on the backsides and get a consistent (board-to-board) thickness. Here’s a pic of the cleaned up walnut, ready for jointing and glue-up into panels for the top and sides. The other pieces, at the forefront, will be the faces of the four main drawers. Nothing set aside for the ‘big drawer’ yet…
Edging of the pine will require some handwork with a smoother to get a consistent thickness in that these pieces were run through the planer in a separate run. Build is solidly underway!
-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive