I’d pretty much run out of excuses for not starting the Big Bench Build. Every week at church I see the kind woman who arranged for me to get all that beautiful lumber for free. I always fear the question, “So have you built it yet?” Don’t ask me why it has been hard to motivate myself to do it. I think maybe it’s because I’ve been planning this workbench for years – literally – and in my head maybe it’s become this grand opus that, despit...
After a good day in the library, i decided to reward myself by gluing up one leg (it’s the only one with all 3 pieces dimensioned properly). I opted for the Schwarz’s gluing up accoutrement (part of a multi-grain cheerio box in my case) rather than my roller, as i didn’t want to wash it up after one use. Jury’s still out on the method. I did dare to change one piece of his advice, though, and i am throwing it out there for other beginners who find making jigs more inti...
OK, who am i kidding? I couldn’t just stay away! I am trying to limit myself, though. So as a reward for studying, i allowed myself to cut a few tenons.From Roubo SLumberMy circular saw was doing a crap job even though i set it for shallow cuts, and it actually started smoking! So i had to cut the tenons by hand. Way more enjoyable. Again, i love my shark saw! Below is a comparison between the cuts. Can you guess which is the hand-sawn tenon?From Roubo SLumberYep, the one on the right.W...
(click on the pic for a full-size view) So here’s the bench mostly as I see it. My apologies for the faintness, but I think you get the idea. I forgot to put the crochet on there, so that would naturally be on the front left of the benchtop. You’ll also notice that I have no vises on the bench. I’m not entirely convinced that the bench needs them, although I do plan on making a removable twin-screw vise à la Moxon (not pictured). I had planned on installing a wagon vis...
I recently found out that the husband of a woman in our church runs a timber export business. I inquired about possibly getting my workbench lumber from him and she told me to fax her the specs of what I want (she does admin or accounting or something). So tomorrow morning I’m going out with her to the lumberyard to check out the wood and to get an estimate. Could it be that I’ll walk out of there with a few hundred pounds of tropical hardwood? Or maybe I’ll put it in the...
As i have been building this thing, i have had my nose in the Schwarz’s book. However, i cringed when during my review i read this: Once you look at the characteristics that make a species good for a workbench, you see that white oak, Southern yellow pine, fir, poplar or just about any species (excepting bass wood and the soft white pines) will perform brilliantly. (p.14) And for some salt in the wound: Anyone who has purchased a white pine 2×4 bench from a home center can...
Wow. So it’s really coming together. For my last glue up, i used my crappy workmate rip-off and the strongest natural clamp—gravity.From Roubo SLumberOnce the last section had been in clamps for a few hours, i just had to go for it (damn instant gratification…)From Roubo SLumberGranted, it’s not the most neat glue-up, and might resemble a game of Jenga from an angle, but i do feel some sense of achievement!From Roubo SLumberAll i have to say is thanks to Marc Spagnolo'...
So I’ve received and devoured Chris Schwarz’s Workbenches book. I am pleased to find that I have thought so thoroughly about my bench that I have only had to make a few minor mental adjustments to my plans. I’ve also been following with great interest the thickening plot regarding Schwarz's Moxonization of his Roubo. It started with him piercing his crochet (ouch!). Where will it end? As I’ve surfed the web trying to see where Chris is going with this, since it m...
Well, here are some photos from the first glue up: From Roubo SLumberThe Schwarz said that pine is resinous and resists glue so acetone helps. From Roubo SLumberThe roller idea is the Renaissance Woodworker’s—and i like it! From Roubo SLumber From Roubo SLumberProbably should have waited till it was a bit more dry and firm… Also, i decided to see what could be done with the botched stretchers.From Roubo SLumberCutting 4” off half of my bottom stretchers to make t...
I moved the lumber outside, rather than clamping on the floor in my lounge, and added my bar clamps as well. Still dry clamping, though:From Roubo SLumberRelocating the work to where it ought to be—the shop! Not sure why the weight of all the clamps hasn’t toppled it. And i even had to position a bar clamp outside the window! From Roubo SLumberMore clamps was a good idea…
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