YAR! - Yet Another Roubo #5: Ok, Now it's done already

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Blog entry by Douglas posted 02-08-2013 10:50 PM 2414 reads 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Finishing up Part 5 of YAR! - Yet Another Roubo series no next part

Since last entry, I’ve had time to both apply finishing touches, and get some shop time using the bench, and even put the first few battle scars on it.

First up was applying some finish. I went with some Watco Danish oil (natural), and did about three coats, letting it dry for a day in between. I then put a thin application of paste wax to the top to help prevent glue & liquid spills from penetrating, but not too much as I didn’t want to make the top slick.

Next up was adding leather to the leg vise chop and the inside of the wagon vise. I just used Gorilla wood glue, and did a little sanding & trimming after letting it dry for a day…

And then I chopped out the 2”x2” mortise for the planing stop. That wasn’t as much work as I’d feared, and by leaving my ash block a little thick, I was able to plane that down to a good fit. It’s a little tight now, but I’m sure that will loosen with time. If it gets too loose, I can always just fit another stop block to the mortise.

While I was doing this, my Gramercy holdfasts arrived. I was thrilled to finally get them, but after trying them out, I was discouraged that they weren’t holding very well. I recalled that they suggest roughing up the shaft with some 80 grit sandpaper (around the shaft, not along it), and that helped somewhat, but they still weren’t holding as tight as I thought they should. Then I read that for benches 4” or thicker (mines exactly 4”), it is recommended to widen the bottom of the dog holes to 1” for about 3/4 or so. I used a spade bit to try this, and bingo – that was it. One simple tap literally locks the holdfast and work in place now, and a tap on the back frees it. Awesome. I still haven’t decided on epoxying leather to the faces of holdfasts or not.

I will add a shelf to the bottom in a few months, but I need to get back to making things. Thanks for reading.

-- Douglas in Chicago -

9 comments so far

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3414 days

#1 posted 02-08-2013 11:06 PM

Sure looks good. Wish I had one of this quality.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Richard's profile


400 posts in 2771 days

#2 posted 02-08-2013 11:22 PM

Nicely done! You and your bench are going to be lifelong friends.

-- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

View b2rtch's profile


4862 posts in 3128 days

#3 posted 02-09-2013 12:36 AM

I also made a a roubo style bench out of douglas fir about 4 years ago.

-- Bert

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3644 days

#4 posted 02-09-2013 01:20 AM

Nice! The bench turned out very well. Soon you will wonder how you ever did without it. As for the leather pads for the hold fast, I used spray adhesive and the have been holding up fine.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2565 days

#5 posted 02-09-2013 03:11 AM

Not bad for a lefty!

Seriously, that’s a really nice bench. Someday I’ll have something that nice…

-- Brian Timmons -

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2134 days

#6 posted 02-09-2013 01:23 PM

lovely, nice work

-- Joel

View John's profile


341 posts in 3877 days

#7 posted 02-10-2013 02:33 AM

great looking bench congrats!

those gramercy holdfasts are amazing, got to use mine for the first time today

-- John - Central PA -

View Chris McDowell's profile

Chris McDowell

644 posts in 2232 days

#8 posted 06-30-2013 08:43 PM

The bench looks stinking sweet. I love the look of a Roubo bench and have wanted one ever since I saw the Benchcrafted one. This version is awesome as well. I will have to look up the book you used.

Interesting series. Thanks for all the details.

-- Chris, , FACEBOOK: , Proverbs 16:9

View Douglas's profile


424 posts in 2639 days

#9 posted 06-30-2013 09:29 PM

Thanks Cliff! Chris Schwarz’s book is really all you need. Your questions will be answered. The best part about it is that instead of telling you “this is how it is, exactly”, the book is really a great comparison of trade-offs of different features, and you can pick and choose from what makes sense to you.

-- Douglas in Chicago -

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