SYP Spilt-Top Roubo Workbench

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Blog series by grfrazee updated 135 days ago 8 parts 13221 reads 40 comments total

Part 1: 80% Complete

468 days ago by grfrazee | 10 comments »

I was fortunate enough to be able to take off Christmas week and get a good start on my workbench. I’ve had the idea to build one in my head for a few months now, and have been slowly accumulating the parts and hardware necessary. My intention was to make it possible to take the bench apart and move it with relative ease since I will be moving it from my dad’s shop once I have a shop of my own (side note: apartments suck). I used southern yellow pine, special ordered from Men...

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Part 2: Finished Leg Vise

443 days ago by grfrazee | 8 comments »

I finally got some shop time this weekend and had a chance to complete my leg vise. After my last building session, I had left it basically functional, but lacking a couple bells and whistles to make it really nice. The first addition was a guide wheel on the underside of the parallel guide. I bought another plastic wheel from Woodcraft and mounted it below the guide. It looks like it could become an ankle biter, but I haven’t run into any problems yet. It’s only pock...

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Part 3: (Mostly) Finished Tail Vise

443 days ago by grfrazee | 3 comments »

Previously, I had run out of time to complete the tail vise on my workbench: This weekend I finally got the time to remedy that situation. I started off by routing the dog holes in one of the boards, then gluing up the leg vise block. The dog holes are spaced at 3” for versatility. Then I needed to figure out what to remove for the various pieces of the vise hardware. Some time was spent with the adjustable square to figure out the recess locations. Note: the measureme...

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Part 4: Cost & Weight Estimate

442 days ago by grfrazee | 3 comments »

I’m sure there are those of you interested in how much this thing weighs and (more importantly) how much it cost to build. A quick volume estimate puts the total amount of wood at ~5 cubic feet. Considering an average specific gravity of about 0.60 (range for SYP is 0.54 – 0.65, and the hickory is more than that), the weight is: (5 cu. ft.)(62.4 lbs/cu. ft.)(0.60) = 187 lbs So, the wood alone is about 190 lbs. Factor in the weight of the vise hardware and the many metal...

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Part 5: Drilling Holdfast Holes

339 days ago by grfrazee | 6 comments »

Happy Mothers’ Day everyone! Finally got a chance to go back to my parents’ house for the weekend (i.e., the location of my shop). Went into the shop and this is what my bench looked like: Looks like my dad has been at work in the 2.5 months I’ve been away. No surprises there. I made a pair of holdfasts in a blacksmithing class last fall. When I made them, I tried to round them down to about 3/4”. Since they aren’t necessarily a standard size sha...

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Part 6: Plane Cabinet

142 days ago by grfrazee | 3 comments »

After getting tired of cleaning sawdust out of the nooks and crannies of my planes, I decided to build a little cabinet for them. It’s just a basic scrap plywood box with plywood drawers. I got a couple pairs of 100# full-extension drawer slides off Amazon for the drawers. I’m not the greatest at building carcasses (i.e., making them square), so I had to do some trial and error getting the fit right. For the drawer backs I just screwed on a couple pieces of scrap O...

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Part 7: Benchtop Divider

140 days ago by grfrazee | 4 comments »

My bench has had a gaping…er…gap in the middle of it since I built in in December 2012. Since I have Thanksgiving week off, I thought I’d remedy the situation. The divider is a simple piece made with two boards of sapwood-y black walnut with oak spacers. The bench was quite useful for gluing the thing together. The shot below shows that I staggered the spacers to accommodate different sized tools. After a little cleanup on the table saw and some fine...

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Part 8: Flattening and Finishing

135 days ago by grfrazee | 3 comments »

Finally got the bench to the point where it’s time to flatten the top and finish it. Going into the project almost a year ago, I made a promise to myself that I would flatten the top by hand. I’ve seen the fancy router sled used by the Woodwhisperer (among others), but that’s not how I wanted to go (besides the fact that I don’t want to put down $50 on a wide-pass router bit). The top wasn’t too far out of flat, globally. However, there were lots of...

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