Split Top Roubo Bench Build #14: Final assembly of the base

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Blog entry by ic3ss posted 04-01-2015 02:48 AM 2360 reads 2 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Cut tenons, make mortise jigs Part 14 of Split Top Roubo Bench Build series Part 15: Pretty much done »

I was out in the shop/garage at 8am today and didn’t finish until 7pm. I don’t recall taking a lunch break, or any break for that matter, the day just flew by. But I did get a while lot done.

Yesterday was all fitting the mortises and tenons. That took all of yesterday and I left it dry fitted together.

This morning I had five things to do before I could drill holes for the draw bore joints. I ran the legs across the table saw to chamfer the bottom edges, check the leg vise operation with the base dry fitted, drill the access hole for the first dog, drill holes through the two top rails for the big SPAX screws that will hold the top on, and cut a dado groove on the inside of the lower rails for the shelf supports. I blasted through these pretty quick like, but I did find an issue. After drilling the dog access hole, I saw that it was too close to the mortise for the upper rail and it partially cut through. The drawings don’t have any dimensions on the hole that I could find, so I guess they figure you’ll just figure out where the dog actually will land on the leg and drill it there. Well, mine was a bit too close I guess. I never did figure out where I went wrong with this because the dog hole strip was made per the drawing, I dunno.

I cut up a dowel made from hard maple that I got a few days ago into 2 1/4” lengths, 16 of them. One I had to make short because I don’t want it to protrude into the dog access hole on the front right leg.

The only real issue with doing the draw bore joints was the first one I had marked the tenons with the hole center, and I measured away 1/16” instead of closer 1/16” for the final hole. This had the result of the peg wanting to push the joint apart as it’s driven in. I only did the first hole on the first tenon before I realized my mistake. So I just glued in a short plug and cut it flush with the tenon, then drilled another hole. No sweat.

With the two ends done, I got out my 1/2” auger bit and drilled the holes for the knockdown hardware. I drilled the legs on the drill press, then fitted the joints and drilled as far as I could with the 1/2” drill using the leg hole for a guide. I was drilling the leg vise leg and my first chosen position was too close to the criss cross mortise and I ran my auger bit into the steel friction plate that’s mounted in there. I soon found that it wasn’t cutting worth a damn, so I was able to sharpen it enough that it would cut, but just barely. I had to put a lot of pressure on it in a very slow speed. I think also that this is end grain and it cuts differently.

I had just a couple of slight alignment problems with the barrel nuts but I was able to get them to thread by reaming the holes a bit with the auger bit. I didn’t think it would cut laterally at all but it did.

With the base assembled, was able to get it on the top in one piece by myself by standing it on end and tipping it over onto the top. I got it where I wanted it and marked the tenons, then cut the mortises first with the router and then by hand. My first fitting was too tight so tomorrow that’s what I have to do, is pare back the mortise walls and fit the tops.

Well, it’s getting close. After tomorrow the only real job left is flattening the tops and I think that’s going to be a next week thing, I need to get some rails and plywood.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.


-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

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