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My Benchcrafted Split Top Roubo build #1: Split Top Roubo base construction

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Blog entry by jasondain posted 12-26-2012 12:05 AM 2423 reads 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of My Benchcrafted Split Top Roubo build series Part 2: Split Top Roubo Base build part 2 »

This is part 1 of my blog on how I built my workbench. The bench is now complete but i’ll be adding the steps i used to build it and lots of photos here so others may benefit from what I learned in the process. Happy Reading!

I constructed the base using 8/4 Sugar Maple. I had agonized a bit over the wood selection and considered soft-maple, white ash and even douglas fir as possibilities. I chose sugar maple for its durability as I wanted this to be the uber-workbench and I could get the lumber at a decent price from our local lumber store.

I started by jointing and planing the stock to 1 3/4” thick, jointing the edge and ripping to width in preparation for glue-up.

I then spread glue on the parts using a 1/16” grooved putty knife as recommended in the construction notes and glued up the 4 legs.

After drying time of about 24 hrs, I surfaced the leg stock to final dimensions using my planer and jointer. I had purchased new infinity tools high-speed steel replacement blades for my planer and these worked great as compared to the Dewalt OEM blades. I oriented the grain pith in as I liked this orientation and it appeared to be the proper method based on my web-searching.

I then used a combination of my table saw to cut the shoulders on the end-tenons and my band saw to cut the cheeks to complete the tenons. This combination worked well for me as I felt the dado would have had a hard time removing this much material in one pass.

I then made the mortises using my hollow chisel mortiser and vacuum setup. I used a 1/2 japanese steel chisel from Lee Valley instead of the stock chisels and it did a wonderful job. I cleaned up the mortises using my mortise chisels and mallet to finish the job.

The stretchers followed a similar processing using the table saw for the shoulder cuts, and the bandsaw for the cheeks. I used the fence and a stop block behind the blade to control the cheek cuts. I then completed the job using a borrowed Rabbet block plane to clean up the tenons (Thanks Rich!). I’ll be picking up one of my own sometime soon as this is a great tool!



8 comments so far

View rdwile's profile

rdwile

140 posts in 830 days


#1 posted 12-26-2012 01:11 AM

Nice block plane, and I recognize that mallet too….

-- Richard D. Wile, http://richard-wile.blogspot.ca/

View jasondain's profile

jasondain

49 posts in 1409 days


#2 posted 12-26-2012 01:29 AM

Good point Rich. I forgot to also give credit to my buddy for giving me one his turned mallets. I used it extensively on the bench for cleaning up mortises and other work and it was great.

View Handtooler's profile

Handtooler

1113 posts in 851 days


#3 posted 12-29-2012 09:59 AM

Super BLOG entry! Very in-depth and written very clearly; photos are extraordinarily clear and in focus. Shop is certainly well equipped. The end product looks super.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 bassboy40@msn.com

View JCMeyersIV's profile

JCMeyersIV

73 posts in 785 days


#4 posted 04-30-2013 04:46 AM

What model Mortiser is that. It’s a Grizzly correct?

-- John, NNY, www.facebook.com/JC4Woodworking

View jasondain's profile

jasondain

49 posts in 1409 days


#5 posted 04-30-2013 03:56 PM

View JCMeyersIV's profile

JCMeyersIV

73 posts in 785 days


#6 posted 05-01-2013 02:46 PM

Cool! Thanks! I’m thinking about getting a mortiser, would you recommend this one?

-- John, NNY, www.facebook.com/JC4Woodworking

View jasondain's profile

jasondain

49 posts in 1409 days


#7 posted 05-01-2013 03:39 PM

I would for most day to day stuff. I have mostly used it for 1/2 inch mortises in maple so it works really hard in that stuff. The chisels it comes with are useless so buy better ones and keep them sharp. If you can afford a bigger one my recommendation would be go bigger. For normal stuff its probably good.

View JCMeyersIV's profile

JCMeyersIV

73 posts in 785 days


#8 posted 05-02-2013 12:29 AM

Hmmm ok. Sounds like it will work for me. Thanks!

-- John, NNY, www.facebook.com/JC4Woodworking

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