My Roubo Workbench. #4: part 4 Leg to benchtop joints.

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Blog entry by joedillon posted 01-02-2016 03:12 PM 795 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: part 3 flattening and vice tribulations Part 4 of My Roubo Workbench. series Part 5: Part 6 Sliding Deadman »

At this point of the build I had a big decision to make, the original Roubo design details a through mortice and Tenon and sliding dovetail. Although I’m a carpenter I haven’t marked out a Tenon let alone a dovetail in over 20 years. My confidence in my joint cutting skills didn’t match my aspirations in keeping to the original design.
I chickened out and decided that a single beefy mortice and tenon would do.
Using a mortice gauge I acuarately marked the tenons in each leg, scribed the shoulder lines with a knife and got to ripping the shoulders, I would soon find out that a 15tpi Tenon saw wasn’t really up to this task, I started the cut with the Tenon saw and cut the bulk of the shoulders with a disposable trusted panel saw. A rip cut Tenon saw is now definately on the wish list.
For the shoulder cuts I used a chisel to cut a relief up to my scribed shoulder line and used the Tenon saw to cut the shoulders. I stayed a mite away from the shoulder line and cleaned the shoulders with a razor sharp chisel.

Set out for the legs now became a little problematic. I really should have marked the relative edges of my legs on the underside of the table before cutting the tenons.
I marked out the positions of the legs and clamped heavy straight edges to the Bechtel so I could accurately position and Mark the mortices. I used the same mortice gauge and scribed, marked all the mortices.
I initially hoped to hog out the waste with a belly brace and auger bit, but this was hard work, I then used a 32mm speed bit and cordless drill to remove the bulk of the waste.
Each mortice had the walls chopped and paired clean with chisels.
I did try to use a router for walls but I didn’t have a bit long enough or sharp enough, hand tools it would be.
I was suprised at how well the joints went together, not too tight and shoulders really tight.
Standing back that evening at looking at the bare bones of my own bench was very satisfying.
I’ve photo documented this build on instagram @joedillon

3 comments so far

View BurlyBob's profile


3466 posts in 1686 days

#1 posted 01-02-2016 05:19 PM

Joe that bench of yours has got some serious beef to it for sure.

View Northwest29's profile


1469 posts in 1911 days

#2 posted 01-02-2016 07:33 PM

This is a serious ‘bullet proof’ type bench! Gonna be a heavy one. Looks good.

-- Ron, Eugene, OR, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View JimDaddyO's profile


427 posts in 2499 days

#3 posted 01-03-2016 01:59 PM

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