Split Roubo Workbench

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Blog series by lysdexic updated 11-10-2012 01:12 PM 25 parts 227710 reads 756 comments total

Part 1: I have put this off for far too long

03-20-2012 02:32 AM by lysdexic | 127 comments »

Ok, so let me get this blog started before I get so far behind that I put it off – forever. It is undisputed that the most important tool in the woodworking shop is a proper workbench. I don’t have one. I will not rehash the nuances of workbench design but after reading Schwarz’s and Scott Landis’s books, I had my heart set on a Roubo bench. I am not alone as several LJ’s have posted wonderful roubo benches. At first I wanted to build this… I r...

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Part 2: Rough Dimensioning

03-21-2012 02:48 AM by lysdexic | 13 comments »

I spent the weekend cutting the lumber into bite size peices. I found this somewhat challenging because this is where I picked the boards and assigned their fate. ”You will be this and you will be that. No, wait, you are not wide enough. Go back into that stack. Now I need another one these but that means I will have to cut you in half…. Am I sure? ” I need the boards for the top to be ~ 5” wide. I will preserve length and thickness for now. Still in order to rip...

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Part 3: Milling, gluing and clamping - The Legs

04-10-2012 04:35 AM by lysdexic | 32 comments »

Progress is slow. But this is what is going on. The pics will do most the talking but the title says it all. Some of the maple for the top was not wide enough so I glued some cut offs from the bigger pieces to make them useable Next I turned my attention to the cherry legs….... I decided to make a sacrificial, practice leg from 2×6 “white wood” from lowes. The Cherry boards are ready for glue-up but before a procee...

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Part 4: Milling, gluing and clamping - The Slabs

04-11-2012 03:54 AM by lysdexic | 32 comments »

I took my lumber for the top to Rick’s at The Woodworking Source to mill it up. What is taking my better part of 2 days we knocked out in about an hour and a half. These are some pics of Rick’s place. Its interesting that Rick does not do woodworking outside of work. He golfs because it is what he does to forget about what he does when he needs to forget about what he does. He is a professional and a great asset. ———————...

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Part 5: The End Tenon and Screw Cavity

04-16-2012 01:47 AM by lysdexic | 19 comments »

So the end of this week has been kind of weird. My wife had a yard sale. Man, that is a lot of work to get rid of crap that you shouldn’t have bought in the first place. The in-law relatives came down from West Virgini. My brother graciously came in to give me a hand on the bench but I came down with a viral gastritis. I was socially wrangled, mentally distracted and physically diminished. But we can’t let that get in the way. This is a hobby, a pilgrimage and an obsession̷...

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Part 6: The End Cap

04-16-2012 02:17 AM by lysdexic | 16 comments »

Although, from a design perspective, I wanted to use cherry for a vertical components and maple for all horizontal components, I just couldn’t resist making my end cap out of cherry. A comment about glue ups. In my limited experience there is a difference in a glue up when using machined surfaces and hand plane surfaces. On the machined surface there usually remains a line. It is a small line but still a line. The only glue ups that I have done the joint completely disappears are the...

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Part 7: Dog Hole Strip

04-17-2012 03:22 AM by lysdexic | 22 comments »

These are all steps that I completed in the last week. I am getting ready to dive into 12 days straight at work then out of town the next. Progress slows. I wanted to get the dovetail and top completed before now but it didn’t happen. I am nervous to have these pieces milled up to final dimensions and them sitting around for days and days. Note on design: It turns out that the cheapest soft maple I could buy has wonderful character with the Ambrosia worm holes. But this is not the...

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Part 8: Dovetails and the front laminate

05-08-2012 03:08 AM by lysdexic | 26 comments »

With the end cap finished it is time to get the front laminate on but the is slight problem. When I was planing the dog hole strip even with the top I made the classic beginners mistake of falling off the edge. It is not a big deal now but I do not want to perpetuate the slope in the next lamination. So, using the dominos to my advantage I placed a couple business cards on the dog hole strip to elevate the hole. The third photo show the front laminate above the dog strip. ̵...

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Part 9: Tail Vise Installation

05-22-2012 01:53 AM by lysdexic | 25 comments »

I have hesitated to post this blog because the variables involved are hard to describe and I didn’t take very good pics. Regardless, here goes. Moral of the story – If all else fails, follow the instructions. To install the rails for the plate &nut assembly you route out a 1/4” rabbet so that they are 3 3/4” from the upper surface. My top thickness is 4 1/16” – so close enough. The routing went fine but the plate would not clear at the far end. ...

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Part 10: The Legs - part I

06-19-2012 02:26 AM by lysdexic | 18 comments »

I have lost my momentum but progress remains. The Legs – it took me a month to get them done. Here they are getting marked up. I wanted to embody as much galootness as possible. Yet I am still unsure of my skill and thus elected to use the table saw to cut the shoulders. These need to be square. The cheeks of the stub tenons not so much.I used my practice leg first. I borrowed the fancy kreg miter guage. Hand sawing the cheeks proved more problematic than expected. ...

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Part 11: The Legs - part II

06-21-2012 02:16 AM by lysdexic | 18 comments »

In the last blog the tenons were complete and I trimmed the extra “margin of safety” length. It takes two passes with the miter saw. So I shaved off the inevitable irregularities. Next is routing the mortises. Marc (TWW) demonstrates doing this free hand and makes it look easy I might add. Routing is always a tense affair for me but I give it a go. Nice results huh? I want to make sure the dimensions and placement are correct so I went through the trouble of fixing t...

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Part 12: The Rails

06-25-2012 02:58 AM by lysdexic | 22 comments »

With the legs done it is time to move on to the rails. I have milled these guys during the milling process. The tenons are different for each type of rail (e.g. botttom long, bottom short, and top short. Thus, I took extra care in getting them marked up. I didn’t take pics but I cut the tenons using the table saw and a dado stack. Well the first one I cut ended up too loose. Just a little but it wasn’t right. So i go into repair mode. The other 11 tenons went we...

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Part 13: The Parallel Guide

06-26-2012 02:41 AM by lysdexic | 18 comments »

Marc recommends a hard species of wood for the parallel guide. A hard maple board would have been nice but i don’t have any. I do have several pieces of jatoba that I bought from a dude with a trailer of cut offs at a local WW show. I thought about cherry but it is about the same hardness as soft maple on the Janka scale. Plus, the jatoba matches american cherry quite nicely. Here is a piece that is damn near the final dimension. But this stuff is HARD. I took it down with...

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Part 14: The Chop - updated

07-06-2012 03:16 AM by lysdexic | 51 comments »

Lets get back to these guys… They were glued up months ago but before shaping and joinery lets square up the sides. I’ve now dedicated my Veritas BU jointer for this. First the mortise for the parallel guide was routed at the bottom. My tenon cheek was off and required some tweaking. Now for the shaping. Let me say that I have pondered this for quite a awhile. I really like the shape given in the plan. However, I thought something different would be co...

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Part 15: Leg Vise - The BenchCrafted version.

07-17-2012 01:56 AM by lysdexic | 32 comments »

Howdy, The left front leg requires a lot more development in order to turn it into a leg vise. The first step is to make a clearance mortise for the parallel guide. It needs to be nice and square so I routed to max depth and squared the corners. However, even routing from both sides I don’t have enough depth. The trusty brace and bit to the rescue. It ain’t perfect but will do just fine. —————————&#...

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Part 16: Leg Vise - The Chain Leg Vise version.

07-17-2012 08:26 PM by lysdexic | 31 comments »

Jim (Boatman53) has come up with a new/old way to keep the leg vise parallel without the need for a pin. Disclosure: There is no monetary or financial benefit on my part. Also, this is not a review or endorsement. I plan on doing a objective review once I use it for some time. If you have questions that you would like to ask Jim directly you can email him at Ancora Yacht Service ———————————R...

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Part 17: Getting ready for assembly

08-07-2012 02:40 AM by lysdexic | 18 comments »

There a lot of items that are much easier to accomplish prior to glue-up. First, I need some 3/8” cherry pegs. I went with cherry to keep the visual contrast subtle. Another thing is I let my kids make some pegs and write their name on them. During glue-up I let them drive their respective pegs in the give them a sense of ownership. All these were made from scrap and were sized down to ~ 7/16” on the band saw. Then the corners were chamfered with a block plane. I made this l...

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Part 18: Attaching the top

08-07-2012 03:13 AM by lysdexic | 40 comments »

Before attaching the top a few things need to be done. First I dont have any pics of the final shavings or breaking the edges. Obviously I need to makes some mortises. These were accomplished by router and squared off by chisel. The one closest to the wagon vise required a little more work. ——————————————————————————&...

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Part 19: The Deadman

08-08-2012 02:14 AM by lysdexic | 15 comments »

In designing the deadman I realized that I would need to sacrifice/mill a huge piece of cherry. I only have one piece left and I don’t think I need to use it. Instead I decided to use 3 pieces like Kari Hultman I modified the TWW plan and got some scrap pieces together. I milled the end pieces as one. After flattening one side with a #7 it was re-saw on the bandsaw. I didn’t take pics while routing the mortises. After that was done, the piece was cross cut...

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Part 20: The Deadman - Capitulo Dos

08-23-2012 03:08 AM by lysdexic | 30 comments »

Last time we were here. But I had a few issues and unfinished business. First the surface of the dead man was not flush with the front plane of the bench. Probably not a big deal but Smitty said I’d suck if I left it that way. Also, the dead man sat a little low and the top of the rebate did not extend into the groove very far. To solve the all of these problem I did a little gluing. First I put a 1/8” shim on the front of the inverted V. This moved it out toward the fa...

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Part 21: The Bottom Shelf and some Dawg Holes

09-24-2012 02:35 AM by lysdexic | 33 comments »

The pace slows. I put some maple through the jointer and planer until it was about 3/4” and 6” wide. After cross cutting to length it was time to break the skew rabbet plane. I know Smitty would have thrown the dado stack in the table saw and been done with. Seriously, I wanted to put this plane through its paces so we can get to know one another. I needed 14 rabbets and I learned a lot. It takes a certain feel, a certain muscle memory to keep everything square. A...

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Part 22: The Gap Stop

10-17-2012 03:22 AM by lysdexic | 31 comments »

Hello, I felt a little stuck here. The remaining maple lumber that I had was milled 4/4 stuff obviously from a different tree/species and very white. I wanted the gap stop to match the rest of the top. Primarily as to not draw attention to itself and leave a more monolithic look to the bench top. Rick, the lumber guy did not have any boards left of the wood used to make the top wide enough to do the job. So, it is time to glue up some scraps. I rough jointed 2 surfaces with my #8. I really...

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Part 23: Dogs by Design.

10-20-2012 03:56 AM by lysdexic | 9 comments »

It is time to finally make the dogs. I know that this is nit picky aesthetics stuff but I was wondering if I have to use the long 6 5/8” dogs from the plans. Reason being is the when they are all inserted and in place it kind of looks like the bench grew teeth. Like this…. This is not a huge deal but I thought I’d do some experimentation (not the kind Al does, mind you). I went ahead and made the regular one and a 5 1/4” modified one out of some scrap. ...

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Part 24: Flattening and finishing

10-24-2012 03:17 AM by lysdexic | 55 comments »

What can I say about about the finish other than the thought process. We have discussed an appropriate finish for a work bench ad nauseum. I chose a wipe on poly primarily because it would prevent ring stains from my beer bottles. nuf said. I did deconstruct the bench so that the under carriage is at a workable height. Time to break out the Workmates again. This was the time to do a little fine tuning I was strongly influenced by the suggestions here on LJ...

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Part 25: Workbench Bling Yo

11-10-2012 01:12 PM by lysdexic | 23 comments »

Every bench needs some bling. Check this. It is all in the way we accessorize. ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————...

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