Roubo-Moxon Bench Build #12: ABD

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Blog entry by Eric posted 05-04-2011 04:06 AM 4171 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Four More Down, Eight More To Go Part 12 of Roubo-Moxon Bench Build series Part 13: Hey, Now That Almost Looks Like a Workbench. »

In the academic world, the term ABD is almost a dreaded one. It stands for "All But Dissertation" and refers to that point in your Ph.D. studies where you’ve done all the coursework and all of the research, have defended your research proposal, and “merely” have to do your dissertation to finish your degree.

As for me, I am now officially ABD in regards to my workbench: All But Dovetails. I have glued up 24 out of the 28 boards for my benchtop. I now need to cut the dovetails on the outer leg tenons and then glue up the last two boards on each side (to fit the dovetails). For a long time, I have dreaded this step in the process. What if my measurements are slightly off and the benchtop won’t fit on the legs? Dovetails are not the most complex job to perform but they are more difficult than perfectly-straight or even 45-degree joints.

But now that I’ve gotten to this point, it’s really not that intimidating. The benchtop is snug enough with the inner leg tenons that joint-al perfection is not necessary with the dovetails. I will try to have the front and top be as tight with the legs as possible, but quite honestly, I might just over-pare the unseen part of the joint just to ensure that I don’t have issues with over-snugness. As it is, with four of the eight tenons, it is a bear to get the benchtop off the legs.

So hopefully today I will start cutting the four dovetails on the outer leg tenons, and then the corresponding benchtop pieces that will fit around them. I also need to chop an inch or so off the top of all the tenons. Then it’s just a simple glueup, and I’ll be done! What? DONE? I’ll believe it when I see it. :)

-- Eric at

4 comments so far

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2654 days

#1 posted 05-04-2011 04:18 AM

ABD: all but the details, that’s when the real work starts.

I was wondering how your bench was coming along. Good to see you are still on it.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3673 days

#2 posted 05-05-2011 12:55 AM

Looks good, your bench is coming alone nicely.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3712 days

#3 posted 05-25-2011 05:22 AM

I used to hate the question “So how’s your thesis coming?”! Eventually people learned they’d not get a good response from me…until after I defended it LOL!

I’ve been enjoying following this build, I wish you continued success on it!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 3783 days

#4 posted 05-26-2011 10:26 AM

I did enter a Ph.D. program a few years ago but abandoned it before it got too painful. I could see it happening at some point in my future but maybe when the kids are a bit older!

-- Eric at

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