If you’ve been following my blog you know that we’re moving into a new (to us) house this month, and I’m planning to build a Roubo workbench to christen my new workshop space. Well I’m out of town for a few days and have a little evening free time, so I thought I’d jot down my thoughts as to what kind of Roubo I’d like to build (yes, there are many styles of Roubo!):
- I plan to have the legs tenoned straight through the top, including the dovetailed outer tenons. It looks cool, but more importantly, fewer mortises to chop!
- I’m considering ironwood for the top. It’s very heavy, very strong and very durable.
- Most people do laminations of 8/4 boards for the top. I’m considering using a few thicker (12/4? 16/4?) boards in the middle, and then on the outside where my mortises will be I’ll use 8/4. Fewer laminations in the middle, and fewer mortises on the outside. It’s all about saving time.
- I’m not concerned with the legs being square (in shape). I think I’ll laminate 4 boards together for the legs. Outermost is dovetailed tenon, then shoulder, then regular tenon, and then another shoulder. This is shown in one of Roubo’s illustrations. Whatever the thickness of that is, is what it’ll be.
- I plan to use a typical leg vise, but I’m still considering angling it (without angling the leg). I have metal and wooden vise hardware but don’t know which one I’ll use (the wooden one is a $10 eBay find that needs some rehab).
- Not sure yet about holdfasts. I got an offer to try out a couple made from crowbars that someone would ship to me (free I think except for shipping?), and I also may try to find a local blacksmith who can make some.
- The bench will be about 6’ long. That’ll fit in a spot that’s about 8 1/2’ wide. Enough leftover room for planing and crosscutting.
- I like the planing stop and plan to have one, but am not a fan of the chamfered top. I’ll either find a metal solution or just leave it unchamfered.
- No tail or wagon vise.
- Almost all the mortises will not be cut, but will exist via gaps in the glueup. The only mortises that I’ll need to cut will be in the short stretchers, and perhaps for the parallel guide on the leg vise.
There. Shouldn’t be that hard to do, right? This bench won’t be much more than just gluing a bunch of boards together!
P.S. How many of you are going to quote that last paragraph back to me in about a month or two? :^)