So after seriously getting in to woodworking this past year, I’ve discovered that I really enjoy using hand tools. I like the element of the significant physical activity that is associated with hand saws, planes, card scrapers, etc. I think it’s great that one can “get a workout” while woodworking and doing something that they truly enjoy. Perhaps there is something about knowing that your hard work went in to an item that you have built that makes it that much more personal.
I’ve learned rather quickly that it is very difficult to use hand tools without a proper (yeah I said proper, cue that dude from the Bosch workbench video) workbench. I need the right vises and something that doesn’t move at all while hand planing. I don’t want it to be totally massive (garage), but it has to be heavy. Oh, and solid. And with some style-a personal touch somewhere. That’s just how I am, baby.
I’ve been reading workbench articles, watching workbench videos, considering workbench plans—I even bought a Schwarz workbench book (the art & philosophy one). But I think it’s time to actually make a move here. I can’t drag my feet forever.
Every fabric of my being says “Roubo”, and Roubo it will be. I like the style, the size, the leg vise, the name, the sliding deadman, etc. Really, who doesn’t have a thing for sliding deadmen? If it’s a deadman, it better slide. Or if it slides, it better be a deadman. That’s what I always say.
So, yeah, the particulars:
Height: 33” (I’m 5’ 6”)
Misc: fat legs, leg vise, slidin’ deadman, tail vise, no split top
If it’s a significant dimension, it’s gotta be an odd number. And that, as they say, is that.
I’m terrified of the rising dovetail/tenons through the top. I can envision screwing that up quite badly. But I believe in facing one’s fears head on (not snakes), and I figure if I take my time and plan them out properly, I can do it. I want to do it. I want to be able to say I did it. It must be done.
I plan to use borg douglas fir 2×4s for the top (think Paul Sellers), borg s4s “select” pine for the legs. I’m sure I’ll use douglas fir for the leg vise; I’m cheap like that. I haven’t really decided what to do on the tail vise just yet, but I will make a decision there shortly.
I’m open to thoughts, suggestions, etc.