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Roubo Bench from Pallet wood

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Forum topic by solderjoint13 posted 09-06-2017 12:29 AM 620 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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solderjoint13

3 posts in 102 days


09-06-2017 12:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: roubo workbench woodworking bench roubo bench split top roubo bench split top pallet wood reclaimed wood lamination thickness bench design pallet

I’m working on making a split top roubo bench and I was thinking of using pallet wood for the top. I plan on putting the boards on there sides to get the thickness and laminating them. The final thickness will be around 2.5”-3” I think after flattening the top. The boards are not long enough to have a board going 6’ for the length of the entire bench. I know it would be a lot of glue and work, but I think this top would look really neat. I have a lot of pallets that are oak, hickory, and pecan. I thought I would just mix it all up.

Here are my concerns:

1# Will I have issues with the lamination? I plan on staggering the boards so that the boards stop 1/2 to 1/3 the width of the board next to it. I thought this might be enough long grain to long grain glue surface to have a decent joint. I know they make table tops like this but finger jointed on the ends.

2# Is this thickness substantial enough to fight the sag? Roubo’s do not have support for the top but rely on the tops massiveness.

3# Any thing I haven’t considered yet?

-- - James


12 replies so far

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 3207 days


#1 posted 09-06-2017 12:58 AM

Going to need a hell of a lot of boards! You have to joint or plane both sides of every board which will thin them down some. Lots of work ahead of you. Keep us posted.

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John

224 posts in 1420 days


#2 posted 09-06-2017 02:33 AM

I would think glueing up like how you’re talking would work just fine. A ton of work, but it will look cool.

-- I measured once, cut twice, and its still too short...

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

8328 posts in 1325 days


#3 posted 09-06-2017 03:10 AM

Yeah it’ll work great. Use wax paper so you don’t get glue everywhere. And buy at least a gallon to start.

Edit: yes. A lot of work. will take awhile. Plan. Then execute.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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solderjoint13

3 posts in 102 days


#4 posted 09-06-2017 06:15 PM



Yeah it ll work great. Use wax paper so you don t get glue everywhere. And buy at least a gallon to start.

Edit: yes. A lot of work. will take awhile. Plan. Then execute.

- TheFridge

IS that your bench in the photo, if so how long have you had it?

I was planing on using boards even thinner than that. Right now most of them are roughly 1/2” plus. I’m using the parts of the pallet that are thinner. I’m really debating on even trying this or just going to the home center and grabbing some 2×10” and rip them. Cost wise I can get the pallets for free, but will need a lot more glue.

I guess I would just wonder if you guys would even bother tackling this or just get thicker boards. My original plan was to go with 2×10 boards but I thought this might be a neat idea. I think this is one of those should I just get it done deals or should I invest more time to be creative.

-- - James

View TaySC's profile

TaySC

270 posts in 172 days


#5 posted 09-06-2017 06:24 PM

Seeing the picture that The fridge posted, I would definitely try it if the pallets are free.

If you are in a rush or need the workbench soon, maybe go with thicker lumber, but this looks like a challenge that is right up my alley.

Go for it!

View rodneywt1180b's profile

rodneywt1180b

154 posts in 225 days


#6 posted 09-06-2017 08:05 PM

The only big consideration I can think of is the cost of tooling. Pallet wood tends to be dirty and full of embedded grit that will tear up your knives on your jointer and planer in a hurry.

On the plus side that’s a really nice looking bench that’s shown.

-- Rodney, Centralia, WA, USA www.etsy.com/shop/ASturdyStick

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TheFridge

8328 posts in 1325 days


#7 posted 09-07-2017 12:04 AM

Yes it’s mine. I’ve had it complete for about 2 years ish. I got all my stuff out of a local cabinet shops scrap bin. Mainly poplar with some maple, oak and some other common hardwoods as well just on the top.

Pallet wood is gonna be rough on the knives. you could always use an old set of knives to surface all faces. I did that on my jointer before installing a freshly sharpened set.

I made sure every board was the same thickness and I marked my 2 sacrificial boards heavily on edge grain so they didn’t get mixed up. It goes pretty quick when you have all the wood you need plus some and don’t have to recalibrate your machines because you ran out of stock.

It was definitely worth it. I’m gonna do the same whenever I build a bigger bench.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1138 posts in 1062 days


#8 posted 09-07-2017 12:10 AM

Just an idea but might want to try to run a Porter Cable Restorer over the boards first to help clean them up.
They have a scrub kind of pad on a wheel that I used for taking paint off machinery but might help clean up some of the things that could take out the knives in your machinery or plane blades.

If you are going to laminate a lot of boards together, it might be possible to skip the jointing process and just plane everything down to equal thicknesses. You can glue the first few pieces horizontally, clamped against a flat surface and everything should stay pretty flat after the glue sets.

Would save a lot of time in the prep.

View Redsoxfan's profile

Redsoxfan

34 posts in 1465 days


#9 posted 09-07-2017 10:55 AM

pressure washing the pallets also helps. then hit with a 40 grit abrasive disc.

-- Brian, Western MA

View solderjoint13's profile

solderjoint13

3 posts in 102 days


#10 posted 09-07-2017 02:51 PM

Thanks guys these are all fantastic ideas!


Just an idea but might want to try to run a Porter Cable Restorer over the boards first to help clean them up.
They have a scrub kind of pad on a wheel that I used for taking paint off machinery but might help clean up some of the things that could take out the knives in your machinery or plane blades.

If you are going to laminate a lot of boards together, it might be possible to skip the jointing process and just plane everything down to equal thicknesses. You can glue the first few pieces horizontally, clamped against a flat surface and everything should stay pretty flat after the glue sets.

Would save a lot of time in the prep.

- AZWoody

AZWoody when you say gluing the first few pieces horizontally, are you talking about gluing them flat on a surface just to get the edge and length of the top of the bench started? If so, I love that idea. These boards are so thin. I can see how a flat reference surface will get things started right!

-- - James

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

8328 posts in 1325 days


#11 posted 09-07-2017 04:01 PM

Definitely have a reference. I think I made a torsion box sorta deal and made sure it was pretty flat with a 4’straight edge. I also used wax paper and waxed the piss out of the reference surface so the glue didn’t stick to anything.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1138 posts in 1062 days


#12 posted 09-07-2017 04:08 PM



Thanks guys these are all fantastic ideas!

Just an idea but might want to try to run a Porter Cable Restorer over the boards first to help clean them up.
They have a scrub kind of pad on a wheel that I used for taking paint off machinery but might help clean up some of the things that could take out the knives in your machinery or plane blades.

If you are going to laminate a lot of boards together, it might be possible to skip the jointing process and just plane everything down to equal thicknesses. You can glue the first few pieces horizontally, clamped against a flat surface and everything should stay pretty flat after the glue sets.

Would save a lot of time in the prep.

- AZWoody

AZWoody when you say gluing the first few pieces horizontally, are you talking about gluing them flat on a surface just to get the edge and length of the top of the bench started? If so, I love that idea. These boards are so thin. I can see how a flat reference surface will get things started right!

- solderjoint13

Yes, that is what I mean. That way, after you have a group of them glued up, you can then run them on the jointer to flatten the what will be the top. Then glue up the sections for the final assembly.

And the TheFridge is spot on about the wax paper. I always put that underneath when I’m doing glue ups.

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