Roubo perplextion

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by willhime posted 10-02-2014 09:08 PM 1069 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View willhime's profile


108 posts in 1567 days

10-02-2014 09:08 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bench laminating joinery question trick

I starting to make a Roubo bench, mostly because of all the magazines and shop talk peer pressure. So, working for about a year now, the dovetail leg surface inserts proved beyond my skill/patience level. Then I ran across the “laminating ‘cheat’ video”: from David Barron. I started burning through all my random walnut and maple pieces, laminating, planing, etc till I had made all 4 legs, bottom stretchers, and bench top.

When I began piecing it together on a ‘dry run’, I came across one of those “and….I’m dumb now for not thinking ahead moments. All 4 legs are in 4 separate pieces that I had planned on laminating the stretchers through, and the top around them. My question is, should I do the bottom first, then (this goes flawless in my head) using my engine cherry picker for holding the top level while I laminate around it? Or laminate the surface around the top of the legs upside down then attempt to laminate the stretchres and boards, and leg vise setup, then flip it over? Or some other method that might actually be successful. As you might guess, woodworking isn’t my “1st language”...

-- Burn your fire for no witness

4 replies so far

View dlgWoodWork's profile


160 posts in 3783 days

#1 posted 10-02-2014 09:35 PM

I did not do the “laminate cheat”. I cut mortises in the bottom side of the top for the legs. If I was doing it your way, I would say assemble it upside down would be easiest. But make sure you have some strong help to have you flip it over. Also, make sure you make the room to flip it over. My bench is a little over 6’ long and 24” wide. It took more space than I would have guessed to flip it up on its legs. We went from top down, to onto the back legs, then finally forward to its upright position.

-- Check out my projects and videos

View willhime's profile


108 posts in 1567 days

#2 posted 10-05-2014 09:59 PM

thanks for the tip. I think I’ll do it that way, with maybe some equal sized blocks underneath to rest the surface on so the leg tenons can go further down past the surface to insure a little wiggle room to make them flush? we shall see

-- Burn your fire for no witness

View CL810's profile


3799 posts in 3017 days

#3 posted 10-06-2014 01:46 AM

Will, I made my bench this and about it here. I assembled the base first. Next, I laminated the center part of the top, that is, the part of the top between the legs. I then set it in place. It should rest on the shoulders of the legs.

Then it is real easy to laminate the remaining boards to the top. After the glue dries you can drive the wedges in place. Message me if you have any questions.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2999 days

#4 posted 10-06-2014 03:51 AM

I built my bench 5 years ago, before I ever heard of Roubo, or read any of Chris Schwarz books. I just by a blind stroke of luck decided to build a good heavy bench and made the entire thing out of laminated plywood; legs and all. And, also, by coincidence, I used the laminated tenons and joinery method to layer up the stretchers and legs. It all worked great and I would not change anything.

I did build my bench upside down on top of two heavy duty saw horses. This allowed me to use winding sticks to make sure the top was not in a twist as I layered it up. I shimmed the saw horses till the top was perfectly level and flat in all directions. Very important! If you glue up with a twist it will stay that way.

A side benefit of building upside down on saw horses is once you get most of the top layered up, you have a bench surface to assemble the legs and stretchers on. Also, when you do get the parts all assembeled its pretty easy to roll it over onto its legs because it’s already near the right height; not much lifting. My bench weighs over 300 lbs but I rolled it over by myself.

Good luck and have fun.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics