As many of you know I am member of The Woodwhisperer Guild. If you are not familiar with the guild, I highly recommend checking it out as it is a great way to help challenge your skills as a new or experienced woodworker. The winter project for 2012 starts in January and is a Roubo split-top workbench.
My current workbench is a solid core door on a steel frame. It has served me well but as I move further into my own woodworking I realized that it does not meet all of my needs. To read more about my current bench check out my post on Woodworking Benches.
After deciding to join in on the current build, I had some decisions to make like type of wood and hardware. For both of these decisions I tryed to keep in mind that I want this to be a bench that I use for a lifetime. For the wood my ideas ranged from Spruce to Maple, and I had settled on using Spruce until I spoke with my father. He asked what would I would really want to use if I had all choices and the answer was Maple. Maple is the best choice for me as it is dense, heavy, and well traditional which I do like. Dad called me the next day and found some Hard Maple from a local guy up in North Carolina. He picked it up for me just before Thanksgiving and I couldn’t wait to get up there to get started. Over Thanksgiving weekend we ripped, cut to rough length, and glued up the 8/4 boards for the two halves of the top.
Since that time I have managed to complete a few other tasks in between building Christmas presents. The major task that I completed was cutting the square dogholes into the doghole strip. I created a jig for my router to ensure that all of the holes were exactly the same. The jig worked well and all of the notches are cut, next I will glue on the face of the strip and plane it down to final thickness. I also, planed the glued up tops to rough thickness this past weekend to just over 4″ thick.
For the hardware I considered many options but in the end decided on the Benchcrafted hardware as I believe that it is the best on the market. The price tag is not for the faint of heart but considering it is a lifetime investment I believe that it is worth it. I ordered the hardware in November and hope to have it within the next few weeks.
With the holidays coming to an end and the guild build officially beginning soon, I hope to be able to spend more time getting into the details of the project. I must say that setting the tops in my shop definitely gave me some motivation to get going. So be sure and stop back in as I will be posting my progress as I go along.
For more on the Woodwhisperer Guild go to http://thewoodwhisperer.com/guild