Roubo Bench Build – Part 2

I am very pleased with the progress I have made this weekend on the Roubo bench.  Right after I posted the last entry here my hardware arrived from Benchcrafted.  I am very hands on and wanted to hold the hardware in my hands before I jumped to far into the build, so I was glad when it arrived as I really wanted to get on with the project.

The first task after getting to two halves of the top home was to cut the mortise and tenon in the front slab for the end cap.  The tenon was fairly simple, even though it is rather large.  Most of the work was complete with my Lie Nielsen carcass saw, pared with my chisel, and then smoothed to final depth with my router plane.  On that note, I must say that I sometimes forget how much I enjoy using my router plane, it is  a great tool.  After fitting the end cap of Maple onto the slab, I made a decision to add some contrast.  I stopped by CAG Lumber and picked up a 12/4″ slab of Walnut and started over on the end cap.  As I had just been through the process it didn’t take long to have the cap remade and fit into place and much happier with the results.

Next, I glued the dog hole strip, cut the tails in the front laminate, and cut the pins into the end cap.  In the process of doing each of these tasks a curious thought occurred to me.  I had expected to use a lot of power tools on this project as most of the parts are oversized and in the end it is a bench so ultimately I want to get it complete to move on to other project waiting in line to be built.  But at almost each task I found myself still going for the handtools.  Most of the cross cuts were just easier to just cut by hand rather than fumble with the long boards.  I had also planned on running the top back through the planer before I fixed the end cap but again it was simpler to just run my big #7 jointer plane across the top to even it out.  The problem is that because everything is on such a large scale…then so are the weights and most of the pieces are just awkward to handle.

It was a great moment when I was able to mount the tail vise hardware into place as it is now starting to look like a bench…well at least half of one anyway.  There are still a few details left in the top but I should be finished and ready to move onto the base next week.

Thanks for following along!



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11 Responses to “Roubo Bench Build – Part 2”

  1. Kyle Heon
    March 9, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    I’m so jealous. I want to do this build but just can’t afford it yet. Definitely love the walnut end cap and is what I was thinking of too. Seeing yours I know that is what I want.

  2. January 12, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    That end cap is simply gorgeous and the fit is spot on!

    • highrockww
      January 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

      Thank you Kari. Tis the year of the bench!

  3. Bill Akins
    January 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    Most excellant choice in the design change. The contrast is wonderful. A big hunk of walnut makes anything more beautiful, not that your bench wasn’t beautiful already. I’m looking forward to the big finish.

    • highrockww
      January 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

      Thanks Bill! …..maybe I should start wearing a big hunk of walnut myself? :)

  4. Mike
    January 10, 2012 at 3:21 am #

    I would enjoy watching you work. Thanks for sharing.

    • highrockww
      January 10, 2012 at 3:54 am #

      Thanks Mike! I often think back on when you knew me and it seems like a lifetime ago. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. January 10, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    Agreed. The walnut endcaps look great. Looking forward to watching the rest of the build.
    That’s pretty cool that your dad went out and sourced the maple, BTW.

    • highrockww
      January 10, 2012 at 3:53 am #

      Thanks and yes it was cool of my dad to source the maple. He has always been supportive of me….

  6. January 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    Love the way the walnut endcap contrasts!

    • highrockww
      January 9, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

      Thanks Erik. I am really glad I decided to go with the Walnut end cap. Obviously function is the most important aspect of a workbench but if I am going to have to look at it for years to come, then I also want to be pleased with the look.

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