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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