Roubo bench build - Page 2 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #21 of 68 Old 07-22-2017, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Lol. For what it's worth, it was all done with hand tools. I used a one and a half inch auger bit to remove most of the material. And a chisel for the rest. It is sized to hold a 2 x 4. I will cut a notch into each one of the pieces of the top to sit down on top of that. The top is 16 boards wide, and 8 feet long. At 20 lb per board, that puts it at about 320 lb.

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post #22 of 68 Old 07-22-2017, 03:43 PM
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I doubt that at the end of the day when all is said and done and we've all died of old age your tombstone will read, "Didn't cut every mortise by hand every time ESPECIALLY that bench underneath all the other junk in the garage." lol
Then again we don't actually know exactly what others might carve into our tombstones..
I want mine to read, "Never did pay that fine for his dog running away." I actually went to jail over that once.. I still haven't paid the fine.
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I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?
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post #23 of 68 Old 07-26-2017, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Got the back side glued up. Now for the center boards.

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post #24 of 68 Old 07-27-2017, 10:21 AM
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Looking good!
Just curious, what's your plan for making sure your center boards exactly fit between the two outer ones?


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post #25 of 68 Old 07-27-2017, 12:21 PM
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Love the bench @Chris Curl.

I've been reading and re-reading Christopher Schwarz's workbench book for a few years now. Hopefully I'll take the plunge someday. My two hang-ups are, space--I don't really have enough for a full size bench--and I tend to do most of my work outside on our deck, which makes moving a 320 pound Rubio up from the basement and back down to the basement somewhat impractical.
And on the other hand, our deck provides a variety of immovable clamping surfaces.

But not as much fun as building a bench.
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post #26 of 68 Old 07-27-2017, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Looking good!
Just curious, what's your plan for making sure your center boards exactly fit between the two outer ones?

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The target width for the bench is 24", so that will be 16 boards total. The outer boards that I have in place are each 2 boards thick. So I need 12 center boards between the two outer edges that I have in place currently. The cross pieces hold up the 12 center boards. That means the cross pieces should be pretty close to 18" long. They are 2x4s, just sitting in the notches, not glued or anything.

The plan is to cut and prepare all center 12 boards and lay them in place dry. Then I will clamp the whole thing together, including the outer boards, using pipe clamps. If the cross pieces are too long, then the center boards should not be able to be pulled together. If so, I can shorten them as needed before gluing everything up. It should be OK if they don't extend exactly all they way into the notch. The notch is 1 1/2" wide and 1 1/2" deep, so if the cross piece is 1/8" short, I doubt that would be a problem.

After verifying that the pipe clamps can pull everything together nicely, then I feel like it will be ready for glue.

... turning perfectly good wood into firewood every day ... :smile3:

Last edited by Chris Curl; 07-27-2017 at 02:49 PM.
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post #27 of 68 Old 07-27-2017, 04:26 PM
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Got it. I thought you had glued up the crosspieces, too. You've got my interest.


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post #28 of 68 Old 07-27-2017, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by gj13us View Post
Love the bench @Chris Curl.

I've been reading and re-reading Christopher Schwarz's workbench book for a few years now. Hopefully I'll take the plunge someday. My two hang-ups are, space--I don't really have enough for a full size bench--and I tend to do most of my work outside on our deck, which makes moving a 320 pound Rubio up from the basement and back down to the basement somewhat impractical.
And on the other hand, our deck provides a variety of immovable clamping surfaces.

But not as much fun as building a bench.


Build the bench. When you want to move it upstairs, just hitch the cat to it & use a whip.


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post #29 of 68 Old 07-29-2017, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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5 more boards to go. It is raining here today so I can't rip them.

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post #30 of 68 Old 07-30-2017, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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Milled and notched the last 5 boards. Getting closer ...


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post #31 of 68 Old 07-30-2017, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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How to proceed?

The picture in my last post is the current state ... all the boards are dry-fit in place. As you can see, there are some gaps. Of course, this is without clamps pulling it all together, which will certainly close many of the gaps.

If I had a jointer and planer, then I could glue up 3 at a time and run them through those to straighten them up, and life would be easier, and I would have a better idea how to proceed. But I don't, so I'm unsure how to proceed.

Right now, 6 of the boards are glued together: the outsides that attach to the legs, and 2 of the boards of the center part of the top. I have confidence that the 2 in the center section are pretty straight. as I planed them and used winding sticks on them.

So ... how to proceed?

Should I: (1) glue 2 or 3 together at a time, and then do the plane/winding sticks thing to straighten them like I did with the first two, and then glue all those components together? Or should I: (2) glue them all together at once, pulling them straight with pipe clamps.

My guess is that option (1) is probably the more correct way to go. For option (2), I am thinking that polyurethane glue might be better, as it would expand and fill any gaps.

For what it's worth, in the video series Paul Sellers did on making a workbench, he used option (2), after doing a quick planing to smooth out some of the machining marks on the boards.

Thoughts? How would YOU proceed?

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post #32 of 68 Old 07-30-2017, 06:17 PM
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unless you've done this, it won't carry any "weight"

Anyone can say ...Oh just clamp them all up at once, but unless you've done that, you have no idea how things can go wrong and how fast. When my buddy and I glued up various pieces of Maple 24" long all thickness planed to the same height, we used his 10 ft X 5 ft cast iron shaper table as a gluing surface. This was for a bench top about 7ft X 40" wide. He had done this same thing hundreds of times for the solid core doors he builds, and he used West Systems epoxy, rather than yellow glue. He also had about 30 bar clamps ready to go. It all went smoothly....

Your pieces are longer, so that will help. You shoud have a cool headed helper ..... preferably a non-relative or family member.
If you can lay down a large, flat piece of MDF or particle board as a gluing surface, then cover it with Visqueen, to avoid the pieces sticking to the MDF. Then start laying out your pieces, gluing them with a roller for speed. Tape your pipe clamps also to avoid sticking. Set them up with the approximate length between jaws at the finish width. Start in the center and work outward. This will squeeze the glue towards the ends. Have a dead blow hammer handy to drive down the boards that work their way up. Once you have about 8 clamps on one side, flip it over and wipe the squeeze out glue away and wet sponge it...... Easier said than done, it will be very heavy.

Stay calm and it should all go well. Me, I start panicking during glue ups and then start swearing, and then more panicking .... Since this one is all flat, you should be OK.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 07-30-2017 at 06:52 PM.
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post #33 of 68 Old 07-30-2017, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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I only have 8 bar clamps. And my other clamps are not even close to being long enough.

Time to make another trip to harbor freight. Their clamp HW is less than 1/2 the next cheapest guy.

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post #34 of 68 Old 08-05-2017, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Started the glue up of the center boards. The plan is to glue up 2 at a time. Then I will flatten them with my jack and #7 planes, and glue them all together when there are no gaps under light clamping.

These 2 1/2" spax construction screws are really good for pulling the boards together. I remove them after he glue has dried.



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Last edited by Chris Curl; 08-05-2017 at 02:27 PM.
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post #35 of 68 Old 08-05-2017, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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And cereal boxers are good for the squeeze out.

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post #36 of 68 Old 08-05-2017, 03:57 PM
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Looks like you eat a lot of bran.
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If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #37 of 68 Old 08-11-2017, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Chopped the mortices for the bottom cross pieces



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post #38 of 68 Old 08-14-2017, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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Getting closer. Got the long side stretchers fit. They will use a type of tusk tenon joinery. I also planed the center pieces flat and now have a good fit with no large gaps. Some of the boards were proud in the middle. Next: cut the holes for the in the tenons for the wedges. Then it will finally be time to assemble the thing and start working on flattening the top.


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post #39 of 68 Old 08-14-2017, 08:46 AM
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Looks like you're really cramped for space. Are you working on it there or did you move it there to keep it out of the way?
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post #40 of 68 Old 08-14-2017, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Looks like you're really cramped for space. Are you working on it there or did you move it there to keep it out of the way?
It will go where the other one is (on the left in the picture) currently. Not sure what I'll do with that bench.

... turning perfectly good wood into firewood every day ... :smile3:
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