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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hopefully I'll remember to keep up on this.

This will be mostly based off of a Split Top Roubo that everyone else seems to like. Mine will be a bit different though.

Size is aiming to be ~72" long, 3" thick top, and 30" wide.

I moved into my new townhouse just under 3 weeks ago from a studio apartment, so I obviously needed to build myself a bench. I've never had a proper woodworking bench before, so I figured that would be a good first project with the new garage. Drove about an hour NE of the city and picked up 105bdft of Red Oak from someone off of craigslist for $160.



Ended up getting sick this week and had to stay home from work on Tuesday. What's a good cure for a 100+ degree fever? Sawdust of course.

Planed down and ripped enough boards for half of the top, and managed to get it all glued up.



There it sat until tonight after work. My wife ended up getting sick (courtesy of me), and our neighbors are having a dinner party outside, so I didn't want to fire up any power tools. Pull out my No. 6, sharpen it up, and get to work.



My arms hurt.

The whole thing isn't completely flat, but it's flat across 95% of the width the whole way. It's enough to where I can throw it through the planer to flatten the other side, and then finish off the first.



Hopefully tomorrow will be a productive day. Trying to at least get the second glue-up done. The goal is to have both sides finished this weekend. Second side will be a little trickier as I have to Plan ahead for a wagon vice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Planed down and ripped enough boards to make the second top today.



Filled up yet another 30 gal trashcan of shavings/dust. The remaining space in here was topped off by emptying the contents of my shopvac (which was also dumped out yesterday).



Then I routed out/chiseled the area for the wagon vice. There will be a lower guide rail that will be added in that will allow fine tuning the fit later on.



All glued up



The boards that are sticking past the rest of them will be turned into the moving block for the wagon vice as well as filling in the gap on the end of the vice. Doing it this way ensures that the fit will be just right when I go to put them in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Didn't get a whole lot done today. Elbow/shoulder was hurting while trying to flatten the front half. So I called it a day and did some other stuff around the house.



Total is 28 pieces of oak. It's about 25" wide here. With the planned tool well it will end up about 30" wide.

 

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master sawdust maker
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interesting design changes, I am subscribed to this one!
 

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where's my table saw?
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kudos to you

Very ambitious project, but probably rewarding each day you make progress. I would not have the energy to make a bench top this way and would have to resort to a wide belt sander 4 miles down the road as I did about 5 years ago. I'm thinking of building another one though, so I'm watching this thread also. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Very ambitious project, but probably rewarding each day you make progress. I would not have the energy to make a bench top this way and would have to resort to a wide belt sander 4 miles down the road as I did about 5 years ago. I'm thinking of building another one though, so I'm watching this thread also. :thumbsup:
Well, my initial idea is to drawbore the top halves together in the endcaps. 0 glue, and 0 glue for the legs going into the top. That way in the future if needed I'll be able to knock the pins out/drill them out and throw each half through a planer again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I ordered up a pair of Tail Vice screws from Lee Valley yesterday. One for a leg vice and one for the wagon vice. With any luck I'll get them later this week. Also may be picking up about 60-70bdft of Walnut this week as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Well I got the legs laminated up tonight. No photos, but it's not really exciting to look at anyway. Should hopefully be able to rip/plane them down to final size tomorrow, and then I'll be going away for the weekend. Vice screws should be here on Monday.

I may need to find some more wood. I'm slowly running out of oak, and what I have left isn't wide enough for the leg vice.

I picked up about 67 boardfeet of Walnut yesterday at $4.75/bdft ($2+ less than in a store here), but that's spoken for in a coffee table and morris chair planned for builds this fall/winter.
 

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Well I got the legs laminated up tonight. No photos, but it's not really exciting to look at anyway. Should hopefully be able to rip/plane them down to final size tomorrow, and then I'll be going away for the weekend. Vice screws should be here on Monday.

I may need to find some more wood. I'm slowly running out of oak, and what I have left isn't wide enough for the leg vice.

I picked up about 67 boardfeet of Walnut yesterday at $4.75/bdft ($2+ less than in a store here), but that's spoken for in a coffee table and morris chair planned for builds this fall/winter.
7 bucks for walnut?! My local store has it for 11! Lucky guy. Needless to say I don't do much with walnut or ash or cherry etc. I need a local mill!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well the stuff I bought for $4.75 wasn't from a mill. That was just a guy on craigslist that buys woodworker's collections of wood for his cabinet-making business and didn't have any use for the walnut at the time. Same guy that I got the Red Oak for $1.50/bdft.

My local lumberyard, Crosscut Hardwoods, is on the way to/from work and has Walnut for $6.75/bdft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Didn't get anything done yesterday as I spent the day driving through North Cascades National Park. Amazing scenery up there. I feel very fortunate that I live close enough to be able to drive through whenever I want.

Today I managed to be quite productive. First I cut down legs for the workbench:



Used the hand clamps as vertical guides for the saw.



4 equal length legs. 35" long, 3" wide, 2.75" thick.


I also got new fluorescent fixtures wired up in the garage (had to wire up new outlets as well). Sorry for the poor photo. Workspace is MUCH brighter now. Could probably use one more bank of lighting, but it is easy enough to add later.




And finally I got one half of the top surfaced through the planer. Had to enlist the help of my wife for this. That thing is super heavy. Still have the other half to do, and then I have to make sure they're both equal.

 
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