New Roubo Style Bench

Kerry Burton

Member
Messages
1,163
Location
Orem, Utah
I'm really liking the idea of making a jig and using the router to cut the tops and the bottom, as I don't think I have a bit long enough to plunge all the way though, or even half way through :rolleyes: :D then I'd just need to clean up the corners and I'd have a nice through mortice. More work to set up, but it sure would be a nice clean cut!

Have you received your August issue of Popular Woodworking yet? This project reminds me of the article on pages 48-53 called How to Make 'Condor Tails' by Jameel Abraham.

Mr. Abraham shows how to use a bandsaw, chisels, a router and a trim router to make large, tight-fitting dovetails to join the parts of his bench's tail vise.

The difference is, he shows a half-blind dovetail joint ... kinda like a monstro drawer front. Your joint is oriented differently, but I bet some very similar methods could apply. In fact, you seem to have already thought of them! :thumb:
 

Rob Keeble

Member
Messages
12,636
Location
GTA Ontario Canada
Stu the whole leg vice wheel movement improvement issue is a fiddle. i tried to copy the benchcraft idea with wheels but it did not work out properly. Were i to repeat my build wbich some day i will, then i would purchase their vice screw and wheels kit. in my view there is too much play in my lv purchased bench screw for the precision required here to make this leg vice glide like is shown in benchcraft videos. http://benchcrafted.com/GlideVise.html



sent from my Atrix
 

Stuart Ablett

Member
Messages
15,885
Location
Tokyo Japan
Yeah Rob, I very much doubt I'll be doing the wheel thing.

I am just about ready to put the base together, I have all the holes drilled for the drawboring, now I just need the dowels.

I had some good strong Oak kicking around that I cut up to near the size I needed, then I drilled a 7mm hole through a piece of very hard steel I have, the pins would brake off as I tried to drive them through the plate. First I tried using slightly bigger holes, but this also did not work so well, then I came up with a very simple little jig.....



I just round off each corner a bit, and sharpen the nose of each dowel, then drive it through the 7mm hole....


Works well!


next I put the dowel into a drill and sand the ends to a nice point, so they will travel through the holes easier.


I only got two done before I was called away, I'll finish them up tomorrow, and hopefully have the base together by tomorrow night!

Cheers!
 

Joe Lyddon

Member
Messages
20
Location
Alta Loma, CA
Stuart,

I have to admit... when I first saw your setup (the old one), I thought "WOW! That is one COOL arrangement."... Then, you popped the balloon saying it was BAD and were going to change it... That was really a surprise... Then, you went on to say WHY it was bad... All very good reasons!

I'm sure you have saved many from making the same mistake...
It looks so good on paper and on the surface... but, when you get right down to USING it on a day to day basis do you really put it through the final test.

Thank you very much!

Your new bench should really be a WHOPPER!
Looking forward to seeing how you did it and how it turns out.
 

Bill Satko

Member
Messages
2,606
Location
The Methow
I had some good strong Oak kicking around that I cut up to near the size I needed, then I drilled a 7mm hole through a piece of very hard steel I have, the pins would brake off as I tried to drive them through the plate. First I tried using slightly bigger holes, but this also did not work so well, then I came up with a very simple little jig.....

Stu, just a couple of suggestion for making a dowel plate work. First, I rive my dowels, which makes sure I have straight grain, and then I progressively pound them through the plate starting with the largest hole that it barely will not fit though. The dowels for bench mortises can be very long compared to those used for normal furniture, that you might need to use a thick piece of wood with slighty oversized holes for the dowel to fit in. You would place this on top of the dowel plate and place the dowel though that hole and though the hole in the dowel plate. This piece of wood serves to keeps the dowel from breaking by supporting the sides as you drive it though the dowel plate. It is easy to whack the dowel with a offcenter blow which may bend the dowel enough to make it break. It also helps in the alignment of the dowels as you pound them though the plate, making them nice and straight. I got this last tip off another forum.
 

Stuart Ablett

Member
Messages
15,885
Location
Tokyo Japan
Stu, just a couple of suggestion for making a dowel plate work. First, I rive my dowels, which makes sure I have straight grain, and then I progressively pound them through the plate starting with the largest hole that it barely will not fit though. The dowels for bench mortises can be very long compared to those used for normal furniture, that you might need to use a thick piece of wood with slighty oversized holes for the dowel to fit in. You would place this on top of the dowel plate and place the dowel though that hole and though the hole in the dowel plate. This piece of wood serves to keeps the dowel from breaking by supporting the sides as you drive it though the dowel plate. It is easy to whack the dowel with a offcenter blow which may bend the dowel enough to make it break. It also helps in the alignment of the dowels as you pound them though the plate, making them nice and straight. I got this last tip off another forum.

Thanks for the tips Bill, Riving them is the best way for sure :thumb:

I left mine a fair bit longer than needed and drove them deep, then cut them off flush, worked well and those joints are strong! :D

I cut my through dovetail mortices today and I fit the legs to the top, it was not easy, a fair bit of fiddling and then a large persuader was used, but it all came together!



Not bad, and I was able to use some of the old parts from the old bench.....



The sliding deadman, and most of the leg vice. I'm going to have to add a piece to the top of the leg vice to get it up to the right level, but that will happen.



I also need to trim down the pin board on the bottom of the leg vice, it is a touch too long. I think I'll also trim it a bit so that there is more space between the floor and the board, as it is a bit close.


One of the through dovetail mortice joints, it is not bad, and it is certainly strong, but I wish it was tighter. :eek:

I now need to find some of that thinned epoxy so I can fill up some of the voids and a few small cracks.

Almost done!
 

Stuart Ablett

Member
Messages
15,885
Location
Tokyo Japan
I'm really pulling ahead on this bench, honestly just about done, some details to work out, but that will mostly come with use!

Today I pinned the through mortices, maybe this is way over kill, but I thought that it could not hurt :D

I took some hard wood flooring that Kyle gave me, some kind of Vietnamese stuff (sorry Kyle I forgot the name) it has nice straight grain.




Chopped it up into squarish pieces


Then used my little jig and my block plane to make them roundish, after that I hammered them through the steel plate, this time a larger hole (11mm). I put on pin in each joint, I don't think I need more than that.


This is how the bench will sit in the Dungeon, and you can see how the SawStop sits behind it.....




A view from the other end of the shop.

I think this is going to work well.

On the bench I have only a few more things to do, one is to put the other vice in an end vice location.....

... I'm thinking this would be a good spot, opposite corner from the leg vice.

I'll also put a shelf into the bottom of the bench, mainly as a place to store my mini lathe. Keeping it down there will add weight to the bench low down where it will be very effective. I also have to put some dog holes, I have to figure that out, and think about the knock up and own planing stop, if I want to put one in or not...?

I think some more Lee Valley stuff will be in my future, I can see a bench pup or two :thumb:

Oh yeah, I need to turn a handle for the new leg vice screw, using a small Japanese tack hammer is not the best idea :rolleyes:

It sure is solid and sturdy to work on now!

Cheers!
 

Vaughn McMillan

Administrator
Staff member
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33,172
Location
ABQ NM
...I now need to find some of that thinned epoxy so I can fill up some of the voids and a few small cracks...

Stu, you can mix a small amount (starting with a few drops) of DNA to regular hardware store epoxy to thin it to a viscosity anywhere between honey and water. I've done that quite a bit for crack filling and not had any problems getting it to harden.
 

Rob Keeble

Member
Messages
12,636
Location
GTA Ontario Canada
Stu your new bench is looking real good. I tbink you are going to find it really enjoyable to work on something solid.
I will say i originally thought the saw stop add on was a great idea especially for space saving. But i can totally see merits more so when one has somthing on the go on your bench and then need to go over to the table saw and cut a bit off piece that requires use of the fence.
I tend to have some of Chris Schwartz's written words ringing in my ears when i work on my bench. The most obvious and profound thing he made me realize which frankly only truly hit home this past weekend was that a workbench is not merely a work surface but in reality a third hand. Yes our vices act as a third hand but only when i finally drilled my bench dog holes and got to try out and use those gramercy hold downs you recommended did it really hit home and bring to the fore the value of the workbench to me. Then i realized why it was neccessary to have access all around the bench too.

There is one feature my jury is still out on and that is

do we or dont we have a tool tray????
If not do we or dont we have draws/ storage under the bench top low enough for the hold downs to still function. ?

Why? Well where do we store bench dogs, hold downs, bits of small stock to use as wedges in securing a work piece between two bench dogs. These need to be close at hand if they are going to be used as frequent as one really would like to.

Question? Did you make this bench the same height as the saw stop in the settled state?
I certainly like the heft i see in the bench. You might have to counter bore your bench dog holes for you gramercy hold downs to work. :)

Enoy the pleasure of a good bench.:)


sent from my Atrix
 

Stuart Ablett

Member
Messages
15,885
Location
Tokyo Japan
I'M NOT YELLING, JUST ANSWERING YOU IN ALL CAPS INLINE :D

Stu your new bench is looking real good. I tbink you are going to find it really enjoyable to work on something solid.
I will say i originally thought the saw stop add on was a great idea especially for space saving. But i can totally see merits more so when one has somthing on the go on your bench and then need to go over to the table saw and cut a bit off piece that requires use of the fence.
I tend to have some of Chris Schwartz's written words ringing in my ears when i work on my bench. The most obvious and profound thing he made me realize which frankly only truly hit home this past weekend was that a workbench is not merely a work surface but in reality a third hand. Yes our vices act as a third hand but only when i finally drilled my bench dog holes and got to try out and use those gramercy hold downs you recommended did it really hit home and bring to the fore the value of the workbench to me. Then i realized why it was neccessary to have access all around the bench too.

There is one feature my jury is still out on and that is

do we or dont we have a tool tray????

NO TOOL TRAY FOR ME, I'VE WORKED IN SHOPS WITH THEM, THEY ARE JUNK COLLECTORS, YOU COULD NOT GIVE ME A BENCH WITH A TOOL TRAY IN IT :thumb:

If not do we or dont we have draws/ storage under the bench top low enough for the hold downs to still function. ?

MY SHOP IS SMALL ENOUGH THAT HALF A STEP IN JUST ABOUT ANY DIRECTION AND I'M AT ANY OTHER PART OF MY SHOP. THE BENCH DOGS AND THE HOLD FASTS WILL LIVE IN THE SLIDING DEADMAN MOST OF THE TIME. OTHER THINGS HAVE STORAGE ALREADY, MY WORKBENCH IS A TOOL, NOT A STORAGE CONTAINER. YMMV:D

Why? Well where do we store bench dogs, hold downs, bits of small stock to use as wedges in securing a work piece between two bench dogs. These need to be close at hand if they are going to be used as frequent as one really would like to.

Question? Did you make this bench the same height as the saw stop in the settled state?

MY FLOORS SUCK, THEY ARE NOT REALLY VERY LEVEL, SO I MADE THE BENCH JUST A TOUCH LOWER, LIKE 1/4" THAN THE SAWSTOP. I'LL MOST
LIKELY BUILD SOME SORT OF FOLD DOWN OUTFEED TABLE, SORT OF LIKE THIS.....


..... BUT A TABLE, NOT ROLLERS.


I certainly like the heft i see in the bench. You might have to counter bore your bench dog holes for you gramercy hold downs to work. :)

Enoy the pleasure of a good bench.:)


sent from my Atrix
 

Bart Leetch

Member
Messages
3,209
Location
Clinton, Washington on Whidbey Island
I will quote myself

Stu "MY WORKBENCH IS A TOOL, NOT A STORAGE CONTAINER. YMMV"

Bart "Any tool in a small shop with a open base & no cabinet with storage is wasted space."

Your right Stu"YMMV":thumb::D

Oh & I like your bench too. What were the final dimensions? I do agree about the tool tray.
 
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Stuart Ablett

Member
Messages
15,885
Location
Tokyo Japan
Stu "MY WORKBENCH IS A TOOL, NOT A STORAGE CONTAINER. YMMV"

Bart "Any tool in a small shop with a open base & no cabinet with storage is wasted space."

Your right Stu"YMMV":thumb::D

Oh & I like your bench too. What were the final dimensions? I do agree about the tool tray.

Bart, for me the bench is a tool, you don't have a storage container in the middle of your tablesaw do you? Can't use it well if it has storage on top of it, I feel the same way about a bench, it has to be open, you have to be able to use it, but putting anything but a basic shelf on the bottom (mostly to hold something heavy to give it even more stability) I think you take away from the effectiveness of the bench, IMHO :wave:

It is about 24" wide, 63" long and 34 1/2" tall, or there abouts :thumb:

I dug out my lathe from under some stuff, just about had to read the manual to remember how to turn the darn thing on..... :eek: :doh:

I ended up with this......

.... It is hard Maple from Canada, I hope it holds up :D
 

Bill Satko

Member
Messages
2,606
Location
The Methow
I like the look of bench, as it will be easy to clamp work in any position. This chair project should give the bench a good trial run. I will be interested in getting updates on how the bench is working for you.
 
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