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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    752

    Default Dan's Blackbutt Roubo Bench

    My major project for 2009 is good solid work bench. I've bought my wood - around 170 superfeet of costal blackbutt from Malcom Ward. I've read some books - The Workbench Book, and Chris's Schwartz.

    I'm embracing Schwartz's teaching to overbuild... while maintaining your marriage.

    Current plan is 9'x2' and 4" thick. 5"x5" legs. Legs are on the corners. Don't think this will last as it makes the leg vise smaller.

    Leg vise on the edge. Sliding deadmen to start with plans for a sliding leg vise with the support under the shelf. The new bench crafted vise is expensive... but it looks so smooth and shiny.

    Any feedback welcome.
    My blog: ~ for the love of wood ~ - http://theloveofwood.blogspot.com/

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Laurieton
    Posts
    2,251

    Default

    Let the games begin. Looking forward the WIP.
    Bob

    "If a man is after money, he's money mad; if he keeps it, he's a capitalist; if he spends it, he's a playboy; if he doesn't get it, he's a never-do-well; if he doesn't try to get it, he lacks ambition. If he gets it without working for it; he's a parasite; and if he accumulates it after a life time of hard work, people call him a fool who never got anything out of life."
    - Vic Oliver

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Dundowran Beach
    Age
    70
    Posts
    19,601

    Thumbs up

    Mmmmm! Looks good!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    752

    Default First lot of WIP pics


    A week off work enabled me to get stuck into the project. The above pic will give you an idea on how it will work.
    The top will be 101"x24"x4" and at 900kg/m3 making it about 135kg.
    Note: on the left is my current workbench (no more having to keep a foot on the frame to keep it steady and in shape).
    Note: at a recent church working bee I salvaged from under the church these 4 trestles from some old tables. I cleaned the rust off the hings, sanded and oil the wood (to find wedged through tenons) and tacked some old carpet to the top.


    To cut the wood I used my Makita circ and a $2.70 chalk line from bunnings. Not perfectly staight, but pretty good. Ready to machine.


    Making some dust...


    This pic is the legs. The table is going to be 31" tall. These pieces are 5"x2"x31". To be machined and formed into square legs. (I also cleaned the edges off some mryltle boards which are for a later project.)
    My blog: ~ for the love of wood ~ - http://theloveofwood.blogspot.com/

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Sydney
    Age
    47
    Posts
    8,504

    Default

    Dan, that is going to be a great bench. I can't wait to see it finished.

    Have you set a deadline BTW?
    Visit my website at www.myWoodwork.com.au

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Lambton, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    4,946

    Default

    This will be a very serious bench, you must have some good projects lined up to be made on such a work horse.
    Instagram: mark_aylward
    www.solidwoodfurniture.com.au


    A good edge takes a little sweat!!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    In the shed, Melbourne
    Age
    46
    Posts
    6,754

    Default

    It's good to see some more WIPs, there was a drought for a while. BozInOz, I hope you don't get in too much trouble for putting a breath of dust on SWMBO's washing machine.

    Keep the pics coming.
    I make things, I just take a long time.

    www.brandhouse.net.au

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    5,272

    Default

    A really nice looking design.

    My only concern would be the sliding leg vice. If the slider cups, then it will stick in its guides making it a pain to shift along. Maybe a ply tongue could be inserted in the top and bottom of the slider to ensure it operates smoothly and indefinitely.
    .
    I know you believe you understand what you think I wrote, but I'm not sure you realize that what you just read is not what I meant.


    Regards, Woodwould.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    752

    Default

    A deadline? Well. Hard to say. I'm not in a rush.

    This project I'm going to take my time with, as I want to pass this to my grand kids. (And I have had any kids yet.) I want it build right. Without compromise. (That being said I chopped my 10' boards to 8 1/2'. )

    I plan to buy a new thicknesser for this project... which depends on my tax return. That's going to slow down things.(I have my eye on a woodfast combo.)

    I'm debating vises. I'm tempted by the bench crafted vises. But if you bought three that's $1300. Hmm. Is a wagon vise better than a wonder pup? Is a wagon and leg vise better than a leg and sliding leg? Why don't people put pups in the top of leg vises. Who's to say. I haven't decided. Haven't ordered. So that will take time.

    A sliding leg vise is a complicated piece of woodworking engineering. Particularly if you want the tenon under the shelf rather than on it. Moreso, if you put it on wheels for lateral movement. My current plan is to design a sliding leg vise but build a sliding deadman with plan for future upgrade.

    Also, I'm not sure of the dryness of my wood. The last blackbutt I got from Mal Ward shrank a further ~1.5% after I finished the project. I wanted to cut all the pieces early to aid in drying and if any board warps really badly if can be replaced.
    My blog: ~ for the love of wood ~ - http://theloveofwood.blogspot.com/

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Laurieton
    Posts
    2,251

    Default

    Looking good.
    Bob

    "If a man is after money, he's money mad; if he keeps it, he's a capitalist; if he spends it, he's a playboy; if he doesn't get it, he's a never-do-well; if he doesn't try to get it, he lacks ambition. If he gets it without working for it; he's a parasite; and if he accumulates it after a life time of hard work, people call him a fool who never got anything out of life."
    - Vic Oliver

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Sydney
    Age
    47
    Posts
    8,504

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BozInOz View Post
    I'm debating vises. I'm tempted by the bench crafted vises. But if you bought three that's $1300. Hmm. Is a wagon vise better than a wonder pup? Is a wagon and leg vise better than a leg and sliding leg? Why don't people put pups in the top of leg vises. Who's to say. I haven't decided. Haven't ordered. So that will take time.
    Dan if you want to do it right and pass it to your grand kids then you need to go all the way. Those wagon vises do look very noice.

    [I know I know it is easy for me to say it because it is not my money BUT...]
    Visit my website at www.myWoodwork.com.au

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Laguna
    Age
    62
    Posts
    60

    Default

    Hi, if you are following Chris Schwarz's design and cutting mortices into the top for the legs you will need a lifting device (135 Kgs). It is better to lift it perpendicular to drop it onto the legs. It only has to lift 50 mm but it will make your life a lot easier. Also if you are cutting a slot for the deadman it is easier to cut it before the entire top is glued together so you do not have to turn the entire top over a couple of times. Having just built one out of Oregon I struggled to throw it around on my own.

    Good luck

    Andrew

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    1,181

    Default

    Hi Dan,

    Looking great. Can't wait for all the pics.

    Hope that combination of sawdust and the laundry/washing has not already threatened the project or the marriage.

    One beaut solid bench in the making.

    Cheers
    Pops

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    752

    Default

    Tweaking the design. I think the most potent rule of workbenches is that it's all about compromise. Everytime you improve one area it comes at the lost of something else. You need to workout what you need it to do, and design a build towards what you need for your style and technique.

    I'm having two big issues which I'd welcome any comments on.

    1. Tool Storage
    • I would love to have drawers under the bench. Tools right there when I need them and so I can put them back without covering the top.
    • A drawer straight under the table runs into problems with holdfasts and dust.
    • I thought quick and easy is two tool chests under the table. But then there's problems with sliding leg vise.
    2. Vises
    • A sliding leg vise I think is a great functional upgrade. However the engineering of it is big. Having the rail and the vise screw under the bench limits storage there. Having a track above and below is tricky.
    • Do I need a wagon vise. Not so sure. Could I use bench dogs in teh leg vises? I'd rather plan all the vises now. Retrofitting is never the easiest approach.
    • On the latest plan I've increased the left front leg to be 6" to match the vise. Still too small if used alone, but 2 x 6" leg vises should cover everything.
    • Decisions decisions. Originally the bench was 3' square with a veritas twin screw.

    My blog: ~ for the love of wood ~ - http://theloveofwood.blogspot.com/

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Newcatle
    Posts
    1,920

    Default

    This is a really interesting design.
    I can't believe the top will only weigh 135kg.

    The sliding leg vice pretty much eliminates drawers under the bench. I mounted two shallow drawers under my bench. Like you, I liked the idea of having a handy place to clear the bench top of small tools.
    It kept getting in the way of clamps and I eventually removed it.

    My new bench will have a twin cabinet of drawers below the bench and between the legs.
    It will be several inches below the bench top so I have clearance for the dogs.
    My vices are on the ends of the bench that overhang the base. They wont interfer with the drawers.

    Your drawer(s) will have to open on the vice side so they are convenient to use.
    Maybe you could have one or two shallow drawers and just be willing to accept that sometimes the sliding vice will obstruct one of them.

    I like the size of your bench but I made mine about 6" wider. It gives me a little bit of room to move with pieces that are 24" wide. This used to annoy on my previous bench.

    A very impressive upgrade from your existing bench....
    Scally
    __________________________________________
    The ark was built by an amateur
    the titanic was built by professionals

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