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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Melbourne, Vic, Australia
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    Default Blackwood and Maple Roubo

    Hi guys,

    After completing a folding door build (see fancy exterior folding door thread) just before Christmas I found myself with the pleasant decision of which project to tackle next!

    I decided I'd build a Roubo. Something I'd been wanting to make for some time, having bought Benchcrafted hardware 2.5 years ago and some nice Blackwood for the base in Feb last year.

    I didn't yet have a design but decided to just build a standard split-top Roubo, as per Schwarz's book and the Benchcrafted design - just with dimensions that suited me and the timber that I had.

    I am using Blackwood for the base and will use Hard Maple for the top.

    Dimensions will be nominally - 2200mm long, 710mm wide, 890mm high, 145 x 142 legs, 120mm thick top.

    I will use the Benchcrafted hardware, including the knockdown barrel nuts for the long stretchers so I can knock the bench down if I ever need to move it.

    I purchased some nice old air-dried Blackwood for the base in big section sizes. No laminating required. Legs will be 145x142mm, stretchers approx. 120 x 75mm, and vise chop 220 x 70mm.


    The build was started the day before New Years Eve as I had a few days off work.

    The Blackwood hunks .

    IMG_20201227_090901_127.jpg

    Broke this down and milled it all up square and straight. The wide boards were ripped in half for the 120mm stretchers. It was a pity I couldn't quite get 4 legs from the same piece and the other piece I had turned out to be far darker, resulting in one odd leg. This will be located at the rear right position of the bench!


    Stock prepped.

    IMG_20201231_103600_096.jpg

    The legs couldn't be trimmed on the table saw and had to be finished by hand due to the massive section size!

    IMG_20210101_084049_748.jpg

    I cut all of the mortises and the stretcher tenons first, then cut the slots in the chop and leg for the Benchcrafted criss-cross - hogging out the bulk waste with a forstner bit prior to finishing with the router.

    IMG_20210103_204936_869.jpg

    20210103_123610.jpg

    I ended up drilling all of the holes (for the leg vise, for draw-bore pegs and for knock-down bolts) on my metalworking mill vs the drill press as I haven't made a table for the press and trying to balance and hold the large sections while drilling accurately was just not going to happen!

    I then test-fit the leg vise hardware to ensure it would all work after final assembly when things would be more difficult to correct. Luckily there were no issues. Chop will still be shaped etc.

    IMG_20210103_204936_870.jpg

    Cheers for now.

    Dom

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Millmerran,QLD
    Age
    71
    Posts
    9,361

    Default

    Dom

    I find myself increasingly envious of your productivity levels. I took some recompense from the fact you had the materials for up to 2 years. although I have had my materials for in excess of five years and still not started!! I was once given some advice when building a house and living in temporary accommodation: Don't make the temporary accommodation too comfortable. The trouble is I have a workbench that gets me by without being in any way ideal.

    I like the sheer massiveness as like large motors, there is no substitute for cubes. As usual it looks as though you are doing a precision job. The big advantage of the split top is that when you come to put it in place you only have to buy beer for two mates instead of four. There are a few other advantages like the planing stop etc.

    Watching with intense interest.

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

    "Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!"

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Melbourne, Vic, Australia
    Posts
    1,211

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bushmiller View Post
    Dom

    I find myself increasingly envious of your productivity levels. I took some recompense from the fact you had the materials for up to 2 years. although I have had my materials for in excess of five years and still not started!! I was once given some advice when building a house and living in temporary accommodation: Don't make the temporary accommodation too comfortable. The trouble is I have a workbench that gets me by without being in any way ideal.

    I like the sheer massiveness as like large motors, there is no substitute for cubes. As usual it looks as though you are doing a precision job. The big advantage of the split top is that when you come to put it in place you only have to buy beer for two mates instead of four. There are a few other advantages like the planing stop etc.

    Watching with intense interest.

    Regards
    Paul
    Thanks Paul, very much appreciated.

    Your comment gave me a moment of thought and I have to say that I've always been pretty "productivity" focused, especially when it comes to physical "doing things" - less so when it comes to desk work - but even there I prefer to work extremely intensely for shorter periods under high pressure vs slow and steady over a longer period. When I worked at a supermarket through high school and while at Uni I was the Michael Jordan of Supermarket work - I'd do the work of 2 or 3 at least, every shift without fail haha - in retrospect I was nave and worked myself stupid for minimal personal benefit. I've also always been a competitive cyclist and competitive in anything physical to be honest. I likewise enjoy making things - and as quickly as I can a lot of the time. Not sure why - maybe I just enjoy the challenge of self-imposed time-frames.

    Anyway, back to the build!

    After trial fitting the leg-vise, I finished cutting all of the leg and stretcher mortises and tenons with a couple of sub-assembly trial fits along the way.

    IMG_20210105_212305_767.jpg

    All joinery cut and holes drilled -

    IMG_20210106_092614_285.jpg

    With a final test-fit of the primary base structure completed last Thursday. Everything came together well and all seems nice and square etc.

    IMG_20210107_200032_787.jpg

    Also picked up 0.4 cubic meters of Hard Maple for the top.

    IMG_20210109_204128_470.jpg

    Now things will slow down as I'm back at work and this weekend was all about doing other chores before heading back .

    Cheers,

    Dom

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Melbourne, Vic, Australia
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    Default

    Well things certainly slowed down as life got crazy once back to work!

    Some progress made on the top-

    Maple ripped and crosscut using the Festool HK85. I justified buying a 3m track which helped the process.

    IMG_20210127_074913_589.jpg

    Then the least fun, most time consuming and least inspiring part of this build - the milling and laminating of the slabs for the top. It took longer just because i wasn't inspired to make time to return to it ��.

    IMG_20210201_093329_476.jpg

    IMG_20210206_202614_877.jpg

    IMG_20210207_211344_451.jpg

    I used dominos for alignment and titebond 3.

    IMG_20210214_210644_538.jpg

    Then it was back to the drawing board to figure out dimensions for the vise hardware and end caps etc as my fimensions are completely different to the benchcrafted plans.

    IMG_20210228_215724_465.jpg

    I also decided to put end caps on both slabs. I also made the slabs slightly narrower than planned or i'd have neededto use another two boards to get a total of 25mm more width - this will require me to recut the stretchers for the base unfortunately.

    Next up the fun stuff.

    Cheers, Dom

  6. #5
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    Default

    Then it was time to cut the tenons for the end caps. Shoulder plane and chisels got a workout - even the large 1" framing chisel got a workout.

    IMG_20210228_215724_464.jpg

    Then I had to figure out how to cut the tails in the front lamination of the rear slab. I decided a ladder in my timber garage was the best medicine.

    IMG_20210316_202704_308.jpg


    IMG_20210313_203629_025.jpg

    Then I had the pleasure of using a fretsaw to cut out the 50mm thick hard maple waste haha.

    IMG_20210314_084357_202.jpg

    IMG_20210313_203629_022.jpg

    IMG_20210313_203629_013.jpg

    Then I cut the blank for the end cap to size, cut the mortise (drill, router and chisel) and clamped the front lamination in place to transfer the tails/layout pins.

    IMG_20210313_203628_993.jpg

    Cheers, Dom

  7. #6
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    Default

    Then a quick one-two with the sash saw -

    IMG_20210317_074951_774.jpg

    Then a not so quick three-four-five-six...fourteen.. with some chisels and the end cap pins are cut.

    IMG_20210317_074951_737.jpg

    Then a quick dry fit to also mark out the locations of the end cap threaded inserts. Obviously the dovetail pins will be flush planed to neaten them up later.

    IMG_20210317_074951_751.jpg

    The slab ended up at 122mm thick. End cap is 122x72mm Blackwood. Top slabs will be 320mm wide each.

    I don't think i'll glue the dovetails on the end caps - just in case I want to pull the end caps off at any stage.
    I'm a little annoyed that the 'practise' rear cap turned out pretty well. $20- says the front won't be quite as nice - because that's always how it goes!

    Cheers, Dom

  8. #7
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    Jan 2021
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    Redland Bay QLD
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    31

    Default

    That dove tail is a work of art...

  9. #8
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    Apr 2006
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    Hobart
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    Default

    Beautiful crisp dovetails, Dom. Well done!

    Dovetails 1.jpg Dovetails 2.jpg

    Like Paul, I like the functional mass and the aesthetics of your bench.

  10. #9
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    Mar 2015
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    Thanks guys.

    So the next step was cutting the large rebates for the tail vise. Bit of head scratching to figure out the dimensions (hopefully works out!). Was going to drill out the bulk and finish with the router / chisel but settled on the track saw instead to get rid of the bulk and it worked out well - with a bit of router and chisel work to finish.

    IMG_20210321_200735_288.jpg

    IMG_20210321_200735_278.jpg

    IMG_20210321_200735_266.jpg

    IMG_20210321_200735_263.jpg

    IMG_20210321_200735_242.jpg

    Then I milled up the dog hole strip and drilled out 20mm dog holes. Incidentally, I found that my 3/4" holdfasts (Gramercy) didn't want to hold in 20mm holes in the 122mm thick top until I counter sunk 30mm holes about half depth from the underside.

    20210324_065814.jpg

    Things are pretty tight and messy in the shop at the moment!

    20210328_142311.jpg

    Next will the front slab end cap and dovetails as well as fitting the vise.

    Cheers, Dom

  11. #10
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    Default

    Oh, here's a video of the dovetail test-fit so I could locate the placement of the threaded inserts.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CMmCT1Aj...d=5hitievjh27i

    Cheers, Dom

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    blue mountains
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    Great work as usual Dom. For some reason I only just spotted this thread but pulled up a chair now. That is going to look the part in that great workshop of yours.
    Regards
    John

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by orraloon View Post
    Great work as usual Dom. For some reason I only just spotted this thread but pulled up a chair now. That is going to look the part in that great workshop of yours.
    Regards
    John

    Thanks John. Had a bit of a lull in progress when I went back to work but hopefully can keep it on the boil and maintain steady progress.

    With that, I started on the dovetail / end cap for the front slab yesterday. Hopefully this one works out well as it's the front facing side.

    Layed out the tails and cut with my Lie Nielsen 16" tenon saw. I never got along with this saw but after stoning the teeth to reduce the set by about half I like it a lot more. I'd still prefer a thinner plate though.

    IMG_20210327_205138_768.jpg

    Then fret sawed and chiseled the waste.

    20210329_201755.jpg

    Then, after ensuring the tails were nice and square, layout for pins on the end cap.

    IMG_20210328_203430_504.jpg

    And that's where things are at until next weekend .

    Cheers, Dom

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Not a heap of progress but I cut the pins on the second end cap. Quick test fit and fit is good.

    IMG_20210402_203447_354.jpg

    Bad axe 13ppi 14" sash saw is perfect for this.

    IMG_20210403_221036_180.jpg

    20210404_202439.jpg

    I also worked out all the dimensions (hopefully correctly) for the shoulder vise and drilled and routed all the appropriate holes, dado's etc. Photo's to follow.

    Cheers, Dom

  15. #14
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    Mar 2015
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    I had to re cut the tenons on the short base stretchers to make the base narrower to suit the width of the top. Following that I glued up the legs using the standard draw boring technique. I really love this method - no need for clamps and everything comes together nice and tight.

    IMG_20210410_204506_557.jpg

    Then I assembled the base and layed everything upside down to transfer the tenon locations to the base. I used 5cm long tenons vs the 2.5cm long stub tenons recommended by Benchcrafted as I figured it wouldn't hurt and if I ever wanted to permanently drawbore the tops to the base there would be enough tenon to do this.

    IMG_20210411_083226_382.jpg

    Test fit was all good.

    IMG_20210416_070139_408.jpg

    Then I milled up and made some T&G boards for the base. I'll still need to cut these down to size. I played around a bit with layout as there was a lot of variation in colour and the order and orientation made a big difference to the overall look IMO.

    IMG_20210419_215218_192.jpg

    IMG_20210419_215218_179.jpg

    This weekend I'll finish the T&G, make the sliding deadman and maybe finish the chop. Then it'll basically be ready for assembly prior to finishing and making the gap stop.

    Another big job is removing all the stuff I have stored under, and on top of, my old 2.4mx1.1m bench (there's a lot of crap under there haha) and dismantling that to make space for the new bench.

    Cheers, Dom

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Blue Mountains
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    Dom, this is a piece of furniture. It’s magnificent.

    cheers,

    ajw

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