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JoshC1501

Benchcrafted Roubo Build Question

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For those of you who built this bench from the Benchcrafted plans with their hardware, any problems or regrets about using the Barrel nuts and bolts to attach the long stretchers?  How about using the spax lag screws to attach the top.

 

I have a little voice in my head telling me these are going to cause problems in the future. I love the design and everything else about the bench, just have questions about this.   

 

I have no intention of ever taking this bench apart, so the knockdown feature is not important to me.  How difficult would it be to replace these with permanent joinery?  In the Benchcrafted notes download, it says that you can use permanent joinery on the long stretchers, but use of the barrel nuts is recommended by Benchcrafted.

 

I would appreciate any input

 

 

Josh

 

 

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I built mine by drawboring the long stretchers(I might use the barrel bolts for a bed in the future), but I did use the Spax for the benchtop.  I have had my bench for almost 3 years, and I wouldn't change it.  I recently just moved across the country, and didn't have any problem (with lots of help) moving it as one piece, often lifting only by the tops.

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Marc built his without the nuts and bolts in the Guild build, as did I.  The only reason I would use them is if I thought I'd be moving...and even then I probably wouldn't use them, because you can still move the bench completely assembled.  It's heavy, but no worse than shlepping around an 8" jointer.

 

The spax screws just hold the slabs down to the rails...got a better idea? :)  I added a couple extra to the original suggested number.

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I also built my bench almost 3 years ago and I used the screws on the top = no problems there at all.  As for the barrel nuts and bolts.......I now wish I had not done that.  I would like to upgrade to the criscross but the lower left front bolt is in the way and is going to take some rebuild to move it.  As for you that won't be a big issue since the newest plans take that into account.  

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Marc built his without the nuts and bolts in the Guild build, as did I.  The only reason I would use them is if I thought I'd be moving...and even then I probably wouldn't use them, because you can still move the bench completely assembled.  It's heavy, but no worse than shlepping around an 8" jointer.

 

The spax screws just hold the slabs down to the rails...got a better idea? :)  I added a couple extra to the original suggested number.

 

I have not purchased the Guild project yet, but plan to if I build this bench.  I was curious if incorporated the nuts and bolts, so thanks for that answer!

 

I am less concerned about the screws to hold the top down.

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Hi Josh. I built mine with the barrel nuts and spax screws. One reason was because we plan to move at some point in the near future, so I wanted the option to break the bench down. What I learned was that simply removing the slabs made the base very manageable to move around without knocking it down.

 

Having said that, if you ever need to move your bench down a stairway to a basement, or some other narrow path, you'll be glad that you have the option to knock it down via the barrel nuts.

 

I move my bench around the garage on small dollies, and I really abuse it. So far I have not had to tighten the bolts and have had no issues at all with the bench staying solid.

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I built mine with the drawbore technique. Which is slick like elephant snot and I wouldn't change that.

 

You will want to use the screws on the top. They make it super easy to take expansion and contraction of the wood into account without overthinking the problem.

BTW - I used the criss-cross and love it. I've seen a half dozen other "home-made" sliding pin replacements out there. There are a lot of options. The criss-cross however couldn't be easier to install, especially if you are adding it from the get-go.

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Drawbored mine. I’ve got nothing against barrel nuts, they work great. Worse case, you snug-them-up at summer/winter boundaries…

 

Barrel Nuts: The reason I went drawbore is the same reason I went square dogs – tradition trumping functionality. On an intellectual level, round dogs and barrel nuts make more sense, but square dogs and drawboring just seemed right… The actual footprint of the base is small and you can easily maneuver it through door openings – so moving the base isn’t really an issue… If you’ve got stationary power equipment, moving the assembled Roubo isn’t really an issue either – as Kiki observed, it’s about the same as an 8” jointer…

 

Spax: Planned to go through tenon (more of that tradition sh*t), so used the fasteners on another project. When the time came, I was just so ‘tired’ of the build that I decided to go stub tenon/spax. BTW: allocate more time then you think for the build – it’s a deceptively long and tiring. It turned-out to be a fortuitous choice – a year or two after the build (and for reasons best left unexplored), I had to remove the top and run it across the jointer and wide-belt… I was really happy that I left the top removable. BTW, the top slab is seriously heavy – I’m not convinced you actually need to screw it down at all…

 

The route you go doesn’t really matter – it’s a new bench with top-shelf hardware – it’s all good…

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TripleH, I was wondering about that. With the weight of the top and good fitting mortises, it seems like there is no need for the screws. The mortises will keep it from moving.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

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I probably should have expanded my post a bit. Towards the end of the build, I seriously wanted to get on with something else. The slabs were held in-place with the stubs and gravety. It stayed that way for almost two years. It wasn't until I removed/surfaced/replaced the top that I bothered to screw it down at all... I suppose I did it for 'completeness' or maybe belt/suspenders...

 

But Note: I'm not a hand-tool guy. I know how to use them and execute most of my joinery by hand (when I'm not using a domino), but I don't mill stock at the bench. If I spent time at the bench with a cambered Jack, the Spax may have come into play a lot sooner...

 

I really did want to go through tenon for the traditional look, but I'm quite glad I didn't. I'm not convinced you ever need to take the base apart, but removing the top from base is far more likely -- it would be a chore to work on the wagon vise with the slab perminently attached... When I build a new bench (twenty years form now), I'll use a through wedged tenon and not glue-it.

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I am not a full out hand tool guy either. Enjoy cutting some joinery by hand and occasionally flatten 1 surface by hand to then run through my planer but in the end love my power tools!

This decsion can be made down the road, long way to go before I get there!

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==>^^^

If I may suggest, perhaps too broad a brush... You can certainly have issues with bench fasteners, but it’s really down to type of fastener and the species/grain/etc of the stock. ... If I remember correctly, CS's biggest issues surfaced with Megan's bench build (LVL and lag bolts). In general, captured nut-based fasteners are resonably secure if you combine them with stable stock... Don't get me wrong, I planned to go all M&T -- but it was very fortunate that my Roubo's top remained removable...

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I used the spax and the barrel bolts. My stub mortises are tight but I am glad I used the screws. I have lifted the bench by the top and without the screws the base probably would have stayed in place. I do sort of regret the barrel bolts. They have not caused any problems, but they were extra work. I knew I would be moving soon, but when the time came, the movers just lifted the whole thing up and onto the truck.

I don't have the criss-cross but have never found using the pin to be a problem. In fact, if I ever get to the point where i can't reach down and move the pin I'll probably give up wood working.

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Don't do that. Cut a tapered shim to kick back and forth on the floor with your walker. I think I saw Schwarz demo that. Hoping to chase this train soon.

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