I too am building a Roubo


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To estesbubba...I went to your web site, and took your shop tour. I am impressed. You obviously don't park your cars in the garage.  The only thing missing is a Roubo.  Looking as some of the fabulous things you have made, your current bench has served you well.  However, it is time for a Roubo.


Regarding the base...if you build your Roubo according to Benchcrafted plans, then your base will be a little beefier.  The plans call for each leg to be 5 3/8 x 3 1/2.  Mine are 5 3/16 x 3 1/2. Also, the plan overall dimensions for the base are 52 3/8 x 24.  Mine is 49 7/8 x 24.


I look forward to seeing some of your pics.






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Since I have a mentor who is teaching and helping, I need to describe the work to date, and who performed what.  

I did the planning, using the Benchcrafted 3d model.  I broke out the individual parts of the base, with their dimensions, and provided them to Bob.  He then did the preliminary cutting, jointing & planing of the oak timbers. The timbers were in rough shape, and looked more like railroad ties, then oak.

I then took the 4 legs and cut them to the desired length.  Bob and I then planed them to the same final dimensions of  5 3/16 x 3 1/2.  I fed them into the planer, and Bob then handed them back to me.  With 2 of us working together, this went pretty fast.

The leg mortises for the upper and lower side braces were routed using a jig that I developed.  

The leg mortises for the front and rear braces were routed using an edge guide. I drew the mortises on the leg then carefully routed them.

After I routed all of the leg mortises, Bob showed me how to square the corners using chisels.  He gave me a 30 second demo. I then squared all of the mortises. I definitely had a learning curve. These are the first mortises I have done.

All of the above work was done in Bob's basement.  

I then took all of the parts to my garage to route the tenons.  I routed all of the tenons on my Woodpecker's router table.  All in all, very happy with the fit.

Back to Bob's basement where I drilled the holes for the barrel nuts & bolts. Bob and I then assembled the base for the first dry fit.

All of the above occurred over a 6 week time period. However, 2 of the weeks were spent in the UK, celebrating my Father-in-Law's 90th birthday.

I will update this post with a picture of the jig that I developed for the leg mortises.


Here's a picture of the base, with one of the alder boards I will use for the top.




Here's pictures of my current setup. You can see why I am building a Roubo.











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This is looking awesome! You'll wonder how you ever got by without a good bench. The workholding possibilities are great with this bench. Milling stock is far easier as well since you don't have to chase a lightweight bench across the floor. Plus all of your force gets transferred to the workpiece and isn't wasted in bounceback when chiseling, etc.

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I took some close up pictures of the the legs to show some of the patchwork I have done.  The Oak beams had some nail holes, knot holes, checks, and other imperfections that needed repair, but do not impact strength.  As a bonus, you can check out the mortises and my chisel work.


This picture shows circular plugs on the top leg.  I used plugs to patch all nail holes,  On the bottom leg, I used rectangular patches to patch checks.  Unfortunately, I didn't take any "before" pictures.






This picture shows a square patch I used to cover a knot hole.






This picture shows some knot holes that I filled with epoxy.  I added sawdust to the epoxy mixture to try to match color.






This picture shows a leg with a rectangular patch down the entire length of the leg.






This picture shows a plug and a football shaped patch.





Here's a picture of my cat, making it very difficult to post these pictures.











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Production Update...


Three days ago, I glued up the right side of the base in Bob's basement.  We debated on the best way to do the glue up, and decided that since the dry fit went so well, we would glue up the right side with the base assembled.


Here's a picture:





We were able to square all edges using just 4 clamps.  Here's a picture with an engineering square.





Two days ago, I worked in my garage to cut the dados for the ledgers, in the front, rear, and 2 lower side rails. You can see the dados in the first picture above.


I also milled the ledgers from an white oak board that I had left over from a previous project.  The fit is very snug, so I will round the edges and sand the ledgers prior to glueing them.  I will show pictures of the ledgers when I document final assembly of the base.



Yesterday, Bob and I unclamped the base, then I drilled the holes for the dowels.  This morning, I cut a spiral groove in each dowel, and sanded them lightly to ensure a tight fit.  I then glued the 8 dowels...Here's some pictures.








This afternoon, I cut the dowels flush.  Picture below.




All in all, very happy with the progress.









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No progress on the Roubo, as I have spent the last 3 days harvesting a sweet gum tree.



Next up is the leg vise install.  I am reading the install manual (pdf) for the 6th or 7th time.  I hope to start routing & drilling the leg on Tuesday...Monday will be spent on another hobby.



Looking good. Bob is a lot better helper than what I have for my Roubo build...


Good looking pup...


Also, I am following your Roubo build and looking forward to your next update.






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Leg Vise...


Yesterday, in Bob's basement, I drilled the hole for the Crisscross mounting pin in the left front leg.  I then took the leg to my garage and routed the crisscross mortise.  Back to Bob's basement to dry fit the crisscross...no problems.


This afternoon, I glued up the right side.  Here's the picture.





In the picture, you can see the ledgers, which are dry fit into their respective dados.


Plan is to leave the clamps on for 24 hours.


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Are you building the chop out of alder as well?


Right now, that is the plan.  However, I plan to cut, mill, and glue the top before attacking the chop.  If I don't have enough alder for the chop, I have access to cherry and white oak as a backup.  Right now, I plan to make the Gap stop out of cherry.

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The base is essentially complete and has been moved from Bob's basement to my garage (workshop).  The deadman runner has been made, but is not attached to the front rail. I will attach the runner during dry fit of the top and completing the deadman mortise in the top.


Here's a couple of pictures:





Note in each picture that I have attached UHMW feet on the legs.



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Looking good Phantom! Are you at all concerned about the UHMW making the bench scoot or am I over thinking its friction reducing property?


Due to my workshop (garage) space constraints, my Roubo will normally be located against a wall.  However, I expect that I will occasionally need to move the Roubo to the middle of my shop. I have looked at several wheeled options, including the casters in the following link... at $70 each.




Right now, the UHMW is my low cost solution. Based on info from some other blogs, the weight of the finished bench is sufficient to keep it from sliding under normal use.  However, the bench can be moved with some effort.


Phantoms Phorever :)

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I have seen some pretty awesome lever actuated casters that allow the bench to sit on it's own legs until you strip on the toggle that engages the caster. Once you win the bench race, tap it back and it sets back on the legs. If I remember right, they were in the high $30 range . I'll do some searching to see if I can find it again.

And the base looks great BTW. can't wait to see the tops attached and finishing touches.

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