Preparing for a Roubo Build


Eric Smith
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I'm preparing to build a Roubo bench.  I'm a small guy, not very strong, so I'm thinking about the logistics imposed by the weight of this thing as it develops. Here's what I'm thinking right now, and I would like to know if you see any problems with this approach. I'm considering building the base first as shown below, link included as well.  A sketch artist I'm not :-).  The top rails can be temporary.

WIN_20171116_08_25_07_Pro.thumb.jpg.84771161027aa13d695891c14f63d604.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2xsvgdkxxpqp6pg/WIN_20171116_08_25_07_Pro.jpg?dl=0

I'll make sure the top rails are level, parallel and coplanar.  Then,  I'll laminate the top in place.  I'll build around the tenons and when finished, wedge them.  This should alleviate a lot of heavy lifting.  Thoughts?

In advance, Thank You!

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My first thought would be to see if you can find someone to help with the lifting. I am not exceptionally strong, but I found I could move the slabs enough for most tasks, but I did get my wife to help with running each half through the planner.  If you go with your plan I would make the top in four pieces, then finish up on the bases. I’d make sure I protected the base from squeeze out or you will never get the base and top separated again.  I will say building a Roubo is a good weight workout. Good luck.

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Well, if you plane the top by hand, don't worry about the weight. If this is a split top even more. You can do the job on a pair of sawhorses in a location parallel to the final workbench spot. When time will come to move the top (or the split halfs) you only lift one end and pivot on the other end to put the end roughly in place, then do the same with the other side. This way, you will only carry maybe 30% of the overall weight. Note: if you use dominos or dowels to align top chunks you probably don't need to run the top on a planer. You can do the final finish directly on the top (planning and/or sanding), it's no big deal.

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2 hours ago, Unknown craftsman said:

I think it needs a lower stretcher or it might be wobbly. A good handtool work bench should be rock solid.

Aj

I agree, but I had assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that they will be there, just not drawn, as referenced by the lower stretchers on each end.  Again, I just assumed.  Lower long stretchers are needed.

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Definitely make sure you've got those lower stretchers. When doing operations such as planing, you don't want those legs racking. While the top will probably have some kind of lag screw/giant spax screw holding the top down onto the tenons, when you start planing things are gonna start wobbling. You can always use the knockdown bench hardware from Benchcrafted to make your base "collapsible". 

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