Tommy Hall

Slit-top Roubo Work Benchs, Pro/Con

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I have gotten allot of input from Wood Talk for my next workbench build.  I'm thinking of a "spit-top design" are there pro/con fillings from users of this style of workbench.  I'm planning on a front and back Hovarter Wagon Vise on the right side and a leg vise on the left front.  The bench will need wheels so it can be pulled into the middle of my shop. 

Tommy Hall  Amesbury, MA

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This has been covered before, but the split top is easier to build. It allows for the gap stop to be used as a planing stop, which I use when face jointing boards. It's also nice to have for storing a few tools while working. I've clamped things down using the gap once it twice. The cons are probably that it requires stretchers to support the top, and it makes flattening the top by hand a little more challenging. 

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I have been using mine for a over a couple years now and wouldn't change a thing. Some features i sue all the time some only once in a while but really like the functionality of the bench.

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Mine is not a Roubo but is a split top.  I really like it.  Mine has a 2" gap between the halves and it is handy for so many things, especially clamping.

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Is it common to have a solid filler strip that can be lift up as a stop and how would this be done.  I found the 2015 thread of construction of a split-top by a member named Greg.  I'm a new-be at this site and am still trying to get around it and how to research it's past.  I'm a slob, so an open slot is not a good idea, BUT I like the ability to have a fence to work against, my T-Track bench offers this.  I had a tray bench at one point and it was a disaster for me.  I would like to know more from pkinneb about the like features he uses.

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The gap filler strip rests on the stretchers that support the top. It has notches to fit over the stretchers and make it level with the top. To use it as a fence / stop, lift it up and slide it to one side so the un-notched portion is on the stretchers.

Now would be a good time to consider buying the Roubo project from the guild ...

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3 hours ago, Tommy Hall said:

...  I would like to know more from pkinneb about the like features he uses.

Just having a real workbench one that doesn’t move when cutting dovetails or chiseling out the waste, the flat surface, the planing stop, and the leg vise are used almost everytime I’m in the shop. The tail vise not as much but when you need it it’s there. I have yet to use the sliding deadman but was thinking I may use it tomorrow to clean up the edges on a coffee table top I am currently making

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10 hours ago, Tommy Hall said:

I have gotten allot of input from Wood Talk for my next workbench build.  I'm thinking of a "spit-top design" are there pro/con fillings from users of this style of workbench.  I'm planning on a front and back Hovarter Wagon Vise on the right side and a leg vise on the left front.  The bench will need wheels so it can be pulled into the middle of my shop. 

Tommy Hall  Amesbury, MA

Uh huh, another left hander in the crowd.

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Lefties-the only ones in their right mind. I really like my split top, the only negative is the shavings will fall down through the gap. 

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44 minutes ago, RichardA said:

Uh huh, another left hander in the crowd.

 

40 minutes ago, wdwerker said:

It's a decent group in this crowd ! Welcome to a fellow lefty.

Now I know why I've always liked you two. :D

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Tommy,

You can go to Marc's guild website https://thewoodwhispererguild.com and purchase the Roubo bench project for $120 which is cheap when you look at what you get.  It comes with planes, cut list and 26 video lessons that total over 590 minutes of "how to"  And you get a permanent membership in the guild.

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I see it as an advantage. I can do more with my right hand than any of you can do with your left. It's a right handed world so I had to learn both ways just to cope. 

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10 minutes ago, wdwerker said:

I can do more with my right hand than any of you can do with your left.

You are right,  other then writing, I am almost ambidextrous.

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I'm a righty, but spotting a lefty is way easy, most of you write from the top of the letters, the rest of us write from the bottom of the letters.

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20 hours ago, pkinneb said:

I have been using mine for a over a couple years now and wouldn't change a thing. Some features i sue all the time some only once in a while but really like the functionality of the bench.

Richard, "Thank God I Am Not A Lefty" too.  I was born in 1945 and witnessed the abuse they took, specially by the Nuns!!   I did find the Wood Whisper Guild site, really nice, but $120 buys allot of Hard Maple.  The vise locations are based on the space the bench will be in,  tucked between the drill press and the overhead mortise.  I'm liking they idea more and more of the split-top.  I work in a shop with big machines and should have no problem making 1'x5' sections square and flat.

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11 minutes ago, Tommy Hall said:

...I did find the Wood Whisper Guild site, really nice, but $120 buys allot of Hard Maple....

It sure does. Having said that the project videos can save a ton of frustration and rework, if you haven’t done something like this before. If you have expierince in this type of build disregard and carry on if not I would seriously reconsider, just my two cents.

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43 minutes ago, Tommy Hall said:

Richard, "Thank God I Am Not A Lefty" too.  I was born in 1945 and witnessed the abuse they took, specially by the Nuns!!   I did find the Wood Whisper Guild site, really nice, but $120 buys allot of Hard Maple.  The vise locations are based on the space the bench will be in,  tucked between the drill press and the overhead mortise.  I'm liking they idea more and more of the split-top.  I work in a shop with big machines and should have no problem making 1'x5' sections square and flat.

Well, I'll be damned. Finally someone that can probably remember the end of WW2 like me.  DOB  1942  Welcome old man.

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5 hours ago, Tommy Hall said:

 really nice, but $120 buys allot of Hard Maple. 

I built from the plans/video. It's absolutely worth every penny, and you never lose the info. 

Consider the $120 investment as a tool that will help make the job much easier and faster. On a project that big, that'll cost at least $2000 if you're going with Benchcrafted hardware, it's worth it

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Tom I live in Candia N.H I am curious do you have a place where you are going to buy the lumber for your bench.I am wanting to build one also and still looking for a good place to purchase the lumber for it?  

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2 hours ago, Tommy Hall said:

Richard, did you notice how much heavier the plank have gotten!  I'm the oldest in the shop so they watch out that I don't do something # % @.

What pisses me off, is when you see a tag on a bag of dog food that say's 100 pounds, and when I go to pick it up, it's a helluva lot more than any 100 pounds, it's closer to 200.

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57 minutes ago, Dennis O'Shea said:

Tom I live in Candia N.H I am curious do you have a place where you are going to buy the lumber for your bench.I am wanting to build one also and still looking for a good place to purchase the lumber for it?  

Real close to you is Highland Hardwoods in Brentwood and Northland Forest Products just a couple miles South on Rt. 125.  Northland is cheaper but will not help you out much, ma not be open on weekends.  In Rowley MA is Yankee Pine they sell most their wood milled.  Also Keever-Willard in Newburyport, they only want BIG orders.  If your going to do one in Hard Maple email me at l-thall@comcast.net, I live in Amesbury and work at a shop in Rockport, MA they buys large quanity's of wood from K-W, we could add it to a load.  I'll be a few months before I'll start the bench project.

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33 minutes ago, Tommy Hall said:

Real close to you is Highland Hardwoods in Brentwood and Northland Forest Products just a couple miles South on Rt. 125.  Northland is cheaper but will not help you out much, ma not be open on weekends.  In Rowley MA is Yankee Pine they sell most their wood milled.  Also Keever-Willard in Newburyport, they only want BIG orders.  If your going to do one in Hard Maple email me at l-thall@comcast.net, I live in Amesbury and work at a shop in Rockport, MA they buys large quanity's of wood from K-W, we could add it to a load.  I'll be a few months before I'll start the bench project.

 

34 minutes ago, Tommy Hall said:

Real close to you is Highland Hardwoods in Brentwood and Northland Forest Products just a couple miles South on Rt. 125.  Northland is cheaper but will not help you out much, ma not be open on weekends.  In Rowley MA is Yankee Pine they sell most their wood milled.  Also Keever-Willard in Newburyport, they only want BIG orders.  If your going to do one in Hard Maple email me at l-thall@comcast.net, I live in Amesbury and work at a shop in Rockport, MA they buys large quanity's of wood from K-W, we could add it to a load.  I'll be a few months before I'll start the bench project.

Thanks for the Info much appreciated 

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