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bleedinblue

A Roubo from beams?

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I definitely plan on the wide gap stop for clamps.  When I get the slabs together and get further along, I'll decide if I need wider than 24".  It'll be easy enough to add on, especially the rear slab.  

It's going to be an adjustment for me no matter what, my current bench is about 3'x5'.  

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9 hours ago, bleedinblue said:

I definitely plan on the wide gap stop for clamps.  When I get the slabs together and get further along, I'll decide if I need wider than 24".  It'll be easy enough to add on, especially the rear slab.  

It's going to be an adjustment for me no matter what, my current bench is about 3'x5'.  

After making my gap stop wider, my back slab ended up at about 11" even, since I kept the bench at 24" deep. What's the plan for the front slab, to glue up a couple of beams then use regular 8/4 for the dog strip and front laminate?

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1 hour ago, SawDustB said:

 What's the plan for the front slab, to glue up a couple of beams then use regular 8/4 for the dog strip and front laminate?

Exactly.  

My big decision will be what to use for the end cap and chop.  I was going to order some figured walnut from Goby, but I also think it would be kind of cool to use almost nothing except the beam wood for the bench.  A couple of these beams were maple with quite a bit spalting.  I might be able to make that look good.

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The front slab ended up being 7 1/2" and the plans say 7 13/16.  Should I plan on tacking on another 5/16", or is it close enough?

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10 minutes ago, RichardA said:

Uh, don't you need 5/16 to make it 13/16?  Or are my fingers lying to me?

In my defense, I noticed my error in math before I saw your comment :D

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23 minutes ago, RichardA said:

Or are my fingers lying to me?

This is another reason to work safely, if you lose a finger you shop math goes all to heck.

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1 hour ago, bleedinblue said:

In my defense, I noticed my error in math before I saw your comment :D

  I was sure you didn't miss that detail considering your daily profession.  Details matter.  I can't speak to the bench sizing, my lifetime bench is two sawhorses and a piece of ply. But I do know numbers.

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1 hour ago, Chet said:

This is another reason to work safely, if you lose a finger you shop math goes all to heck.

I have one finger that points around the corner, I use that for the slash/angle.

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5 hours ago, bleedinblue said:

The front slab ended up being 7 1/2" and the plans say 7 13/16.  Should I plan on tacking on another 5/16", or is it close enough?

It really doesn't matter.  It just means you have to adjust a few other pieces (endcap, short rails).

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1 hour ago, Art said:

It really doesn't matter.  It just means you have to adjust a few other pieces (endcap, short rails).

True.  I had the stray thought that going too narrow may interfere with the vise installation, but it's so close, I know that it won't be an issue.  When it comes time for the rails and such, I'm already totally off the plans for sizing, so that's not an issue.

I got both the front and rear slabs glued up today.  It's amazing how much slippage occurred, even with the dominos.  Luckily each slab is still more than 4 3/8" thick, so I have plenty of material left to joint/plane them clean and still maintain 4" thickness.  Unfortunately it means dragging these monsters over the jointer. 

I think this is going to be a unique bench in a way.  I wasn't able to avoid all defects...a couple of knots on the top face got some blue tinted epoxy and I wouldn't be surprised if I end up throwing a few dutchmen in here and there.  If I can find the perfect leg piece with the perfect check, I may even TRY to find a place for some dutchmen.  The laminations didn't all close up perfectly...I'd guess the thickness of the beams just exposed anything less than perfect milling.  It's just not going to be the perfect clear-maple bench that most make.  Hopefully it is just as functional and maybe it will have a little flare of cool.

Or maybe it'll be firewood and I'll transfer the vises to a maple bench in three years :D

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46 minutes ago, bleedinblue said:

Unfortunately it means dragging these monsters over the jointer. 

Beer and a friend will help.

47 minutes ago, bleedinblue said:

It's just not going to be the perfect clear-maple bench that most make.

If you've seen Marc's lately it doesn't look anything like it did the day he finished it.

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To dovetail on to the original question, if a few large beams make a good top, what about a large slab?  Richard A said his top was slabs of poplar and I have purchased 16/4 x 12" hard maple from my local lumbar yard before. 

So what would be the risks of using something like that for a bench top?

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It would move, but I would still like it.  The real Roubo workbench tops were just one slab of wood.   Calling these modern workbenches "Roubo's" grates on my nerves even more than the metal handwheels.

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37 minutes ago, Mark J said:

To dovetail on to the original question, if a few large beams make a good top, what about a large slab?  Richard A said his top was slabs of poplar and I have purchased 16/4 x 12" hard maple from my local lumbar yard before. 

So what would be the risks of using something like that for a bench top?

I don't see where it would be a problem.  I think, and this is just my opinion, that whatever you make your workbench from is fine, if it's heavy does for you what you need to do.  I have never thought that pretty in the shop is important.  My feelings are that pretty goes out of the shop. Workability is to me the most important thing in the shop.

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I agree on the form (and fashion) follow function arguement.  But I'm wondering about staying flat and general stability.

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I'm sure a solid slab has a higher risk of warping than a glued lamination, but when your great-grandkids inherit it, they'll still have a functional workbench, instead of a pile of boards covered in glue residue.

Frankly, either construction method should last any of our lifetimes, so what does it really matter? I fall into the Chris Schwarz philisophy that the best material for a workbench is the material you have at hand.

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Just keep swimming. You'll be done sooner than you think. If you stop and procrastinate it just makes the misery worse.

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Yup, I'm definitely not stopping.  These parts are too move out of the way easily, the only way to get them out of the way is to get it done!

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Not sure if it's been said yet, but I really wish my bench was wide enough to clamp something 24" . 24 is a common width for casework and mid sized projects. Being able to clamp 24 " would be nice.

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7 minutes ago, Brendon_t said:

Not sure if it's been said yet, but I really wish my bench was wide enough to clamp something 24" . 24 is a common width for casework and mid sized projects. Being able to clamp 24 " would be nice.

My current bench is going to be moved over and modified into an outfeed table for my TS.  That bench is 3'x5'.  I may or may not have to trim it down a bit, but I will have that option for assembly of larger pieces. 

That being said, 24" does still feel like a good target width for the roubo.  After the front laminate is in place I'm going to have to see how far out I am.  It may mean adding on to the rear slab, or it may mean a wider than average gap stop.  I should know enough to make a decision on that very soon.

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Just a couple quick comments -

While I understand wanting to make your bench look as nice as possible, it's shop furniture and it's going to get some nicks and dings in use.  Think of the chips and issues as preconditioning.

I don't know if I'd go to the lengths to fill the voids with epoxy, especially on the working surfaces.  I may add some difficulty to flattening them in the future.

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On 3/17/2019 at 3:46 PM, Byrdie said:

I don't know if I'd go to the lengths to fill the voids with epoxy, especially on the working surfaces.  I may add some difficulty to flattening them in the future.

Seriously? 

Because it is the working surface, you should have a surface, not a bunch of holes and knots.  You ever try to draw on a park bench? Your on a critical line and oops, your paper is stabbed instead of drawn on. You don't want voids that will gather chips, sawdust, hardware and generally have no purpose on the work surface, on you worth surface.

And epoxy filled normal voids add difficulty how? That sounds crazy. I've done it a bunch of times to by machine or hand. How are you doing it?

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Well, you've definitely schooled me!

Either this is wood with some serious defects, in which case it's not suitable for the purpose, or it has a few voids which, after being surfaced properly, are probably insignificant and not much different from the dents and dings that will be caused by normal use on a *workbench.  I don't draw on my bench or if I do, I find a flat surface to put under it.

When it comes to my bench, I typically surface by hand, with a plane.  I've found epoxy fills to be hard on the blade, hard on the arms and stubborn to surface.  The few times I've felt the need to use them in a finished piece I've worked them by machine.

And just sayin', this tends to be a friendly place.  Perhaps you could use a different tone in your reply.

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