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Time for Another Bench


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As I mentioned in another thread, it looks like I'm going to build another bench.  Well, actually I'm going to help/teach how to build a bench.  Had someone reach out to me and was interested in coming to my shop for this project.  Jeff lives a few hours away from me so, this will most likely happen in a couple stages.

We'll be doing a split top Roubo with an extra wide front slab.  The reason for the extra wide front slab will be to incorporate an Andy Klein vise as a tail vise.  The front vise will be a Benchcrafted leg vise.  The top will be ~4" hard maple with African Mahogany for a splash of color. 2 rows of round dog holes to work with the tail vise.  Not sure yet if the removable tool tray will be traditional or if he wan't something different in there.  And, of course there will be storage in the bottom and it will be on casters.  

I picked up the maple this morning so, it's in the shop and acclimating.  I may do some rough milling this week in preparation for this project.

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1 minute ago, Bushwacked said:

this will be a lot of fun to watch! How much video do you think you will be getting from this?

I plan on doing full video on this one.  This is actually one where I wish I had a camera operator!

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It's now confirmed that this bench will start this weekend.  I'll snag pictures as I can and try to journal as we go.  I suspect we'll have some long days!

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As we still have a few days before work begins, there have been lots of conversations around the details.  Trying to think everything through so, we're not missing something at the last minute.

The decision was made last night to switch from poplar in the base to African Mahogany.  Frankly, the price difference wasn't as big as you'd think and the looks should be stunning!

So, off to the HW dealer this morning to pick up some African Mahogany for the base.

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We had a great and productive first day on the build!  We sat up a little too late last night talking and working through details so, got a little later start than either of us wanted this morning but, it paid off!

We milled all the maple for the top and got them laid out with some pretty cool grain matching!  Just some water here so we could actually see what was going on and we used the center from my bench to see how the splits are going to be..

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The front slab on this one is really wide!  This is to accommodate the Andy Klein vise in the tail position and is around 19" wide.  The back slab is a bit more narrow but, the overall width of this bench is going to be around 32". This is considerably wider than a "normal" Roubo!

Once all of the locations of the boards were determined, we did the glue ups.  The front slab had to be done in 2 glue ups so that it fit through my planer.  Dominoes were used for alignment of those 2 slabs which worked well!

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We drilled the dog holes before the glue up so, the only thing left for the top slabs is trimming to final length!

Tomorrow, the goal is to trim the slabs, make the gap stop, and get the base as far as we can.

For the record, there's ~120 BF of maple in the this top.  Yes, we hit 4" thick.

Good day for sure! 

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Another really long day!

First up, we made the tool tray.

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We added some plugs in it just for aesthetic reasons, they serve no function.

We also got the base completely made and assembled / glued up.  Waiting for glue to dry for the night now.

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Tomorrow is Jeff's last day here on this trip and the plan is to set the top to the base.  This means cutting the mortises to the tenons in the legs.

We also got the top trimmed to length which was tricky since I don't own anything that will cut completely through a 4" slab!  I see a beam saw in my future!

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5 hours ago, Woodenskye (Bryan) said:

Geez at this rate he may have to take it home with him.

Nope..  Still a lot to do one this one!

41 minutes ago, Bushwacked said:

Are the legs on the base 2 8/4 pieces laminated together?

Yes.  We got pretty lucky with the material and retained most of the thickness after milling.

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Wrapped up day 3 which will put this one on hold until I get back..  November sometime.

As I was cutting mortises in the underside of the top with a shop made template and a pattern bit, Jeff was busy rounding tenons.  They all fit amazingly well!  As big and heavy as this top is, we were pretty blessed that we didn't have to make a lot of corrections!

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To finish this trip off, we got the top fit and the tool tray notched to fit the frame.  We also added wheels to this behemoth to make it easier to move around the shop..  Here's Jeff with the carcass of what will be an amazing bench!

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When he returns in November, we'll install the hardware, build the storage cabinet, and apply finish..  Looking forward to seeing this bench finished up!  Amazing material and hardware selections really make this one a killer bench!

 

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1 hour ago, Bushwacked said:

dang!! Impressive work for .. what 3 days? 

Looks great and nice and heavy haha. Is the storage cabinet going to be basic storage or anything special in there?

2 really long days and about 1/2 the third day.  Around 35 hours in total.

Still working on the details of exactly how the configuration is going to be.  I'm guessing mostly drawers for general storage.

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4 hours ago, Kev said:

Ugg..  Editing video and lost a bunch of audio for some reason..  Looks like some testing is in order!  I have to do VoiceOver for the video..

voiceover isnt a horrible thing ... although not planning to be purely voiceover is rough as I am sure you lost some good nuggets in there.

Did it just not record, or was it just a trash recording?

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6 minutes ago, Bushwacked said:

voiceover isnt a horrible thing ... although not planning to be purely voiceover is rough as I am sure you lost some good nuggets in there.

Did it just not record, or was it just a trash recording?

A few bits came out with no audio at all..  I'll get it figured out..

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Doing some design work on this today..  I'm hoping Jeff chimes in on the conversation but, it's time to design the center cabinet storage.  This group is awesome about offering thoughts and suggestions and I want him to have more than just my thoughts and suggestions.  For the record, he's interested in just drawers.

First off, the basis cabinet with some dimensions.  The wider face frame on the left is to account for the wheel on the leg vise.

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The next version has some basic drawers in it.  Nothing fancy but, very serviceable.

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And version 2 adds a center bank of thinner drawers.

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I have another thought in my head that I haven't discussed with Jeff yet but, am going to toss out the idea here...

This bench is extra deep!  My concern with that depth all along has been reaching items stored on the wall behind the bench.  So, what if he added a hand plane till under the bench on 1/2 of this cabinet?  There would still be some configuration of drawers but, the hand-planes would be much closer as well.  I haven't drawn it yet but can if there's interest?  I've never seen this option on a Roubo before!

Looking forward to this discussion.

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The plane till is a good idea.  With no clue how Jeff works or how his shop is laid out, these suggestions may not be good.  If he uses his bench for assembly, taking the bottom 2 drawers on 1 side could be deeper to house a router, nailers, other tools. If the bench isn’t going against a wall, having access to 1 or 2 drawers from both sides could be nice.  I really like the look of the small drawers, just not sure how usable they would be, but maybe his planes could be placed in there if the plane till doesn’t work, size may need to be adjusted.

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