After thinking about it and thinking about it and thinking about it, I finally decided that I better stop thinking and start doing. This past weekend, I begin my new workbench project. I decided to follow Chris Schwartz's lead and make a Roubo workbench like he had done (check out his blog). I happen to also have his Workbenches book too.

The Workbenches book was fun to read, but after completing it, I didn't rush out and start making my new workbench. Perhaps I'm the type that like to think about things and decide if a certain plan would fully satisfy my needs. For whatever reason, I contemplated building a workbench for over a year. While my existing workbench was passable, it certainly wasn't nice enough or functional enough to call it a 'final' workbench.

So after picking up some wood -- southern yellow pine for the base -- I got started. While I'm not completely copying the plans, I'm using a very close approximation to the Roubo workbench. I used my bandsaw to cut those massive tenons and then I flattened things out with my reconditioned Stanley No.4. I made sure I started off with a sharp blade.

In a short time I managed to produce quite a pile of shavings. This pictures above certainly illustrate that point very well. That was after a couple of the legs. While if produced a lot of shavings, it was fun work since I made sure there was a sharp blade on it.

From 2009.10.24 Roubo Workbench

I took down all the measurements for my first mortise and got to work. I set up a handy side stand to help keep things aligned properly and easy to adjust when running the drill press with the forstner bit. I also made sure I reduced the speed of the drill press to 1100 rpm to help keep the bit sharp.

Once the drill press cleared out a bulk of the mortise I got my chisels out for the cleanup. I knew this part would take a while, but it was quite fun so it didn't bother me. The chisel was quiet and I played some nice tunes on of my radio.

More to come!


shrogers4 said... @ October 26, 2009 at 10:25 PM

Welcome to the Roubo journey. Mine is essentially done minus the sliding leg vise and the bottom shelf. I took me the better part of 8 months to build it as I kept getting interrupted by other "must build fast" projects. I'll be curious to follow your build and see what work holding options you come up with. Of course if I can be of any assistance during your build (and Schwarz can't help you) drop me a line and I am happy to help.

Michael D. said... @ October 27, 2009 at 8:34 PM

Thanks! I'm hoping I get through it before eight months, but with work, kids and other projects I'm not willing to wager on it!

Michael D. said... @ October 15, 2010 at 1:02 AM

Ok, so it's close to a year later and I haven't quite finished it! I did have a lot of other projects get in the way though -- namely putting in a totally new bathroom, two kitchens, moving laundry, and putting in new hardwood floors (and a few other things).

Check out my second post in the series of my Roubo adventure --

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