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!

There seems to be a resurgence of interest in woodworking so it goes to follow that the number of woodworking books increase as well. Is the renewed interest derived from the various characters on the scene that influence others? There's people like Norm Abram, Roy Underhill (aka St. Roy), David Marks, Chris Schwartz and more that have inspired, intrigued and enlightened us (myself included) while being entertaining as well. It's nothing but business and seriousness when the tools, power or otherwise, are in motion and the wood in play. Getting a laugh in-between all that seriousness is most welcome!

A recent favorite woodworking author of mine is Chris Schwartz from Lost Art Press. He's written popular books on workbenches, hand planes and more. While being an editor of Popular Woodworking and Woodworking Magazine, he managed to pull off writing another new book, "The Joiner and Cabinet Maker" along with some material written by Joel Moskowitz from Tools for Working Wood. I just preordered it, and now for the annoying part. Waiting.