About a month ago I started building a split-top Roubo bench based on the plans offered by Benchcrafted. Honestly, I hadn’t settled on this design until I was in Iowa at Handworks 2015 and had the opportunity to play around with Jeff Hamilton’s bench built by Plate 11 Bench Co.
The construction notes offered by Benchcrafted for free recommend starting with the base if you are limited on space. I certainly qualified for that tip so I milled and glued up 8/4 maple to create the 3″ x 5″ legs. Once those were dry I began creating the mortises for the rails.
I went with the Benchcrafted leg vise which uses a massive chop. I glued together pieces of 8/4 and 4/4 maple to get the thickness and milled it down to 8″ wide.
My jointer is only 6″ wide so I had to flatten the material for the chop by hand. After the glue was dry I created a channel for the crisscross and drilled all the holes for the vise in the chop and leg.
The nice thing about this vise is that you can completely install it with just the leg and the chop. Here I was test fitting everything before routing out and installing the acetal bushing. After getting all the main components of the base completed I test fitted everything.
The short rails will get assembled with drawbore pegs. I couldn’t bring myself to pay for an “official” drawbore plate so I made one by drilling a couple of holes in a piece of scrap steel and filing the surfaces. Surprisingly, they came out fine.
I got all of the base parts complete and started working on the tops. I glued up several boards at a time using Titebond Extend to give myself a little extra time. Even with using glue with more open time I still had to hustle.
I started with the back section of the bench and glued it up to the final dimension. Then I started with the front section that gets the dog hole strip and tail vise.
I made a simple jig to guide my router for the dog hole strip and then glued on a thin piece to close everything up. Then I had to create the tenon on the end and rout out the cavity for the tail vise. Once that was done I glued the dog hole strip to the main section and started working on the end cap.
Today I worked on making the condor tails on the front laminate. I used a router bit with a guide bearing to cut the tail board and ended up burning the ends with the collett.
Fortunately, I had inset the tails enough that I think I can still clean it up. Either way I went for it and glued the front laminate on. Here is where I finished for the day.