My Roubo Bench Journey #17: One Leg in, three more to go...

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I took what I thought was the worst fitting leg and started trying to remove wood where I thought it was binding. Using chisels, a block plane, a rabbet plane, a router plane and a float, I kept adjusting the dovetail tenon sides and cheek, as well as the tenon checks and the mortise walls. I found that most of the wood had to be removed from the dovetail socket cheek. I would make some adjustments, then place the leg back into the top to check the progress. Most of the time the leg would sink a little farther down, sometimes not. When I got to about 1.5" near the end, I used the mini sledge hammer to strike the leg all the way in. Still more wood removal was required but I finally got to this:

It took me about 2-2.5 hours to get it done, here’s hoping the other legs don’t take as long. Which they shouldn’t since I learned where I think most of the work needs to be done.

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All the work surfaces in my shop are the same height. Being disabled I have found my optimum work height over the years that reduces pain and allows the most control. Up until this week tho I did not have any wood working vises, man what a diffrence the bench with a vise on it makes! I can’t wait to add the Roubo. Here’s some pics of my other work surfaces.

-- CHRIS, Charlottetown PEI Canada. Anytime you can repurpose, reuse, or recycle, everyone wins!

Thor, good luck on your bench build.
I will be using a tail vise on the right end side of the bench and a leg vise.

Just a side note for anyone looking for wooden vise screw assemblies, the Big Wood Vise Company is no longer making theirs. I received notification yesterday after ordering mine last week.

A friend gave me a leg vise he found in a barn, over a hundred and fifty years old, rusted, seized, and the wood rotting badly. I fixed it up painted it, and built into the bench. I have been researching a lot lately on the mechanisms to prevent racking, and built my own chris cross using wood! It does the job but in the new Roubo bench it is going to get some refinement. What type of vises are you going to use?

-- CHRIS, Charlottetown PEI Canada. Anytime you can repurpose, reuse, or recycle, everyone wins!

You are getting closer. I have been following along, getting ready to start my own soon. I build a bench to build my bench on, my wife asked “why don’t I just use it?” The quick built bench has a 2.75" thick plywood top and 2×4′s with lag bolts for the edge and stretchers. With reclaimed 6×6 posts for the legs. I just finished gathering and planing the wood for the new Roubo to come. I am using red oak for the legs and hard maple for the top. I will be using your dimensions roughly, it’s going to be pushing 400lbs I think!

-- CHRIS, Charlottetown PEI Canada. Anytime you can repurpose, reuse, or recycle, everyone wins!

Thanks Brian, I never thought about any moisture issues. I live right near the Ocean, as in I can hear the waves crashing on the cliffs, the harbor seals barking and buoy bell ringing, I definitely have more moisture here than being inland. Not sure how that will affect the bench, but I do expect some movement.

Unfortunately the second leg did not seat as well, going to have to figure out why it is seating unevenly.

Looks like a great fit. You’re building it during the humid months so I suppose it should be fairly tight to account for some movement. I’m not really sure how that applies here because it’s so dern big. Maybe it doesn’t mean anything at all.

-- Losing fingers since 1969

Thanks guys, and I am retired so I haven’t been keeping track of the time on this build until yesterday. I work on it as long as my shoulder allows and when I get tired, I put down the tools and come back to it the next day.
I just ordered a leg vise yesterday, it should arrive while I am working on the leg stretchers and mortises.

Looks like it’s coming alone fine. You can use this bench for a lifetime so the number of hours spent here and there don’t mean much in the long run anyway.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway

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