My Roubo Bench Journey #19: Just a little groove and a not so nice surprise

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I figured I should add the groove for the deadman tenon now while I had easy access to the underside of the top. I used a small plow plane and router plane to make the groove in short order.

Next I removed all four legs to get them to the same length using the tablesaw, of course one is still just a tab bit too long. Then I started to layout the measurements for the stretchers. To my surprise the stretchers are no longer square, they are wonky and slightly cupped along the length. This is not good, I do not want to have to flatten these boards again. Plus they have more knots than the other wood, which is no fun when you are hand planing boards. I am thinking about going to the Borg and picking up some 2×6s to make my own laminated stretchers as CS does in his book. What a bummer.

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Tool, it is Douglas Fir, it has been in my garage a year since I got it from the mill. I did rough mill to it’s current size, so I have no issue taking it smaller than what it is now. I just wasn’t looking forward to planing over those knots again ;0)

My guess is fir? At that thickness, it has to sit in your shop for a few weeks, at least, to settle. Even then, the first time you plane or saw it, the fresh cuts may cause cupping or warping so you have to dimension is a bit larger and then trim after it settles again. Fir is a pain.

-- Gary Roberts, woodworking, old books and old tools

Thanks guys. The router plane is nice, I use it a lot more than I ever thought I would when I bought it. I just ordered a tail vise screw assy from Lee Valley for the leg vise. And I am going to try to take the wind/cupping out of the stretchers first before I go buy more wood.
Thor you should blog about your bech build, I would enjoy following along with you.

It helps to think about it as a learning point. I’ve had a lot of those. Great planes. I am also envying you that router plane.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway

I got that cupping happen to me several times. I only woodwork on the weekends and many times I got the same surprise. Now I refrain from dimension lumber until I am ready to incorporate it in the final project as much as I can.

I also have an eye on that router plane :)

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

I sure wish I had your collection of planes! Don’t worry about buying materials for the stringers, I just realized I need to go buy some for stringers myself. I haven’t decided what material yet tho but I am thinking to match the legs, Red Oak. I just finished the design and have laid a few things out, I may start a bog as well but don’t have near as much skill as you.

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

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