Roubo Test Run

After the Thanksgiving break, I’ve returned to the Roubo Workbench project-the weather has turned to the darker and cooler side and that means doing what I can with my hands instead of power tools in an effort to stay warm.

I’ve spent the better part of yesterday and today laminating the 2×6 cedar boards that will become the lower shelf and bashing out the mortises into which they will be fitted. It’s a long process-boring out the “L” – shaped mortises on each leg with the hand brace and then chipping out the rest with a mortising chisel and finally cutting the mitered tenons to fit.

At the end of it I was able to dry-fit everything and that’s where I’ve left things for the evening. Tomorrow is glue-up and driving in the pegs for the tenons along with wedging the sliding dovetail and tenon joints and trimming off the excess and milling the shiplapped boards for the shelf and installing them.

With that done, that leaves the installation of the leg vise, which I still have to order and then finishing the table with light sanding and boiled linseed oil. So I am almost there. I will provide a more thorough summary once I’m completely done and I’ll do my best to address the shortcomings of the project along with where I could have done a better job. Suffice to say-it’s not  been a perfect series of stages and I’m learning more than I ever could have hoped for.

And perhaps the most gratifying piece of the day was tightening that last clamp. The bench has a close to finished look even if it sits upside down at the moment and I was silently celebrating knowing that I had gotten over that last series of mortises.

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