Roubo-ish Workbench Build #6: Working on some Popeye arms here...

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Blog entry by BikerDad posted 10-20-2014 02:19 AM 1981 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Where's the onion dip, I've got bags and bags of chips... Part 6 of Roubo-ish Workbench Build series Part 7: New Year, same old slow... »

So, the pictures above are the two slabs. The larger slab is at the back, on edge. It will be the front slab, and is actually still going to get two more timbers added to it, a dog strip and the face strip. The slab in the clamps is the back slab. Rather than going with a “normal” split top design, this one is using asymmetrical slabs. The front slab is going to be about 16” wide, while the rear slab is a bit over 11” wide.

Both slabs are out of their clamps, and I’ve been flattening the bottoms, hence the Popeye arms. Unfortunately, I don’t have either the optimum plane herd, much less optimum plane wielding skills. I’ve gotten good use out of my Veritas LA jack, and my Lie-Nielsen Scrub plane, as well as a vintage Dunlap junior jack. The Veritas LA jack is great, but the blade has no camber. The Scrub is good, but it lacks an adjustable mouth and chip breaker, so it can be too aggressive. The junior jack is almost my favorite for this, except the blasted handle is loose and swivels, and I can’t tighten down any more. grrrr….

I’m seriously considering getting a premium BU jack plane, putting a mild camber on the blade, and using it to finish up the bottom flattening. Why premium? Because I’d rather not screw around with fettling a vintage plane, nor replacing the blade and chipbreaker. Of course, I may not wait and finish up the flattening without getting a new plane.

Once I’m done with the bottoms, it’s on to the tops, and I’m torn on how I’m going to do it. My arms want me to find some time with a wide belt sander, but my romantic half wants to do it all by hand. If I were 100% confident that I could keep the thickness consistent, the wide belt sander would be running as a distant option.

-- I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park! Grace & Peace.

3 comments so far

View Tugboater78's profile


2796 posts in 3305 days

#1 posted 10-20-2014 03:01 AM

Looking good, I am im a similar stage on my bench, but I am lucky enough to have the plane arsenal. If your handle is broke, perhaps many on here have one they could send you. I may even have one, I would have to look, I assume it shares a tote configuration with a #5 size.

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View djang000's profile


67 posts in 3246 days

#2 posted 10-20-2014 01:54 PM

I’m at that stage too. I bought a second iron from LV and put a good camber on it and use my jack as a scrub with good success so far. Much cheaper. Personally, it’s a #8 I would like to add to my arsenal… :P


View benchbuilder's profile


285 posts in 3563 days

#3 posted 10-20-2014 02:32 PM

Hey bikerdad, you have a lot ot time money and hard work in that bench so far so why messup the top side of the top with planes that just dont fit the job. Buy off ebay a #5 or #6 and put a nice usable shape and edge on it. You will get much better results and be much happier. Yes it takes a few mins to work the blade into shape, but you dont have to rebuild the whole plane. Why live with tearouts when a bit of effort on the easier side will prevent most or all of it. Just my thoughts, and the money you will save will buy some really nice wood for a leg vise. Good luck!!

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