Benchcrafted Split Top Roubo Workbench #3: Milled Stock - Part 2 - Cherry Legs and Walnut Rails

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Blog entry by EarlS posted 06-06-2021 12:06 PM 583 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Finally, Milled Stock - Part 1 Part 3 of Benchcrafted Split Top Roubo Workbench series Part 4: Milling Top Boards »

Cherry Legs:
Prepping the thick stock required for this project added a few more issues than the typical board prep discussed in Part 1.

I was able to get ~2-1/2 cherry out of the barn stack.

The boards were rough cut to length then planed to clean the fronts and backs up. After jointing an edge, they were ripped to rough widths. Things went a bit down hill from there. The ripped pieces were twisted and bowed, especially the cherry. In an effort to minimize the amount of material loss that would occur flattening twisted 6” wide pieces, I ripped them in half. I let them sit for a few days to acclimate.

At this point, the pieces are a bit larger than 3” wide and 2” thick:

So much for Plan A which was to make a sandwich with a 2×6 center and 3/4” outer pieces. After quite a bit of quality time on the jointer, I was able to achieve a flat face and perpendicular edge. The pieces were run thru the table saw to get a second square edge.

The pieces were glued together with Gorilla Glue. I find that Gorilla Glue provides a better glue joint when gluing along an edge than Titebond and there isn’t a glue line that shows up in a couple of months like Titebond.

After glue-up, back to the planer to flatten the other face since I had only flattened one face. When the dust settled and the dust collector had been emptied again (anyone want some mulch?), I had 4 – 1-3/4×6 x 36 blanks. Some of the cherry I planed in Part 1 was 7/8” thick, which would give me the 3-1/4” needed for the legs.

More gluing:

After cleaning up the squeeze out, a couple passes on the jointer gave a crisp square edge. Since the table saw blade can only reach 3-1/8” and the leg blanks were 3-1/2 thick, the legs were trimmed to 5-1/2 width on the planer.

Walnut Rails:

By the time I finished the cherry legs I had learned enough lessons to make the walnut milling less difficult and time consuming. It also helped that most of the rails were only 2” thick.

As with the cherry, the pieces were rough cut to length:

They were planed for a flat side, jointed for a good edge, then ripped to rough width. From there, back to the jointer to get a flat face and perpendicular edge.

The boards were ripped to width (3-1/2, or 4-1/2), then planed to final thickness (2”). The ends were squared off and the rail blanks were ready to go except for lower front rail which was 3-1/2×4-1/2. An additional piece of 7/8 walnut was glued to the back of the rail piece which had been planed to 2-5/8.

Next up – Milling Part 3 – Bench Top

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

4 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7716 posts in 1702 days

#1 posted 06-06-2021 12:16 PM

Cut them apart, glue them together in a different order. Sure seems like a lot of work, Earl. ;-)

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View EarlS's profile


4561 posts in 3468 days

#2 posted 06-06-2021 12:20 PM

Dave – didn’t you say that you do that kind of thing from time to time?

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7716 posts in 1702 days

#3 posted 06-06-2021 12:32 PM

Indeed, Earl. Just razzing you a little. It’s coming along nicely, I think. But I’m still mostly using my bench that’s made from tubafors, plastic leg-corners, and plywood for most of my work. One of these years I’ll build another, but probably not for a while yet. Too many other projects in the pipeline.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View HokieKen's profile


17932 posts in 2259 days

#4 posted 06-07-2021 02:33 PM

Lookin’ good Earl. I think you’ll find the big legs to be an asset. The width will be useful against racking and is nice for clamping against or using holdfasts in and the shallower depth will still leave you more storage space underneath.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

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