Benchcrafted Roubo Workbench #8: A little of this and some of that

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Blog entry by EarlS posted 01-17-2022 02:03 PM 803 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: A long and windy road Part 8 of Benchcrafted Roubo Workbench series Part 9: Condor Tails - or Not »

After flattening the top in the last installment, cutting out the cavity for the tail vise is the the first order of business.

Before starting, I re-read the tail vise instructions and also read thru the bench build notes to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. One criticism of the Benchcrafted plans is that they are more verbose than I am. There are a lot of words but not necessarily a lot of helpful instruction.

After re-reading the directions several times and looking at the plans, I worked out the details for the tail vise layout. The opening for the dog block was already set by the dog hole slot strip which is shorter than the rest of the bench. The portion of the cavity for the screw and carriage is cut out of the underside of the top. It helped to place the rails, screw, and carriage roughly into place and read thru the directions for the tail vise installation.

Once I worked out the dimensions and depth I used a router and template and cleaned up the corners with a chisel.

After cleaning up the mess, I started on the end caps. The end caps are connected to the top using barrel bolts and a mortise and tenon. Tenons are 1-1/4” deep x 1-1/4” thick. I set up a template and used a router to make another huge, dusty mess in the shop.

The ends of the tenons were cut back, though, in retrospect, they probably didn’t need to be and doing so also caused some headaches when it came time to fit the end cap.

I made some 4” tall x 3” thick Walnut end cap blanks and laid out the mortises:

Since I’m not much of a hand tool guy, the mortises were drilled then I use a router to clean up the sides. Squaring up the corners took a bit of hand work with a corner chisel.

Looks like I forgot to take a picture of the router/template set up for cleaning up the mortises.

Once the mortises were complete, it took some finagling to get the end caps flush with the top’s tenon shoulders.

As a side note, I left 1/8” clearance on each side and 1/16” on the top/bottom between the mortise and tenon to allow for seasonal size changes since the wood will likely expand in the summer even though the shop is climate controlled.

The end caps are held in place with a couple of barrel bolts. There are also instructions for how to install barrel bolts.

Slightly oversized holes (1/2”) for the barrel bolts (to allow for seasonal movement of the end cap) were drilled into the end caps, centered halfway between the center line and the end of the tenon. The barrel bolt heads were recessed into the end cap. Holes (1”) for the barrel nuts were drilled into the underside of the top. The end caps were clamped in place and the barrel bolt hole was used as a guide to drill through the end of the tenon into the top. I bought a 1/2” x 12” long bit rather than trying to use a drill block and risking the hole not running straight and missing the bolt nut hole. The barrel bolts were tightened bringing the end caps and table top together tightly.

With the end cap M&T’s complete, the front and back laminate boards can be added to the top.

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

5 comments so far

View recycle1943's profile (online now)


7005 posts in 3081 days

#1 posted 01-17-2022 02:57 PM

That’s shaping up real nice – you’re going to have a dandy bench before long. instructions ? Sometimes they remind me of the scammers with their emails. They somehow feel the more verbage the more believable even tho it’s redundant.

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View pottz's profile


25822 posts in 2444 days

#2 posted 01-17-2022 06:13 PM

thats gonna be a real solid bench earl.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View HokieKen's profile (online now)


21716 posts in 2598 days

#3 posted 01-17-2022 07:15 PM

You said tail vise but it looks to me like this is an install for a wagon vise?

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

View EarlS's profile


5519 posts in 3807 days

#4 posted 01-17-2022 09:47 PM

You said tail vise but it looks to me like this is an install for a wagon vise?

- HokieKen

Patience grasshopper. I need to get thru the end caps and the front and back laminate boards first.

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

View GR8HUNTER's profile


9621 posts in 2172 days

#5 posted 01-17-2022 11:07 PM

i feel like im watching a horse race with all these new benches LOL :<))))))))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

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