Split Top Roubo Bench Build #3: Milling

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Blog entry by ic3ss posted 02-25-2015 03:12 AM 3236 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Still gathering supplies Part 3 of Split Top Roubo Bench Build series Part 4: More gluing »

I was tasked by my boss to modify a part for the machines that I work on. A 6’ long and half inch square piece of plastic that is a guide rail. I had to rip it on the table saw and ream out the screw holes. I made them order me a special plastic cutting blade that arrived on Monday. Last week in anticipation for continuing my bench build, I had ordered a new ripping blade so consequently I was on hold until both blades arrived. The plastic one came first so I got that little job out of the way first, then put on my ripping blade. A Freud LU87R010 24 tooth flat tip grind blade. Man, I’m telling you this is night – and – day compared to the 50 tooth combination blade that I smoked last week trying to rip this 8/4 hard maple. It left a good finish when it was good, but even when it wasn’t so good, it still wasn’t bad. When the grain is straight, it just motors through it with no issues.

I digress. . . . On to the project. I first started off my picking and choosing which boards will supply which parts of the bench. I thought I’d had this already done at the lumber yard but taking a second look at these boards kind of made me sick. The end grain checking on some of them was just horrendous and I had to re-arrange many pieces as a result. So now I’m missing only a half of a leg, and about half of the shelf boards, and one plank for the top.

My first mistake was that I didn’t wear work gloves while milling these things. I did a little bit of cutting yesterday but the bulk of the work was done today, and I just came in from cleaning up the garage and jumped in the shower and it was then I realized how many nicks, cuts, and slivers I had accumulated today. It was rather a painful lesson.

The planer got a lifetime workout today, I milled the legs, the short and long rails, and all of the top boards. I just wanted to focus on the back half for now, so the drawing says the back top half should be 11 3/16” wide. It uses 7 boards in the pictures so I selected 7 boards and continued running them through the planer until the stack with a clamp on it measured 11 3/16” wide. This little process produced the biggest pile of sawdust and shavings I’ve ever made. When it was done I was feeling it in my back so I went to glue up the first planks.

I wanted to take this part in bites so I selected 3 boards, arranged them the way I wanted them to show and went to work. The mistake I made here is that I used Titebond 2. It took much longer that I thought it would to get the glue spread on both faces, put them together, spread glue on the other two faces, put them together, line them up and get all of the clamps on. It was an ugly process but I think I did ok. The boards are lined up pretty well. I don’t have a biscuit joiner and can’t afford a domino so it’s all done by eye. Lesson here is: Use Titebond 1 for longer working time, and get a glue roller. This credit card thing is ok for small surfaces, but is totally outmoded on glue ups of this size.

So I have more planing to do for the front half but that’s later. I also final-ripped all of the back half boards to a width of 4 3/8” at glue up time. I want to make sure I have enough to end up with no less than 4” thick.

Well, my back is trashed, my hands are cut, my arms are tired, and somehow I ended up with a charlie-horse in my right forearm. Not sure how that happened, but I have to start my work week tomorrow so I gotta go.

More next week.


-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

3 comments so far

View HerbC's profile


1821 posts in 4190 days

#1 posted 02-25-2015 04:13 AM

“My first mistake was that I didn’t wear work gloves while milling these things. ...”

No, that was not a mistake. Read how I had my accident and see that it was largely due to wearing gloves while working with woodworking machinery: My Story

Good luck with your build but remember…

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View LJackson's profile


295 posts in 2925 days

#2 posted 02-26-2015 05:17 PM

What planer do you have? Is that a Delta? My planer snipes so bad the Boy Scouts keep coming over for their hunts.

I’ve got a workbench that has been on hold for a long time while I make the bar clamps that will hold the top together.

Good to know about Tightbond II. I use the original because it’s the cheapest, and didn’t notice a glue-drying-too-soon problem.

View ic3ss's profile


404 posts in 4108 days

#3 posted 02-27-2015 05:16 AM

It’s the delta 22-590. It works pretty well, although the rollers allow the wood feed to stall if they get too dirty. Keeping them clean helps but I’ve never had that problem with a planer before.


-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

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