Split Top Roubo Bench Build #4: More gluing

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Blog entry by ic3ss posted 03-03-2015 02:58 AM 2929 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Milling Part 4 of Split Top Roubo Bench Build series Part 5: . . . and more gluing and planing »

Since I began woodworking almost five years ago and slowly building my shop, one of the things that has proven difficult for me to prioritize was buying clamps. We all know the old saying “You can’t have enough clamps”. And while this is true, the projects that I have mostly done didn’t require very many clamps. And the larger projects I did, I just made do with what I had. This bench project has spurred me to start buying parallel clamps, but at $40 + a pop and with so many other things to buy for this project including wood, I fell behind on buying clamps and barely have enough to laminate the top halves. And while my lamination is drying, I have no clamps to glue the legs or the other top half or anything else at the same time. What a pain.

I had glued up three boards last week, and yesterday I glued up four using a brand new bottle of Titebond 3. The stack of four dried overnight and today I glued the stacks together. One snag: One of the stacks seemed to have a bow in it. I found I could clamp them together but the smaller stack just bent around the bow. I took this opportunity to run it through the jointer a few times and it flattened it out. This was no easy task on a 6” jointer but I got it done.

I had fired up the planer yesterday and got all boards to final thickness. This is more sawdust I’ve ever made.

So with the back half in it’s final glue up I made a router jig to cut out the dog holes. I used a piece of MDF that I had laying around, drew my outline from the drawings, and glued on two guides for the router, and then glued on a fence. After it was dry enough I ran the router along the guides and cut the template. I then used the template to draw out the dog holes, spacing them according to the drawing. My top is going to be 84” long instead of the 87” as designed and I’m cutting from the left end by the leg vise so it won’t interfere with the end vise. That whole thing is rather particular about dimensions so I don’t want to mess with adjusting anything down there.

As a result of me shortening my top, I have to take out one dog hole, so there will only be two instead of three dog holes to the left of the leg vise.

I also put my combination blade back on, it’s all clean now, and cut the long and short rails to final length. That blade is sweet when it’s clean. I tortured it a couple of weeks ago and wasn’t sure if it was ok, well it did a great job today. I took off my new 24 tooth flat top grind ripping blade and cleaned it today. It had a bit of pitch on the teeth and I just wanted to keep it cutting sweet.

This is my four day weekend so I have two more days to work. Tomorrow I’ll glue up a few boards for the front half, then figure out a way to flatten the bottom of the top. I think I’ll do what the Wood Whisperer did and make a router sled. It’s time consuming, especially since I don’t have a large diameter bit, but I don’t have a solid surface to mount this thing on to hand plane it, and I really don’t want to try passing in over the jointer.

Bye for now,


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

3 comments so far

View siavosh's profile


674 posts in 3202 days

#1 posted 03-03-2015 04:28 AM

Build is coming along nicely. That bench top is going to be indestructible!

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View LJackson's profile


295 posts in 2925 days

#2 posted 03-05-2015 05:00 PM

I’m keenly following this series, as I am in the long, detoured process of building a workbench myself. I, too can not justify spending oodles of money on clamps, knowing how much they cost and knowing how many I need ( is “more” a number? Close to infinity?). My bench is going to be about 3’ by 8’ by 39” tall.

For the clamps, I am making 16 bar clamps using Izzy Swan’s method as described here:

Izzy bar clamps

My bench is being made with 2×4s, and I’m not even milling them up at all. I, too will be using The Wood Whisperer’s router sled approach for flattening the top. I only hope that by the time I am done, I have more than a 1/2 inch of top left!

I really like your method of creating the dog holes, and wish I had known about it before I put in mine. My method was to buy a 1×3 board (should have used 1×4, but oh, well), and cut it into small pieces, and then glue those pieces onto another board, leaving a 3/4 inch gap between each (as measured by the edge of a piece of the 1×3 itself). Your method looks much more accurate.

View ic3ss's profile


404 posts in 4108 days

#3 posted 03-06-2015 01:44 AM

I’m glad someone is reading all this. So far it seems no one is really interested. Maybe it’s my writing. Oh well. The dog holes really aren’t my method, I’m just following the directions.

Thanks for the interest, and good luck with your bench. I hope you get it done soon. I hate having to wait for a new toy.


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

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