Split Roubo Workbench #21: The Bottom Shelf and some Dawg Holes

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Blog entry by lysdexic posted 09-24-2012 02:35 AM 10994 reads 1 time favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 20: The Deadman - Capitulo Dos Part 21 of Split Roubo Workbench series Part 22: The Gap Stop »

The pace slows.

I put some maple through the jointer and planer until it was about 3/4” and 6” wide. After cross cutting to length it was time to break the skew rabbet plane. I know Smitty would have thrown the dado stack in the table saw and been done with.

Seriously, I wanted to put this plane through its paces so we can get to know one another. I needed 14 rabbets and I learned a lot. It takes a certain feel, a certain muscle memory to keep everything square.

After that, the 2 end boards needed cut outs to fit around the legs. Andy, the advice about keeping your elbow tucked in by your side has helped my ability to sawing tremendously! Thanks.

The final result.


Now I need to put my dog holes in the top. This is a bit of a challenge to drill through 4” of maple top and keep the holes square. One could “throw” the slab back on the drill press but that ain’t going to happen. You could by one of those fancy jigs to keep things straight. In the end I just took a cut off from the bench top, marked the sides square to the top and drill a 3/4” hole at the drill press.

After lining up the jig with marks I drilled as deep as I could under power the removed the jig and drilled about 1/2” shy of the other side.

Finally, I used a brace to drill down until just the screw tip was protruding.

I have a smaller square that just fits in the hole to check for square.

Of note: I did try to drill just with hand brace but even the jig it still wallered out a bit much. So this didn’t work for me.

I guess a need more practice.


Tonight I broke the bench down to fine tune, break edges and get ready for the finish. Time to break out the trusty WorkMate again.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

33 comments so far

View LukieB's profile


966 posts in 3787 days

#1 posted 09-24-2012 03:26 AM

Wow Scott, the bench is looking amazing. Couldn’t help but notice the Bad Axe saw. Do you like that thing? It seems like I remember them getting good reviews, but I can’t remember.

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this"

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 3730 days

#2 posted 09-24-2012 03:30 AM


Your ‘Bench Build Blog’ has been both interesting and entertaining, with a dash of skill developement thrown in for good measure.
You’ve done yourself proud on this project and it sounds as though you’re more than ready for it to be completed.

We all need to push our limits in order to keep growing and to test our own metal from time to time.

The remaining amenities and finish are the ‘Icing on the Cake’. ...then you can pop open a ‘cold one’, ‘cause you’ve earned it, my friend. ;-)

I for one, would like to thank you for taking us along on your journey and for sharing even the re-engineering at times, which proves that no matter what the err, it’s how well one can recover that counts.

Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View lysdexic's profile


5353 posts in 4080 days

#3 posted 09-24-2012 03:34 AM

Lucas, I guess a love the saw thus far. I mean I haven’t used it as much as I’d like. Still, the handle is mesquite and fits perfect. Mark has different size handles based on the width of your palm. I cuts great once a got the mechanics down.

The down side to Bad Axe saws is the turn around time. Although advertised as 12 weeks when I ordered, the saw took 7 months to ship.

I guess this has been a big deal for him because I just got an email from Bad Axe explaining how he has finally hired and trained enough competent people to keep up with demand. The main message was that if you order by the end of the month that he guarantees that it will be under the X-mas tree.

From the Bad Axe website:

News Flash: Guaranteed Delivery before Christmas with 10% off for all Bad Axe saw orders placed between 15 Sep – 30 Sep 2012

The above saw is a 12” xcut with mesquite handle but it I thought long and hard about Walnut with stainless back and fastners.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

View lysdexic's profile


5353 posts in 4080 days

#4 posted 09-24-2012 03:41 AM

Thanks Len

These blogs are quite a task. Some are a lot better at blogging than I.

I have finally decided to go with a 3:2:1 varnish finish. I have experience with it, its easy, its durable.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

View Mosquito's profile


11757 posts in 3750 days

#5 posted 09-24-2012 03:53 AM

Scott, I really like that skewed rabbet plane. And it still scares the crap out of me every time I see one of those pictures…

Re: Bad Axe… I also noticed that. I wonder if he does shop tours… I was looking, and I noticed that his shop is only about an hour and a half from my parents’ cabin, and just under an hour from my sister’s place… I have a LN dovetail saw, and just got a Disston Tenon saw, but I was taking a serious look at the Bad Axe… But it is quite pricey…

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View lysdexic's profile


5353 posts in 4080 days

#6 posted 09-24-2012 04:03 AM

They are pricy and I am going to really have to have a need before I buy another. In the meantime, I also ordered a LN DT saw. I sold my Veritas DT to Shane and didn’t want to be without for another 7 months. I have a 14” Tyzack tenon saw that i still need to restore. That being said, I often need a bigger back saw.

Look at the above pics and you see that the Bad Axe just ran out of plate and I finished the cut on the bandsaw a pared with a chisel.

I’d love to check out his shop. Actually I’d like to just have a beer with as he sounds like an interesting fellow. He is going to WIA in Cinci which a think I am going to attend.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 4056 days

#7 posted 09-24-2012 04:05 AM

you are bringing it down the home stretch now. It has been great to watch it come together. I imagine your ww skill and confidence will a lot higher after doing such a fine job on an important/complex build. Fantastic job!

View lysdexic's profile


5353 posts in 4080 days

#8 posted 09-24-2012 04:09 AM

I appreciate that Shane. I really do. But it isn’t done yet.

You know, I have decided how I want to mar the top when I get this bitch TRULY finished. I would love to have all you guys over for a beer and let everyone leave drink rings on the top as evidence.

That would be awesome.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

View Don W's profile

Don W

20384 posts in 4025 days

#9 posted 09-24-2012 10:53 AM

What a great bench and it was great to follow you through it. I’m with Mos, I really need one of the skewed rabbit planes. :-)

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17825 posts in 4076 days

#10 posted 09-24-2012 11:33 AM

I’m thinking jointer cutter in the shaper vs. dado stack, but if I woulda used dado blades then it woulda been rip-style in the RAS. I’m crazy that way.

Meh. The skew did a nice job, too.


Your bench is a beast! And watching the build has been very, very cool. I have gained an insight into workworking precision that I wouldn’t have known without your blogs. And the results is incredible. Congrats, Scott, on the stretch run status of the project. Fine work, thanks for taking us along.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View shipwright's profile


8816 posts in 4255 days

#11 posted 09-24-2012 04:32 PM

I’ve only become interested in this type of bench recently and have started looking at the build blogs.
You have my admiration.
This is a beautiful piece of work.
You should be proud.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Mauricio's profile


7170 posts in 4609 days

#12 posted 09-24-2012 06:18 PM

Great progress, and very nice tool porn shots. The shelf came out very nice. I really like the skew rabet. I could definitely see getting one of those one day.

Its making me think, I was going to hang my shelves on the bottom edge of the stretchers. I guess just because that’s how Roy Underhill did on his roubo but he put a lid on it and made it a chest. Also because my stretchers are wide, it would be a lot of wasted space. I think I’ll go low since I don’t plan on putting a cabinet down there

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Brit's profile


8508 posts in 4300 days

#13 posted 09-24-2012 09:48 PM

Beautiful bench Scott and a great blog series. Glad your saw cuts are coming out better now. Your Tyzack awaits. If you don’t fancy it, send it to me and I’ll do it for you.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View lysdexic's profile


5353 posts in 4080 days

#14 posted 09-24-2012 11:29 PM

You guys act like this thing is done. Not until I put the stickers on.

Don and Smit, the skew rabbet works very well but, unlike a lot of folks here, I haven’t put the time and effort to find, rehab and learn a more traditional moving fillister. So, I cant really compare. I wish I could.

Paul, good luck on your bench build and I hope that this blog helps in some way.

Maur – somewhere I have read about putting the shelf near the top of the stretcher with only a minimal lip. The though process was that you don’t need a deep well for storage. It is not like whatever you put down there is going slosh about. Also, while using a shelf that low you are at a mechanical disadvantage stooping over. Thus, make it easier on yourself and raise the shelf and diminish the lip. Made sense to me. I do plan on putting a cabinet down there someday, a la Smitty.

Andy – when I get to the Tyzack I bend my attention towards your blogs for guidance. Do you like my Yankee 2100?

Finally, Andy, I know that you say that I am building your dream bench but I don’t quite buy it. I am sure that this build has convinced you to do things a little differently. I’d love to hear what those are.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

View bhog's profile


2238 posts in 4148 days

#15 posted 09-24-2012 11:44 PM

Looks like you had alot of fun.I appreciate all the pics.Have you trained yourself to stop and take em?Its something I need to do more of.

As always nice work Scott.

-- I don't drive a Prius.

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