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Forum topic by TEK73 posted 03-15-2019 11:28 PM 340 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TEK73

13 posts in 5 days


03-15-2019 11:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: roubo workbench top joinery question

Hi

I hope someone here might give me some help in a choice I’m pondering a bit over

I’m planning on building a split-top ruobo workbench. It will be a sturdy bench with traditional wooden vice-screws that I make myself. It will have one leg-vice and one wagon-vice.

After some testing I have got the vice-screws to a level I think will do.

The screw are made from rowan tree that I picked up in Lofoten (Norway) where they grow quite slowly, and that I have tried for two years in my shop. I think they should make very good screws.

Anyway, that is not what I’m here to ask about.
I have got my hands of quite a bit of cheep beech that I will build the bench itself from.
No, the question is about the workbench top. I’m planning on each top to be approdimate 10” wide and 4” thick.

I have some nice slabs with untreated edges that are more than 10” wide and approx 2” thick.
So if I straight edgesthese and flattend them I could join two of them together and get tops that are the right size.
That would mean that each top would be two slabs glued on top of each other.
This would probably be the easiest to do, and I would get one even top that from the top looks like one slab.

My other choice is to cut stripes of the tops that are 2” wide and 4” thick and glue 5 of those together to make each of the tops. This seems to be the more traditional approach.

I would really like advice on what to do. Can you share information about how the wood behave that should lead me into selecting one above the other?

Best regards, Trond-Eirik


10 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1680 posts in 460 days


#1 posted 03-16-2019 12:16 PM

from a question in another post:


as a novice, I have never thought about the risk of my wood to have bugs in it.
When thinking about it, it’s quite obvious.
But how do I know that the wood I buy from the warehouse does not have bug in it?
When I for example get 2×8” of white oak or beech?
Or maybe the right question is, how do I assure that my finished piece does not have bugs in it?
As an amateur, it’s not a likely option to send it off to someone else for treatment, and I do not
know anyone in my area who could do it anyway…

- TEK73

Trond – what part of the world do you live in ?
each area has its own set of insect issues and how to deal with them.

as for your slab lumber ~ have the boards been properly stickered and air dried or kiln dried ??
the process from when the trees were cut, how they were milled, and all the other aspects
of green lumber play a major part in how the wood will behave after you make your projects.
so for an “accurate” answer to all your questions, you really need to know the full history of the
wood and the reputation of the lumberyard that you buy it from.

here in Central Florida, the lumberyard where I buy my cedar and cypress has such a high volume
of business, it is hard to get raw wood that has been stickered for more than two weeks.
kiln drying doubles or triples the price of “yard lumber” that is kept out in the weather.

.

.

-- Failure is proof that you at least tried ~ now, go do it again, and again, until you get it right --

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TEK73

13 posts in 5 days


#2 posted 03-16-2019 12:42 PM

Ohh, of course.
I’m in Norway.
About all the other stuff the answare is that I have no idea about how the lumber is treated before I get it from the shop.
I have not heard about this beeing a problem here – so maybe it’s normally not an issue here. However, I guess that «American white oak» is from US, so who know?

It’s just a problem I habe never thought about before – so I got a bit curious. Would not be fun if I made myself a kitchen table and it suddently started to crawl bugs out of it…

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John Smith

1680 posts in 460 days


#3 posted 03-16-2019 12:50 PM

wow – long way from the USA !! welcome to the forum.
I was in Bergen many years ago in my Navy days as a port visit
and thoroughly enjoyed my two weeks there – it was awesome !!
hopefully, you can be put at rest with all your questions before you
get too deep into your projects. many very helpful members here
can guide you through the processes for satisfactory results.

.

.

-- Failure is proof that you at least tried ~ now, go do it again, and again, until you get it right --

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TEK73

13 posts in 5 days


#4 posted 03-16-2019 01:01 PM

Hmm, I did not notice that your quote was from a different thread – so my last reply was just related to the bugs and a more general reply to that.

I can be a lot more excact when it comes to the beech that I will use for the bench.
I live in the middel of Norway.
I goot the wood for the bench probably two or three years ago and I have had it stored in my garage since then.
I got it from a local that again imported it, I think from Poland, and that probably have had it stored in his garage for a lot of year. The wood is very nice and very dry.

Some pictures of the actual slabs:


Sorry about all the mess. It’s winter here and bikes and all other stuff has to be stored indoors – and this lumber also takes it place.

This is more from the same source, but without the raw edges. Probably will use from this to make the feet/frame of the bench.

I have buildt some other furnitures from this and it’s has been very nice to work with.

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TEK73

13 posts in 5 days


#5 posted 03-16-2019 01:29 PM

Just to be a bit more clear on what I’m asking about.
Would the best way to make the two tops of my ruobo workbench be to laminate the slabs by using the method to the left or the method to the right:

I’m quite sure that the method to the right will be the fastes, but will that give me a good result in the end?
Most post and videos I see from making workbenches either starts out with one large slab that is large enough to use as it is, or by laminating according to the method to the left.
So, what do you more experienced woodworkers think I should do?

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2055 posts in 2096 days


#6 posted 03-16-2019 02:32 PM

Glue up the boards with the edges up left pic. Be sure to lay up the boards to suit your direction of hand planing.
Beech makes a nice bench top.
Good luck

-- Aj

View SMP's profile

SMP

459 posts in 203 days


#7 posted 03-16-2019 04:07 PM

Are you doing square or round bench dogs? If square it’s definitely easier to do with the glued up strips, also for the wagon vise. Even though the planks may look a bit better.

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TEK73

13 posts in 5 days


#8 posted 03-16-2019 05:02 PM

I’m doing round dogs, so in that regard it does not make a difference.

As you mention, planks may look better and feels easier to do.

But I guess there are some reasons why Aj2 suggested strips – I’m just a but curious what they are so that I can learn a bit more about why I should do one or the other.

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SMP

459 posts in 203 days


#9 posted 03-16-2019 05:42 PM



I’m doing round dogs, so in that regard it does not make a difference.

As you mention, planks may look better and feels easier to do.

But I guess there are some reasons why Aj2 suggested strips – I’m just a but curious what they are so that I can learn a bit more about why I should do one or the other.

- TEK73

There are certain advantages depending on wood used and how dry it is, and style/design of bench build. 2 basic types of benches, 1 where the top and base are kind of 2 seperate peices that are then joined together, and the other more integral where its built as one big piece. Of course if I was using construction lumber from the home improvement store, where you never know how long its been dried, and construction lber tands to cup and twist wtc, i would definitely do the laminated strip method. However for my bench build I did the traditional english style with planks and bearers. A roubo with planks you may need to resurface occasionally. If you build it and finish just the top, it would be more likely to cup also.

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TEK73

13 posts in 5 days


#10 posted 03-18-2019 02:26 PM

In my case I have:
- Beech wood, very dry (dried many years after I got it and a looot of years before that)
I have made other stuff from the same wood, and it is moving very little
- I’m building a split top ruobo bench
- Each top will be 25cm wide (10”) and 10cm thick (4”)
- The legs will be joined to the top with tenons, like this

I expect that I will draw bore the teons to the top.

In this case, would you then go for option a (left) or option b (right)

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