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Butcher Block Roubo Question

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Forum topic by Daveoffinland posted 05-18-2021 06:54 PM 360 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Daveoffinland

17 posts in 445 days


05-18-2021 06:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: roubo workbench

After puzzling over what to do with the 30 solid oak stair balusters I have in my garage (don’t ask), I had an idea: cut out the turned portion of each baluster to get two 3.5” square pieces (13” and 22” long), which I would glue together into a butcher block roubo bench top. Then, in addition to glue, add domino tenons for alignment and support. I would stagger the pieces like the image below:

butcher block roubo top mockup

Is this crazy, i.e., would the bench snap in the middle? What say you, hive mind…


8 replies so far

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JackDuren

1718 posts in 2201 days


#1 posted 05-18-2021 06:56 PM

We’ve done and yelps I’ve seen it bust in half at the planer sander, but it was a large top. If it’s small it poses no problem..

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therealSteveN

8844 posts in 1816 days


#2 posted 05-20-2021 02:50 AM

Done well a glued up butcher block is a great surface. If it allows you to repurpose wood, give it a try.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

7951 posts in 2629 days


#3 posted 05-20-2021 03:08 AM

Should be fine. As long as the joints are tight the glue lines won’t break. It would not hurt to have stretchers between the legs on each end to add a little extra support underneath.

Personally, I would stagger the pieces randomly instead of the regular pattern in your diagram so that none of the ends line up. Having the ends line up could make it a little weaker where several rows line up, though my main reason is aesthetics.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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SMP

4824 posts in 1147 days


#4 posted 05-20-2021 04:08 AM

I would consider it if I had a way to finger joint all the ends.

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SMP

4824 posts in 1147 days


#5 posted 05-20-2021 05:11 AM

One other thing to consider, Some of the thicker balusters are hollow inside. May want to cut into one before planning too much.

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EarlS

4753 posts in 3590 days


#6 posted 05-20-2021 11:09 AM



I would consider it if I had a way to finger joint all the ends.

- SMP


+1 – basically, you are making a gluelam board. They are very common for large exposed architectural beams. The finger joints overcome the weak end joint.

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

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Lazyman

7951 posts in 2629 days


#7 posted 05-20-2021 12:23 PM

Since you have a Domino, just stick a tenon in the ends to strengthen the joints, though if you randomize the pattern so none of the ends align across it, strength is not really an issue, IMO.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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Daveoffinland

17 posts in 445 days


#8 posted 05-21-2021 02:59 PM

Thanks everyone. Your responses have inspired me to give it a shot. I’ll take the tenon in the ends approach and then check back with how it goes.

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