Workbench Building Workshop – Roubo Prototype 4


With the legs ready for installation on/into the slab top, my next step was to get the underside of the bench reasonably flat.  It did not need to be particularly smooth, and definitely did not need to be “finished” but it did need to be amenable to seating the legs into the mortises cleanly.  Using a scrub plane and a #6 I got the underside ready to go.


With the slab top still upside-down but placed on lower stools, I simply put the leg tenons where they belonged and drove them into place.  On one of the legs I was especially pleased that I had left the legs a little long so the results from the pounding with a sledge hammer could be excised.  On two of the legs they went into place with just a bit of tapping with a wooden mallet, one took a bit more persuasion, and one was really tight.  Often you do not know these things until it is too late to do anything about it except reach for a bigger hammer.


I am not particularly bullish on through-mortised stretchers for this type of bench, first because the bench does not need them for stability as the only real purpose for the stretchers is to hold a shelf underneath, and second it adds another element of unnecessary complexity to the project.  In this prototype I cut some pieces of 4-inch wide 2x stock from the inventory, planed them lightly by hand, and affixed them to the legs with 3-inch deck screws for the short end stretchers and angled 4-inch deck screws for the longitudinal stretchers.



Laying over the bench on the low stools allowed me to hand plane the faces of the slab easily, and measure and saw off the legs to the length I wanted.  I chose 36″ somewhat arbitrarily, we will try to fit each bench to their maker when we do this for real in July.


And with that, the bench was rotated another quarter-turn and sat upright on the floor.  It does not budge a bit.

Next time I’ll finish up the core bench.


If you are interested in joining me for a workbench building week at The Barn July 25-29, drop me a line.