Workbench Wednesday – #15 (2017) Pair of Petite Laminated Roubos, Part 2

I was busy with travel yesterday, so this is a day late.

The procedures for making this pair of benches was identical to previous and more recent versions, the primary difference being the scale of the project(s). The first steps revolve around rendering usable lamina from 2×12 southern yellow pine, ripped and cut to length. As has become my practice I run all of the stock for the top and the legs through the power planer to get clean surfaces and edges for the glue-up.

This project was so routine in fact that I made no record of assembling the top, but it was an identical approach as I have recounted previously.

This approach makes for almost effortless cutting and fitting of the leg tenons and the top mortises. With the top flipped I just drove the leg tenons home with almost gentle pressure. Sure, I was using a 12-pound sledge, but I wasn’t having to wail away on it.

Actually the driving home of the legs in this manner is why I off-set the three lamina for the leg, leaving the center lamina untrimmed. This disposable tongue gives a great place to pound on.

Lying the assembled unit on its side allows for effortless trimming of the legs to the identical length. Soon enough the first one was upright, serving as a bench for the second.

Given the petite dimensions, particularly the height, I needed to devise a system to raise and lower the bench according to the height of the user.

I prefer a bench higher than do most folks, I am about 6″-0″ and like the bench to be about the height above my wrist with a hanging arm, so I figured that a stepped height would be fine. Using 2x construction lumber and some coarse sandpaper I created a set of stepped slippers to allow for the height to be variable. In the end this turned out to be a crucial component for the end result of one of the benches (actually, probably both of them).

With some final detailing, flattening the top and drilling for holdfasts, I had a near-perfect workbench/display table for the task most immediately at hand.

One of the features I designed into the benches was the easy removal of the legs so that the benches could be portable knock-down units. I fabricated a fitted block to drive the tenons of the legs down through the top of the assembled top, allowing for complete disassembly. This strategy worked perfectly and in time the benches were ready for transport to Iowa.

They served me perfectly there, and confirmed the original concept of a small-ish Roubo-style knock-down bench (an idea I first stole for Kari Hultman).

After the Handworks event the benches came home with me, awaiting their next chapter.

Stay tuned.