Out on a Limb: Plus ça Change

RouboPlate11by Megan Fitzpatrick
page 6

I’ve been busy in my free time (such as it is) scurrying to prepare text files for the designer of an upcoming translation of the furniture making sections of André Jacob Roubo’s “l’Art du menuisier.”

In case you’re not familiar with Roubo and his 18th-century tome, it’s basically a brain dump from a Paris-based, third-generation joiner. In five volumes, he shares everything he knows and has learned about cabinetmaking and furniture making (and many related woodworking crafts) through thousands of pages and 383 highly detailed illustrations of tools, the shop, joinery, furniture….

But if you’ve been reading Popular Woodworking Magazine for more than a day, Roubo likely needs no introduction – and you’ve almost certainly seen Plate 11 before, or at least parts of it and projects based thereupon. Pictured here (click on the image to enlarge and see the entire plate), it’s the image that Christopher Schwarz studied when he built his first French workbench in 2005 for the Autumn 2005 Woodworking Magazine (he’s built many since), and that I studied when I built the much smaller version (it’s but 6′ long) that I currently use at home. And for the LVL knock-down knock-off of Roubo’s bench that I use at work. And the “Build an 18th-century Workbench” video we offer at shopwoodworking.com. And…

Roubo Wallpaper: Click here to find Plate 11 in four sizes for free download.

From the August 2016 issue, #226
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