I’m getting about a letter a day from people interested in building (or taking me to task) for the Roubo-style workbench shown in Issue 4. Reader Dan Chaffin, a furniture maker in Louisville, Ky., had three good questions about the base, then bench stop and the holdfasts that have come up a few times with other readers, so I thought I’d publish his letter here and my responses. So here we go:
First Question: When the top of the bench contracts as it dries, how much wracking of the base actually occurs (roughly)? I am not concerned about joint separation, but I like the fact that the legs are flush with front edge of the bench top, and I was wondering if the wracking would affect this flatness in any significant way.
First Answer: After five months, the bench is at full equilibrium with our shop. Our moisture meter reports that the top and legs are all about 11 percent moisture content, which is consistent with the other pieces of Southern yellow pine that have been in our shop for five years or more.