For this Roubo workbench to work, I’ve got 16 joints that have to come together all at once. There is not an option to glue things up in stages and still guarantee success.
As a result, I tried to give myself some wiggle room. I fit the edge cheeks of the tenons a little looser than normal so they could shift around. I made my tenons’ face cheeks a shade thinner than when I build a typical door, for example. And I cut the through-tenons so that I will have to wedge them.
That said, getting this bench together for a dry-fit required Mongo, the 2-pound English mallet. I tried my other wimpier mallets first. I would have been banging all day with the little guys.
But Mongo made it happen.
Each leg had to be pounded about 20 times to get it to seat. Then I clamped the lower stretchers to the legs to see how all the shoulders looked. The shoulders on the front stretcher look good. The side stretchers each have a gap I need to tend to. The rear stretcher is just going to have to learn to be different. (Like the kid in my high school who had a weird affection for live poultry.)
Next up: Fix the shoulders (if the workbench will come apart), start drawboring the joints and select a glue with a two-day open time.
But I’m about to hit a wall. This weekend I’ve got to build a birdhouse. Yup, you read that right.
– Christopher Schwarz
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