You Have Got to Meet Jack
I’m to the point with this workbench that I cannot see the concrete floor any more because of the shavings. I hate that floor, but I am starting to feel a bit like a hamster.
Today I took the clamps off the Roubo benchtop we glued up Thursday and I scraped off the excess hide glue squeeze-out. The seam is tight. Nice.
Then I dressed the front edge of the benchtop. It was straight from the sawmill, so it was as rough as a cob. So I started out planing the edge with a jack plane to get it straight and square to the bench’s top surface. Then I dressed the front edge with a jointer plane with a 50Ã?Â° pitch , the reversing grain is a bear on this piece because of the knots.
With the front edge in shape I marked out the final length of the benchtop. I was going for 72″, but by settling on 67″ I was able to remove a nasty low spot, a knot and some big checks. This bench won’t be as long as I prefer, but sometimes you have to let the material dictate the design.
Then I sawed off the ends (yes, I did it by hand). I used a standard crosscutting stroke to make an accurate kerf. Then I used an overhand stroke (as shown) so I could bring the saw almost vertical. This is fast. And it uses different muscles. By switching back and forth between these two positions I was able to cut off the two ends without a break (except for one glug of water).
Then it was back to the jack plane to dress the benchtop and make it true. To do this, I put the benchtop on some risers on my sawhorses to lift it up to a comfortable working height. I clamped four f-style clamps to the risers in order to fence in the top and prevent it from moving.
Traversing the top with the jack was quick work , about 15 minutes worth to remove the rough-sawn fur. Then I went to lunch and started typing this. And I’m still typing, as you can see. Now it’s time to stop typing.
– Christopher Schwarz
P.S. Next week I’ll be filling the checks in with tinted epoxy. Might look good. Might look like holes filled with black snot.