Psuedo-Roubo walnut and pine workbench
I had a good amount of Black Walnut I had bought in bulk. There was a fair amount of it that was too warped or damaged to get more than 3' out of it. So, naturally, I decided to use it to make my new workbench. I started with inspiration from Jay Bates workbench, but did a few things differently.
I still have to do dog holes, but for all intents and purposes, it's ready to go. I'm just waiting to use it some before I determine where I want to put the holes. This was a super fun project
Starting with a stack of 10 2x10's and a few walnut boards I already had milled. I let them dry a bit more in my shop for a month before dimensioning.
Started getting leg blanks ready by laminating three 1" boards, about 5" initial width.
In the middle of the project, I realized I really hated my old DW734 so upgraded to the cutech and I'm REALLY happy with it. The dust collection is top notch
Lots of planing later, and having ripped them to 4.5" width, I have pieces for the first half of the split top ready to laminate
This was already heavy as hell. I would grow to hate moving these pieces around
While the top glues up, back to working on the legs.
Random shop photo, the bench will go about where I am
Got the legs jointed and planed to final size. About 3" thick and 4.5" wide
Gluing up the second half of the top
Started my mortising out sections for the stretchers. I had to step it up to painters tape to keep track as two sides of each needed a mortise cut out. My shoulder plane was great for sneaking up on the fit, but most was hogged out on the tablesaw
I truly dislike this jointer. I clear clogs before each use, but inevitably by the second pass, it clogs again and EVERYTHING comes out the top and on to my floor. Hate it, even with a dedicated dust collection hose on it
The top two pieces have been put through the planer. That was fun. These things are heavy as hell
Even with the nice new planer, I needed to sand for a long time to reduce mill marks. I think I probably could have let them dry even more.
Starting to dry fit the base. The stretcher pieces hadn't been cut to length yet obviously
I had originally thought about doing through mortises, but ended up just doing traditional. They are 1" x 3" and 2.25" deep
Here I'm starting to lay out the stretcher for the top support of the bench top. I kinda cheated and instead of doing mortise and tenon, just took out a kind of rabbet. Later on I strengthened with dowels sunk 4" in
Not a bad fit
Took out most with forstner bits before cleaning up with a chisel
All the parts of the base ready for assembly. Not shown, I went ahead and drilled holes for the leg vise on all four legs for flexibility
Before assembly, I put elongated holes in the top stretcher to allow for the top to expand and contract
Here we go!
Recess for the top stretcher
Glued these up completely before glueing the long stretchers to connect each half. Also chamfered the feet
Base is assembled
Testing out the leg vise hole diameter
No screws, just 1/2" dowels sunk a few inches in to reinforce the glued joints
Starting to lay out the mortises in the underside of the top for the base to recess into
Again hogged most out with a forstner bit and followed behind with chisels
They sat about halfway in without any persuasion. I call that good luck!
A little convincing with my deadblow mallet sat them down the rest of the way.
Still just dry fit to the top, now I'm starting on the sliding deadman. I cut a triangle piece of solid maple for the bottom to slide on. I didn't want to mill another whole piece of walnut and it won't be glued on. I plan to update it later (along with the leg vise) when I have more scrap ready
The vise I got from Lee Valley was green, but I like black with walnut, plus it'll match the casters
I had to take this half of the top off to route a channel for the deadman to slide in. Used a homemade edge guide with an upspiral bit to cut it
The deadman in it's base form. the V groove on the bottom and rabbet on the top
I took some of the bulk off the sides with my bandsaw then drilled alternating 3/4" holes every inch (two inches apart per side)
Moves pretty easily
Put a few coats of danish oil on to protect it at least a little and make it pretty
Getting ready for assembly, making sure the bolt slides easily for movement
My wife checking the structural integrity
Starting on the leg vise chop. I'm going to eventually make this walnut like the rest of the base, but I had 1x8 poplar sitting on my lumber rack that was readily available. It'll do for now. 3 pieces laminated together. Here I'm cutting out the area where the bottom wedge will go
Like Jay Bates, used a dowel to restrict lateral movement. Works great
Final shot, all ready for use
Close up of the figured walnut in the deadman