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Thread: Tool list for Bench crafted Roubo Split top build

  1. #1
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    Tool list for Bench crafted Roubo Split top build

    Hi everyone, I plan on building a Benchcrafted Roubo. my question (I hope it is in the right place) was has anyone here built one? what were the small tools you felt most useful? I have the major tool list down (I am going to work all hand tools and a router ) but for instance, I recently discovered that they suggest I get a tap for the screws. I am wondering what other tools I may be missing for the build (leg and tail vise).

    If anyone has a suggestion I would be happy to hear!

  2. #2
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    I recently discovered that they suggest I get a tap for the screws.
    Something must have gone right over my head. Where does one have to tap for screws when building a bench?

    Before reading that my reply was going to be some stout chisels for the mortises:

    Mortising Leg for Stretcher .jpg

    Of course one needs a mallet to drive the chisels.

    The chisel in use is a 3/4" found in a secondhand store. A 1" chisel was used for the cross members. The chisel on the bench is a 1/2" swan neck or lock mortise chisel. It is handy for cleaning up the bottom of mortises.

    A few planes for cleaning up the lumber being used:

    Just Keep Tryinjg.jpg

    A brace and bits is helpful for drilling out the mortises. For me it is almost as fast just banging them out. If you are going to use round dogs then a bit for drilling the dog holes is mandatory whether you will be doing it by hand or with an electric drill. It is also mandatory to have a drill if you are going to use draw boring to lock the tenons in the mortises.

    And of course one will need a saw to cut the tenons.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 02-25-2021 at 5:11 PM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Assaf Oppenheimer View Post
    ... I recently discovered that they suggest I get a tap for the screws. I am wondering what other tools I may be missing for the build (leg and tail vise)....
    Who's "they"?

    The only reason for a tap I can think of is for the vise screw to thread into and I think most people inset a premade nut for that. What does "they" say you should use the tap for?

    Confused.

  4. #4
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    The tap is used for cutting threads in the bench leg to fasten the nut for the leg vise. They use machine screws. Lie-Nielsen does the same thing. It is very strong. And since they don’t get removed and inserted but once no need for a threaded insert.
    Jim
    Ancora Yacht Service

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Ritter View Post
    The tap is used for cutting threads in the bench leg to fasten the nut for the leg vise. They use machine screws. Lie-Nielsen does the same thing. It is very strong. And since they don’t get removed and inserted but once no need for a threaded insert.
    Jim
    What Jim said.

    Assaf,

    I've built the BenchCrafted Roubo, it has been a few years but if I remember correctly the metal tap and die set was about it for special tools. Hope you have someone to help, even with a split top everything is heavy and hard to sling around the shop. My only two suggestions are to use the crisscross and not the parallel guide for the leg vise and to think about your work flow before installing the wagon vise, I didn't find it was worth the effort to install.

    ken

  6. #6
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    In his most recent workbench book Chrtis Schwarz installed the leg vise with criss cross, but instead of tapping the wood he used a tapered drill bit and wood screws to attach the criss cross hardware. I can maybe look that up Saturday, I am kinfa buried here and it is still snowing.

    Swan neck for the stopped mortises I agree. If you aren't going super deep you might could use a router plane, but with a swan neck you could go as deep as you want. Swan necks I see local are typically 3/4 or 1 inch. If yu can find a 1/2 inch one local vintage you won't use it often, but half inch might someday be useful on larger furniture items, 3/4 and up would be a thing to resell or save for your next bench build.

    Gotta go.

  7. #7
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    Starting the search to build a new workbench to replace the old one built many years ago. Can someone tell me the function of the split in the top?

  8. #8
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    Hi,

    Sounds like fun. I don't remember any special tools either, though I think I did buy a milling bit to route the dogholes. I was not a fan of the split top except for the build itself. I did install the wagon vise and use it all the time, unlike Ken. For the work I do, I'd probably get a traditional tail vise because I often work with small parts.

    The saga can be found here:

    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....and-Bench-Dead

    Have fun!
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  9. #9
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    Swan necks I see local are typically 3/4 or 1 inch. If yu can find a 1/2 inch one local vintage you won't use it often, but half inch might someday be useful on larger furniture items, 3/4 and up would be a thing to resell or save for your next bench build.
    Those big ones must be for timber framing or mine supports.

    Also consider a 1/2" swan neck can work in a 3/4" or 1" mortise. A 3/4" or 1" swan neck won't work in a 1/2" mortise.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  10. #10
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    Jon,

    The primary reason for the split top is that it expands your clamping capabilities. Normally the center opening is filled with a removable piece to give you an unbroken bench top. I don't remember if it's in the plans but I put slots in the center of the filler to store chisels, marking guages, etc. while working. When you remove the filler you can now place clamps in center of the bench which is handy for narrower parts or allows clamping from the center of the bench when you need to clamp a piece to the front of the bench and don't have or want to drag out the clamps that will reach all the way across your bench.

    My bench is a split top Roubo built from Benchcrafted plans and it does everything I need. Something that surprised me is that I use the wagon vise much more than the leg vise. Probably 20 to 1.

    Cliff

    Cliff
    Mudhead: "Doesn't Louise count?" Porgy: "Only to 10, Mudhead."

  11. #11
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    Thank you Cliff. Much appreciated.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Those big ones must be for timber framing or mine supports.

    Also consider a 1/2" swan neck can work in a 3/4" or 1" mortise. A 3/4" or 1" swan neck won't work in a 1/2" mortise.

    jtk
    I think you are right. I haven't bought one of the bigger ones yet. If I see a half inch swan neck I will probably grab it. As you mentioned, a 1/2 inch swan neck can work in a wider mortise and _might_ someday be useful on big heavy furniture. A 3/4 or wider swan neck is good for workbenches, buildings, and as you pointed out mine supports.

  13. #13
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    I just finished building mine. It was a lot of fun. Iím a complete amateur that enjoys learning the challenges of it. The Benchcrafted hardware is really REALLY nice. It took me around 100+ hours but a lot of it I have never done before. A tools that I can think of are: a long calibrated straight edge, 12Ē combo square, dowel plate of draw boring instead of a knockdown style, 5/16 tap, 3/8 Brad point bit for the chop assembly, a 1 5/8 Forstner bit did a lot of the heavy removal for the mortise in the chop and leg - you could go slightly bigger. Iím sure I could think of more. I went to the store a LOT but I used a lot of power tools and hand tools. I hope this helps. Have fun!

  14. #14
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    "Starting the search to build a new workbench to replace the old one built many years ago. Can someone tell me the function of the split in the top?"

    It seems to me a split top is really a whole different design from a traditional one piece top Roubo which avoids the issue of expansion and contraction of the top working against the joints between the legs and the short side stretchers. I am not sure if the clamping options drove that design.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by scott lipscomb View Post
    "Starting the search to build a new workbench to replace the old one built many years ago. Can someone tell me the function of the split in the top?"

    It seems to me a split top is really a whole different design from a traditional one piece top Roubo which avoids the issue of expansion and contraction of the top working against the joints between the legs and the short side stretchers. I am not sure if the clamping options drove that design.
    Scott,

    The only real advantage is in ease of build. The split slabs will likely fit in most shop's planer when a full slab will not. The smaller slab will weigh less and be easier to handle during the build. I find an asymmetric split slab is usually the best of all bench building worlds, but of course YMMV.

    BTW, if you are looking to build a new workbench don't over look building a Moravian bench. I've built both Roubo's and Moravian benches, the Moravian has a lot to offer.

    ken

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