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Thread: Tool list for Bench crafted Roubo Split top build

  1. #31
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    sorry it took me a bit to answer, I was traveling

    "They" is Benchcrafted, they suggest tapping the screws for the leg vise. Caught me off guard, I was wondering what else I should prepare for

    thanks

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post
    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

    thanks, I was banking on the Criscros

  3. #33
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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

    thanks for the suggestion, I've never heard of swan neck chisel before, I had to look it up. Honestly, I don't think I will need one; the really deep tenons are going to be through (sliding dovetail). I have a big router plane which I hope I can manage with for the rest.

  4. #34
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    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.
    the split top is built with a removable partition which should lie flush with the top so that when you use it your theoretically not loosing the advantages of a continuous top. when you remove it, you can pull clamps through it to get greater clamping reach from the middle of the top. If you move it, it can rest at a higher step creating a "wall" to use to plane against. Also depending on how you design it, you can use the partition as a tool tray.

  5. #35
    I made my own criss cross out of wood, hickory to be exact. I have used it for 4 years now and have not had any trouble with it, In fact it is the criss cross that takes the weight of the chop. The screw can be turned with a couple of fingers. Also pictured is a good reason for a split top. The bottom of the tool tray pulls out for clamping in the middle. Maybe I am wrong but most tops are fit over pins to hold the top in place on the outside edges. The split top allows for wood movement during seasonal changes.

    DSC03254.JPG DSC03259.JPG
    Probably the most important aspect of the bench is the height. Length and width are controlled by the space allowed for it.

    I would make it 4 hands high and about 3 hands wide unless you can work from both sides and your space allows it. And I mean your hands. A hand is the length from the tip of your thumb to the tip of your little finger when your hand is stretched out comfortably. A hand for me is 81/2 inches so the height of the bench is 34 inches. If I really stretch it out it is 35 inches. It has to do with proportions. 3 hands wide is about how far your arm will go to pick something up comfortably. Again it is sizing your bench to fit YOUR body not mine. For me a split top should be no wider than 25 1/2 inches, so 24 works out to be somewhat ideal.
    Tom

  6. #36
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    Benchcrafted wants machine screws into hard maple. Christopher Schwarz used # 14 wood screws into SYP. Softer, weaker woods will most likely do better with coarse thread screws.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Guest View Post
    Just makes vastly more sense to me to have a contiguous work surface, not one interrupted by a well in the middle. Battens can always be provided to support a well board, I think I mentioned that in another post in the context of having a well at all, but what you have then is an essentially hollow area in-between your two slabs. Again, not seeing an advantage. Just move it to the back.

    These things are dual benches in my experience, beyond looking at pictures in a book that may not provide full context, think about it like a tandem bicycle for two riders. One can make it go, but it looks a little awkward.
    I tend to agree with Charles, but I have not used a split bench. I am also biased by having a single-top Roubo.

    One of the questions I have, not mentioned here, is whether there is any difficulty maintaining that the separate sides remain coplanar?

    I just prefer the idea of keeping it simple and having a continuous surface upon which to work. This has served me well for 30 years.



    With regard the notion that the split bench can be set up for planing drawers, can it be set for different widths, which I consider important? This is the fixture I made, and which attaches to my bench very easily ...









    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  8. #38
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    That’s a pretty nifty set up Derek. I may have to try something like that if I don’t go with a split, and possibly even if I do go with a split.

  9. #39
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    Tom,

    your criss cross design is amazing, as is your tip with hand height. I will look into it.
    many thanks

  10. #40
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    Just a note, you may have already addressed this... Split top benches are typically supported by adding skirts on the ends of the bench so the two tops don't collapse. Single tops (in Roubo style at least) don't have skirts under the top - just the legs hold up the top. The impact is in the installation of end vises that need to be able to clear the skirt.

  11. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mills View Post
    Just a note, you may have already addressed this... . Single tops (in Roubo style at least) don't have skirts under the top - just the legs hold up the top. The impact is in the installation of end vises that need to be able to clear the skirt.
    Dave,

    Sorry to be dense but I haven't a clue what you are talking about. "Split top benches are typically supported by adding skirts on the ends of the bench so the two tops don't collapse". If you mean split slabs need a upper stretcher between the legs then you are correct but I use an upper stretcher when building a single slab as well, completing the box dontchknow, stronger than not.

    ken

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bussey View Post
    I made my own criss cross out of wood, hickory to be exact.
    Tom, any chance you have more photos and/or details about your criss cross? I don’t want to hijack the OPs thread, so, if you do have the details/photos, it may be worth posting in a new thread. I’d think a thread on a DIY criss cross would be of interest to many.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post
    Dave,

    Sorry to be dense but I haven't a clue what you are talking about. "Split top benches are typically supported by adding skirts on the ends of the bench so the two tops don't collapse". If you mean split slabs need a upper stretcher between the legs then you are correct but I use an upper stretcher when building a single slab as well, completing the box dontchknow, stronger than not.

    ken
    Ken, I haven't seen Roubo style benches that use a normal non-split top using upper stretchers. The top itself is monolithic and "completes the box". I'm not suggesting that nobody's using them, obviously you are, but that is not the normal design I'm seeing built or documented.

  14. #44
    My tip about hands is nothing new. I first I heard about it, it was a way of measuring a horse's height. In the movie Pretty woman, Julia Roberts comments when they were in the car, that a person foot is the same length as the persons arm is from the elbow to, I believe, the wrist. It deals with the make up of that persons anatomy. A kitchen cabinate is 24 wide and the countertop has an overhang and is the distance an arm can reach comfortably is 24 inches( 3 hands).

    If you stand 2 adults side by side of different heights. A big variation is more noticeable, and yet if the arms hang loosely at the side the finger tips of both will be within 1 inch of each other. That is why countertops today are 36 inches from the floor. Again proportions.

    And thirdly, I believe his name is Tom Choplin, a well respected woodworker, did a You Tube video on heights and that is where I got the 4 hands.
    Tom

  15. #45
    Andrew, please give me a couple of days and I will give a short response. There are a lot of people out there who because they have a Criss Cross form Bench Crafted or what ever will chime in and say their is the only way to go, their way is better, this is how I did it, or it is foolish to make it out of wood. In other wards I am going against the established way and therefor must be made to appear like a fool and I do not want to waist my time.

    If a few more want to hear about it let me know otherwise I it is not worth my time to be made to appear stupid. There are whole chapters written in text books that apply to clamping principals and they are hidden in the criss Cross.

    And as for the others, other than wood which is the same investment I have less than one dollar in my criss cross. and no tap to buy.
    Last edited by Tom Bussey; 03-02-2021 at 8:55 AM.
    Tom

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