Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Benchmaker's Apprentice: The End

Today I started by putting some finishing touches on the leg vise chop.

I also finished up the tail vise sliding dog block.

Also, because the front apron drops down farther than the bench top, I cut this for a little modern flare, but it's just a 45*, so not too modern.

Now I started working on the cleats that hold the shelf.

The barrel nut meets the shelf cleat, preventing the cleat from fitting in its groove completely. We'll have to remedy that, won't we.

Perfect fit.

Now, after finishing the shelf pieces themselves, the two edge pieces must be cut to fit. The shelf boards are shiplapped on their long edges.

Another perfect fit! Man, this day is going great! Until...

At this point, this is what the dogs look like. To get the spring working, we need to make an angled cut at the bottom of the piece.

I made a quick jig to cut the angle on the dogs.

Now we need to make that springy piece thinner. Now, you might want to use a hand plane, but here at Benchcrafted, we don't believe in simplicity. It's sort of like magic. Every magic trick appears to be simple, but in actuality, it is quite complex(or is it the other way around?). Anyway, we developed a magic trick of our own while building this bench. Everything in your head will be saying that this was a mistake, but it was in every way intentional (and copyrighted).

Anyway, you might want to take a lighter cut when using this method.

Here is the jig we routed quickly to do this. It works, let's say, iffy. I wouldn't recommend doing this.

From there, I glued up the dogs.

And then added screws for added strength.

Then I drilled for the big Spax lags and attached the tops.

Now it's time to flatten the top.

I make a chamfer to minimize blowout because it's faster to plane across the grain on this.

I also file the dog holes.

It took a while, but I got it pretty flat.

Well, there you have it. That was the Benchmaker's Apprentice, and that is a Benchcrafted Split-Top Roubo Bench. I hope you enjoyed the pictures and details and my rambling about stuff I don't know anything about. Thanks for listening, and stay tuned, because in the near future (as in sometime in the next few weeks) we will be posting pictures of this thing because, as you may recall, she's getting painted. And if you want even more, you might get to see the Benchmaker's Apprentice Bench in St. Louis at the upcoming Lie Nielsen event. So stay tuned for news on that, also.

Thanks again!


  1. really cool ! thanks for sharing this first class lessons
    Cheers !

  2. A really great job. I just hope mine turns out so nicely.

  3. John,

    Great job on the bench-making blogs! You have a real knack for it.

    Looking forward to seeing it in person here in STL! I have several days/nights to chose from, so I'm sure I'll be able to make it to ONE of them!


  4. Thanks for the feedback, everybody!
    Hope to see some of you at the Lie Nielsen event!


  5. Well done John, the bench turned out well!

    I enjoyed reading the posts, thanks for puttin' them on the blog.

    As for thinning the springs for the dogs; using the routed recess looks like a good idea although tricky with a planer. Won't using a handheld power planer offer a bit more control?

    ....and she looks great painted....


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.