Roubo sharpening bench – part 12


By 18h30 yesterday evening the bench was finished and in it’s place. When I say finished, it means that it is adequate for it’s intended use over the next year or so. It will simply function as a stand for my drill press, a permanent sharpening station, grinder and a few more things. Once my shop get’s expanded, it will receive a holdfast vise and start functioning as workbench.

I used my Disston no. 12 to saw off the the protruding through tenons, wedges and drawpins. As you can see, I left quite a bit in tact in order not to damage the bench surface too much.

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The rest of the protrusions were planed away with my Lie-Nielsen low angle Jack plane. I find this to be the best plane for end grain work like this, especially when used with a toothed blade.

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I then used a Stanley Bailey no. 3 smoothing plane to get rid of the toothed blade’s characteristic finish.


In this picture you can see that my crosscut saw did chew a bit of the leg in this case. Fortunately this is the side of the bench that goes up against the wall.


While I had the bench in a convenient position I screwed the cleat to the bottom of the long stretchers.


The Marx-Roubo bolts were covered up with inlayed chunks of perfectly quarter sawn Scots pine. As you can see, the inlayed pieces were initially 1-2 mm proud of the surface. After the glue dried, it was planed flush.


I decided not to do a proper flattening of the top as it is not necessary at this stage. Seeing that the bench will only be used as a table for now, I thought the top could happily move with the changes in humidity and settle down over the next year or so. Once I need to start using it as a proper bench, I can then do that fine tuning.


After a treatment of Tung oil and turps. I decided to leave the top beams at full length at this stage. By the time it becomes a proper bench, I might add breadboard ends on both sides. Currently it is 3370 mm (just over 11′) in length.


The next task is to finish off the preparation of the shelve boards. Here you can see my Lie-Nielsen no. 48 in action. It is one of my favourite tools.


Pewa is a bright young Namibian whom we are helping to realise her dream of becoming a Medical Doctor. She is currently staying with us while writing her final school exams. She took a break from her studies to help me to get the bench to it’s home for the next little while.



Here we are in the process of clearing the area allocated for the bench.



While the helpers took a break I quickly treated the underside of the bench with the mentioned potion.



It just so happened that our friend Heidi turned up at the right time to help us with the tricky resettlement procedure.



Once the bench was in place, Pewa and I started to populate it with paraphernalia.