Roubo sharpening bench – part 2


I would like to apologise for my silence over the past week. Due to a lack of shop time I had nothing to report.

You might have noticed one of the comments on the first part of this series, but if not Carsten from Germany commented  as follows: ”

this wood is without doubt what the english call “scotts pine” and what we just call “Kiefer”; being “Pinus sylvestris”.
The sapwood sometimes gets blue streaks, as one cross-section shows; this does not mean any mechanical weakness, it’s just cosmetics. OK, it is a fungus, but it does no harm at all.

You where lucky to get wood of this quality; all the engines, parts and fittings we get here on the shipyard are packed in crates of spruce with cm-wide growthrings.

I love the smell of this pine, especially as you cut a knot…

I am very grateful for his contribution as it makes the whole project more meaningful. It was really good to get confirmation that I am dealing with quality wood that would otherwise be impossible for me to access. If you are interested in reading more about this species click this link.

In the picture below you can see how well my leg vice and sliding-deadman-cum-leg-vise function together to allow hand planing of the edge of these long stretchers. The second picture show my version of a crochet. It is minute, removable, moveable and does pretty much the same job as the more elaborate versions being bandied around.


I simply cannot get over the beauty of the grain on these boards. I have never been much of a pine fan, but this is superb wood that is a joy to work with. Carsten was also spot on in terms of it’s smell, it is exquisite. You can appreciate how it looked like after the planer took care of the non-reference surfaces. You might remember that I hand planed the reference surfaces.


In winter I have the privilege to work in this wonderful cosy late afternoon sun. In summer this same sun will kill you on sight. Here I started marking out the tenons of the aprons and short stretchers.


My whole Sunday was spent hand sawing the tenons. My Lie-Nielsen tenon saw does not have enough blade under the back, which meant a lot of extra work. Mark Harrell of Bad Axe Tool Works recently built me a monster Roubo Beast Master for this type of job, but I will only take possession in two weeks time. Watch this space for a post on my experience in dealing with Mark. I just want to test the saw a bit too, but so far I can only say good things with regards to his professionalism and personal attention to customers.


Here you can see the setup I use for cutting the shoulders.


This step was necessitated by the tenon saw blade being to short. I want to point out that my Lie-Nielsen tenon saw is a fine tool, it is simply a case of not being designed for these gargantuan tenons. It is more in the timber framing ballpark.




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