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Roubo Stretchers

I have been working on a few comissioned projects lately so I haven’t had too much Roubo time. Feeling the pull to do some work on it, I decided I would tackle one of the simpler parts: the stretchers. As my readers may remember from my leg construction, I chose to use Chris Schwarz’s method of laminating the tenons into place by using spacers. Seeing how much extra work that took, I decided to go ahead and just glue together the two parts of the stretchers and cut the tenons later.

The end stretchers were glued up and jointed and squared but I have not cut the tenons yet because I don’t know the exact finised width of the benchtop until after I have installed the end vise and dovetailed the front laminate into the end cap. The long stretchers however are a different story and I was able to cut the tenons there.

The sliding leg vise will ride in a groove on the bottom of the benchtop and on a V shaped rail built into the stretcher. After milling two 1 1/4″ thick planks, I cut one to 3 3/4″ wide and the other to 3″ wide. I cut the double chamfer on the 3 3/4 plank using my table saw. Then I cut the chamfered plank to the finished length which is equal to the distance between the legs of the bench.

The finished tenons will be 2 1/2″ long so I drew a line on the narrower stock that was 2 1/2″ back from the edges as a reminder to stay inside those lines when glueing the two pieces together.

From here, I rolled on the glue and put them into the clamps.

After the glue had dried, it was a simple matter to joint the bottom edge and with a shoulder plane clean up the glue joint between the V shaped piece and the back of the stretcher.

Now over to the miter saw to cut the tenons to finished length.

Call this technique a bit of a hybrid from Schwarz’s suggestion in his book, but it meant that I could do away with spacers to ensure the tenon dimensions and take advantage of the slightly longer stock I have on hand.

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