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Roubo Update: Putting her through the paces

So I haven’t had much to say about Roubo lately as I have been working on getting a few commissioned projects out the door as well as building my desk organizer for The Sawdust Chronicles 30 Day Build Challenge. I have however been working on the Roubo while working on all of these other projects. Roubo’s current status is that the top is done and the Benchcrafted vise is installed. I still have to dovetail in the last front laminate strip but essentially the top is fully functional. I will flatten it one more time once I add that front strip but it has been flattened once already. It is still sitting on sawhorses in my shop waiting for the undercarriage to get tenoned together and mortised into the bottom. So really, minus the front leg vise I have the work holding capability in place. Granted the leg vise and sliding leg vise will add a huge amount of work holding options but as far as using hold downs and bench dogs I have what I need.

So in the last few months I have been face planing, some edge planing on thicker stock, cutting tenons on narrow stock with my end vise, carving, sanding, routing, chiseling, and lots and lots more planing. I have filled up several dust collector bags with shavings from face planing and scrub planing on this bench already. With those credentials out of the way I feel safe in stating that I am starting to reap the benefits of Roubo. Here is one observation I have that makes me feel really good about one of my choices during this bench construction.

Several months ago I posted a query about whether to go with round or square dog holes. It seemed there were a lot of pros for both and not a lot of cons so the decision was a toss up. I chose to go with round holes for ease of install and because I already had a few brass Veritas dogs and Wonder Dogs. This week while I was working on my desk organizer for TSDC I was working with a lot of curves and angles. I discovered that another benefit to having round dogs is that you can rotate the clamping face to match any angle and pinch it with the end vise.

Here you can see one of the vertical dividers with the obtuse angle along the top. I was doing a final clean up with my smoother and needed to hold it to the bench for that operation. By twisting the dog clockwise a little I was able to match the angle and not damage the piece. You can see also in the below picture that I have a little more flattening to do to get rid of that glue line!

So the long and short of it is, my bench is not yet done, but I am already reaping the rewards and patting myself on the back for some of the choices I made in construction. Stay tuned for more Roubo soon enough as the projects have finally cleared out of the shop and nothing is left but Roubo!

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