Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Birth of a Roubo...

This last Saturday a friend of ours was over doing some electrical work in the kitchen. My brothers and I had removed the old counter and tore down the tile backsplash the previous weekend. While the drywall was down, I wanted Mike to update the wiring to make sure all of the outlets were GFI and add some under-cabinet lighting.

Mike has one of those big trucks you love to drive around and every guy you pass stabs you with jealous daggers from his eyes. I like borrowing it when he is working on a project at our house.

This last weekend, I borrowed his truck to take a trip to Lowes. I needed to pick up some supplies for the work he was doing, but I also wanted to take advantage of the bed of his truck to haul a little bit of lumber home.

Two hours later, I returned, triumphant (and sore and tired...)! I had the lumber picked out for what I'm calling The Ten Board Roubo.

It starts with the hand-selecting of ten 12' long 2x12 southern yellow pine boards. Let me tell you, hand-selecting 12' long boards by yourself isn't exactly easy. If you ever start on a bench-building project in the future, I would suggest bringing a friend along to help move lumber during the selection process. Those suckers are heavy and unwieldy.

Once I got them home, I cross-cut them to somewhat smaller dimensions before I stickered them in the corner of the garage. The top is going to be 8' long, so I decided to cut them all into 8' and 4' sections.

It isn't much to look at so far, but it is a start... and it makes my garage smell good!

The mahogany board sitting on top of the stack is not part of the bench but another project I also started (er... picked up again?) this weekend. I'll have some progress on that project at a later date.

Total price for the bench lumber came out at about $150. I'd love to be able to spend the time and money on wooden screws for a face vice and pick up a shiny wagon vice for the end, but I have a baby due in less than 10 weeks, so both are at a bit of a premium right now. I'll settle with using the two record vices I picked up last year (a #52) and three years ago (a #52 1/2). As long as I recess the inner jaws and make some nice big chops for them, I'll be happy.


Ethan said...

By the way... when I was looking at the picture earlier I realized the second and third board from the bottom are flitch-cut and stacked appropriately.

I swear I didn't do that on purpose. I'm not that OCD.

Ok, scratch that. I AM that OCD. If I'd known there was flitch-cut lumber in the stack, I would have probably spent additional time sorting it as such when it was getting stickered.

Sick, isn't it?

JC said...

Congrats on the new addition. For my sake, I hope you still have time to blog on occasion, but it can be tricky. Those little ones require a lot o parents, but I think you are familiar with the rewards that come from investing your time/attention appropriately.

Ethan said...


Thanks! I'm really excited about the opportunity to be a father, though I hope you'll forgive me if I don't run out and try to make a crib or cradle for the little sprout. I'd rather be able to blame Pottery Barn if something breaks in the middle of the night...

I won't speak in absolutes, because I know you can't do that with children, but my wife and I have already had several discussions about making sure we both have our "alone" time to continue pursuit of our individual hobbies and interests. I'm sure that will be difficult to accomplish at first, but I have faith in us and in our child that we'll be able to work it all out.

For the most part (on my end, anyway), it will be a matter of prioritizing my interests and reducing my wasted time.

Glad to hear you enjoy the blog! I think I'll have a different project update before I have my next Roubo workbench update. Maybe something by the weekend? We'll see. The Prenatal To Do list is long...