Roubo Bench Progress

I got a little time in on my workbench project, and just about finished mounting the end vise.  After turning lots of different options over in mind I decided to mount a standard (albeit heavy duty) Jorgensen face vise on the end of my bench.  I’ll add a large chop to it to hold the bench dog similar to Chirs Schwarz did on his Cherry Roubo bench.

The first order of business was to figure out where to put the vise (other than on the end of the bench).  I thought about putting the vise right at the front edge of the bench.  The downside is that then the closest leg needs to be shifted quite a bit inboard.  I also wanted to recess the vise to minimize top-to-bottom racking, and the would leave an ugly gap in the front of the bench.

Vise at the front edge of the bench

Vise at the front edge of the bench

I played with all sorts of different positionings, in the end I set the vise about 3″ back , so I could move the leg back toward the end.  I hope I don’t regret that later.

IMG_0891

Vise positioned as close to the front as possible without hitting the leg

Then I needed to decide how deep I should recess the vise into the bottom of the bench (that is, how close to the top I should move it).  I wanted to minimize the stress on it when using it like a tail vise (where all the force will be cantilevered from the surface of the bench top), but I also didn’t want to weaken the bench in any significant way.  I decided that 1.5″ looked about right.

How deep to recess the vise?

How deep to recess the vise?

I marked out the area to be removed on the bottom and on the end of the bench.

Material to be removed

Material to be removed

I removed the waste from the bottom using a router (gasp!), it was quick and easy.  For the material on the and of the bench top — the recess for the inner vise face — I used a chisel and popped it out the same way you might on a dovetail.

 

Main cavity cleared, time to grab a chisel and attach the recess for the inner face of the vise

Main cavity cleared, time to grab a chisel and attach the recess for the inner face of the vise

The vise dropped right in after a little clean up paring in a few spots.  The next step is to cut the mortises for the legs into the bench top.  I’m really nervous about that for some reason.

No woodwork tomorrow, Kolya and I are off to learn how to do stained glass at Kiss My Glass.  I’m hoping to be able to make one of the panels for my G&G sconces. but they have some fairly small parts and I might do better starting with a simpler pattern that I can finish in a day.

A decent fit

A decent fit

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Roubo Bench Progress

  1. I like the recessed vise. I imagine when completed it will be very stable and the install looked fairly straightforward. Something to think about for my bench.

  2. Recessing it was pretty simple stuff, my main objective was to get it closer to the clamping point when I use it to clamp a board between dogs on the top so it wouldn’t rack.

    My current bench is pitiful, the vises don’t clamp and the whole thing wiggles around.

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