Roubo top preparation and glue-up

After scrubbing the beams for the top with a plane, the lumber for both the top and the legs were squared using a combination square and a straight edge was used to check for flatness. I also used the combination square to check for thickness consistency: using a pencil and the square edge set to the narrowest part, I could find the places where a piece was a tad wide and mark it with a pencil. A few swipes with a jack plane, and the dimensions are even.

NOTE: planing long beams is difficult without a long workbench. I used my Workmate on its lowest height setting and my lathe became a stop. It worked better than I had hoped – it certainly beats using the floor.

The top is made of three beams. I perched the first on some parallel clamps on the ground and placed the second above for a dry fit. I made sure the grain was running in the same direction to make planing the top easier later on. I marked places where I saw no daylight coming through and removed material from these parts with a plane. It took a few iterations for each beam, but the job was done in 30 minutes or so. I don’t have millions of clamps like the other Roubo builders out there, but my four clamps did the job. Two of them are Bessey parallel clamps, which I bought specifically for this glue-up so that I could stand them on the floor.

The top is HEAVY and I had to drag it to the side of the garage at the end of the day. It will be tough to flip it over for the through mortises.


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