Stretchers on the Roubo workbench have many reasons to exist:
- The front stretcher provides a rail along which the deadman can slide.
- They give support to a storage shelf under the bench.
- They give extra support to the legs.
- They are flush to the front of the legs so I guess they could also act as a clamping surface.
The first thing to do was to ensure the legs were square to the top in a dry fitting. Then the stretchers were placed next to the legs resting on a block of wood on the ground. The outline of the stretcher end was drawn onto the leg to mark the outline for the mortises. Each stretcher tenon was 2.5 inches long. The shoulders of the tenons were also marked at this point. I made the triangular rail on the front stretcher for the deadman with a jack plane.
Attaching the stretchers to he legs involves 8 mortise and tenon pairs. Lots of mortises and tenons take lots of time to complete. Especially when I’m only working the odd evening during the week.
Some tweaking of the joints ensured good fitting mortise and tenons. The dry fit was a success and the base will be ready for assembly after the front legs are prepared for holdfast holes and the leg vise.