• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Workbench build - leg advice - cut out first and then glue

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

tibi

Established Member
Joined
27 Nov 2020
Messages
226
Reaction score
60
Location
Slovakia
Hello,

I am designing my first workbench now and I would like to ask for an advice. I would like to make legs for this roubo style workbench that are 120x120 mm and they will be laminated from three 40 mm boards. Is it a good idea to cut openings for mortices first and then glue up the individual parts. It will look like this.
1627070684050.png

This way I would have to chop out only a single mortise on the left board and saw the rest, instead of 3 that I would have to chop if I glued the boards first. Is this a good idea or shall I glue the boards first? Is a haunched mortise necessary for a workbench or a normal mortice is sufficient? Mortice and tenon joint will be drawbored afterwards. Shall I bore a couple of holes and align the individual boards with dowels or this step is not necessary?

Thank you.
 

matkinitice

Established Member
Joined
11 Jun 2019
Messages
87
Reaction score
114
Have you read "The Anarchist Workbench". It's a free book (pdf), see below.


The author addresses your point here and goes into quite a lot of detail.

Basically what you're saying is fine - but do the glue up and for the "pre made mortices" stick a bit of scrap in place. Wrap this in something like grease proof paper so any squeeze out doesn't stick and once everything is clamped up nicely you can pull it out. A screw or nail helps.

Regarding drawboring, that will be plenty fine.

You will still have to cut a few mortices but these should be done once the laminations are glued up.
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
7,849
Reaction score
1,252
Location
PA, US
I would laminate the leg and then work with it as if it's solid.

The only exception (I have a bench with 5 1/2" square legs made of three boards) would be if you're going to have a small bit at the bottom for a through stretcher or something.

I didn't follow a book as I wanted a bench that I could beat, and I also wanted one with an arrangement to make planes on the front edge, so a lot of the pre-planned benches just weren't going to work.

I wouldn't sweat the details so much as the proportions and where you want to work and certain considerations. I need an extremely flat reference area on my bench for about 3 feet, so the end of the bench toward the front board is extremely flat, and the dog holes for the first three feet or so are in the first board (to make planes).

Those little kinds of considerations (what do you like to build and where does it need to be held) will count for more.

I don't think the cut and then glue or glue and then cut is critical either way, though. Benches are like timberframing - you have to get the proportions, but nobody si going to care if it's perfectly pretty (and you may resent not being willing to make it dirty or have an overstrike somewhere if you get too particular).
 

sometimewoodworker

Established Member
Joined
4 Dec 2008
Messages
1,078
Reaction score
289
Location
Watford, Non S-At, Udon Thailand
My approach to making my bench was to laminate with all the mortises cut, I glued up with blanks wrapped in cling film. I am sure that the mortises were very much better (virtually perfect) than I could make by cutting them in the timber
 

mark w

Established Member
Joined
15 Jul 2008
Messages
222
Reaction score
15
Location
Glastonbury, not in a tent though!
I remember watching a David Barron YouTube video about this, he had a very simple method for this, look it up.
On a slight tangent, I wouldn't have a workbench with through tenons coming through the top, at some point they will be proud of the top and will require planing down probably annually as the top shrinks, the Roubo bench is a poor design.
 

tibi

Established Member
Joined
27 Nov 2020
Messages
226
Reaction score
60
Location
Slovakia
I remember watching a David Barron YouTube video about this, he had a very simple method for this, look it up.
On a slight tangent, I wouldn't have a workbench with through tenons coming through the top, at some point they will be proud of the top and will require planing down probably annually as the top shrinks, the Roubo bench is a poor design.
The top tenons will be blind and drawbored. :) Thank you I will look up David’s video
 
Top