It was inevitable after the Great Oak Downfall of 2020 that a new Roubo would need to be constructed.  Since I often lack obvious forethought, I did not think to document the entirety of my process for the blog.  Thankfully, I tend to take a lot of pics anyway, so hopefully I’ve got enough here to walk through the overall process.  I’m really pleased with how the new Roubo turned out, and even as I write this there are several more things I want to do with it – but most importantly, actually build furniture!  Right now it is being used primarily as a review backdrop and catch-all in the garage.

One of my goals in building the new bench was the reuse as much as I reasonably could from my old bench.  I knew this probably wouldn’t be a lot, for a few reasons.  First, and most practically, the old bench top was shattered (see pics in link above).  Second, I significantly under-built the previous roubo, and I wanted to “do it right” this time.  So reusing the top was out of the question.  The base, on the other hand, was in pretty good shape all things considered, and though the legs were a *bit* on the skinny side, I hoped to be able to keep them.  The first step of the process was deconstructing the old Petite Roubo.

Note: before labeling me a total pack-rat/slob based on these pics, keep in mind we had just moved into our new house and the garage was the dumping grounds for half of the odds and ends we hadn’t gotten to move in yet.

Step 1 of disassembly was getting my son to help construct some quick ‘n dirty sawhorses to support the old bench frame
You can see the pieces of the old top against the wall. *tear*
Apparently, draw-boring works. Here’s one pin I managed to extract – check out that bend!
Notice the oak pins holding the rails into the legs. These were never glued in, so I was able to pretty easily pull or drill these out.
The only pic I have after disassembly was weeks later, once the saved legs were re-joined, planed and cleaned up. But look at those beauties!

Since the old bench was oak and I planned to mix and match pieces, I wanted to stay with oak for the new bench.  One day I hope to build a pine bench, but the masochist in me won out and this one would remain oak.  So, immediately 2 great obstacles:  oak is expensive, and it’s hard to find in slabs large enough for a roubo top, even if you’re laminating.  Thankfully, after a few weeks of hunting around I found a local hobbyist sawyer who sold me 2 giant white oak slabs, along with a few miscellaneous boards for railings and filler pieces.  More on that next post.

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