That’s a bit of a Stretch…

by Patrick Harper - Blood, Sweat, and Sawdust

With  all four legs fitted to the top, I’m rounding 3rd and heading for home.  That’s a bit of a stretch.  I still have many details to work out, a vise to install, chop and sliding dead-man to complete, and the stretchers.

Fitting the Roubo Workbench Stretchers

I milled up the stretchers much the same way I completed the legs.  I am using the Bench Crafted criss-cross and their classic leg vise hardware.  The criss-cross mortise location requires an atypical front stretcher.  I made the front stretcher extra thick, so that I can move the mortise further back and keep the front of the stretcher flush with the front of the leg.

Cabinet Makers Triangle

Cabinet Makers Triangle

Before doing anything else, label the bottom of your stretchers with a cabinet makers triangle.  I always keep mine pointed in the same direction.

Clamp your stretcher to your leg

Clamp your stretcher to your leg, using an offcut as a spacer.

To locate the tenon shoulder to stretchers, I stole a little trick from Chris Schwarz.  I cut several spacers the same length as the distance between the bottom of the bench top and the top of the stretchers.  I then clamped two of the spacers to the inside of the legs and used it as a shelf for the stretcher.  I clamped the stretcher to the leg and knifed in my line.

Keep it Square

Keep it Square

Make sure that your legs are square before clamping everything up.

Knife in your shoulder line.

Knife in your shoulder line.

With the shoulder’s marked out, I carefully transferred the lines around to the sides.  I marked the cheeks and cut the cheeks on the band-saw (I cut the shoulders by hand).  With the tenons cut, I clamped them back to the legs and used them to mark the ends of the mortises that will go into the legs.  You’ll have to remove your spacer for this.

Once I’m happy with the fit of the tenons to their respective mortises, I will move on to draw-boring and vice installation.  Stay tuned.

You can find links to my other Roubo posts here:  Project Index