I have posted much of this in another forum but I thought it might be of interest here. There have been various excellent posts on the build process for “Roubo” style benches, but I took a bit of a different approach with respect to joinery and assembly. I incorporated a dovetail and through tenons directly into the laminations so there were no mortices to cut. The through tenon on the inside pieces is dovetailed top to bottom, while the front piece is dovetailed front to back. Here is the leg stock cut and ready for assembly.
It then occurred to me that instead of a pinned tenon to attach the front and back stretchers to the legs I could use an internal dovetail for max strength. The half-mortices were cut with a router on each of the two outside leg pieces. Here are a pic of the fitting process:
bench dovetail fit 2.jpg
Then for the short side stretchers I used a wedged tenon that went right through the inside two laminations of the legs:
bench side rail glued.jpg
Once those joints were made it was just a matter of gluing the bench together as a complete unit, one layer at a time. Of course it is critical that all the stock is milled to exactly the same thickness and correct widths.
The Benchcrafted leg vise went together with no major issues but was time consuming, mainly because of the limited space I had to work between the front and back legs. Making holes go perfectly straight through 5-1/4” of material was a real challenge! To maximize the capacity of the vise I inset the nut into a 2” mortice. This was a real challenge, since my router barely fit in the space, fully plunged to 2”. Using a template, I had to slowly work my way around the hole, expanding it till I had a square. Then trimming the corners was a major issue. I had to sharpen up an old junk butt chisel and cut most of the handle off to be able to get a mallet on it. Here’s the result of 6 hours of sweat:
The Veritas quick release tail vise was easier to install. There really is NO room for error in installing the mounting plate, and I fussed over this for some time.
bench tail installed.jpg
Of course no project is complete without a screw-up right near the end, so I decided to set a spinning router that had not been fully withdrawn on the bench top. I inset a new piece exactly the width of a lamination, and long enough to take out the divit. You can just see the extra piece in tail vise end.
bench finished1.jpgbench finished3.jpg
The whole process took me 68 hours. I think it worked out well in the end, and the joints will be rock solid long after I’m gone.