Question on Workbench Length
I am finally getting around to building my split top roubo.
I have a good 140 bf of Maple, but the majority of the boards have a maximum length of about 60″.
I originally planned for a 73″ length. If I used loose tenons to end joint a 13″ board to the 60″ boards I have and alternated which side had the shorter board, would that provide enough structure/strength in the laminated top? Or should I resign myself to a 60″ bench?
You are laminating it all, so it won't matter. Not a bit.
It'll be fine. My top has butt joints everywhere.
I don't know what a roubo is. A work bench I'm assuming. I have several and I'm figuring a top is a top,, split or otherwise.. I would stager my joints and make them longer if possible. You may have an overhang, you may install vises and you'll want the structural stability. I don't see a problem with having joints in your lengths but if all you have is 5' pieces then every length is joined so youll need a well planned staggering pattern-- I'm also thinking that this is 2x or so stock but you didn't state the bench top thickness.
OK, I looked up what a roubo is - its a work bench.
Thanks for the helpful feedback!
For clarity. I am building a Roubo workbench with the top made of face laminated 8/4 walnut. The "split top" just means the top will have two 12" slabs with a divider I can adjust to be a plane stop or flush.
I'll go for the length I wanted then. Thanks again!
Staggering the joints will provide a top of equal strength as a if they were full length boards. Loose tenons will not enhance strength, I would consider joining the boards with a short scarf joint.
+1 on scarf jointing
Could I get by on a 60" workbench? Sure. Mine is 8' long and I like that length. Then again, I wish I had a tool well.
I recently filled in my tool well, and made it flush with the top. I should have done it 20 years ago. Or never built the tool well to begin with.
Yea, John_C2, I realize many folks dislike them. I think I would store more tools in them. Since I clean up frequently while woodworking (and always clean up at the end of the day including getting the shop vac out) I think it would work out well for me. I could well be wrong as there are some things I thought I would like and haven't.
I was convinced it would be useful. You can always fill it in later.
I did add a rack along the back edge of the bench. I like that a lot. And it doesn't gather crud.
I have a 73 inch long split-top Ruobo with a top that is literally laminations upon laminations, probably no piece longer than 24 inches — recycled from a red oak butcher block conference table top, so I would say go for it. I was able to get 3 slabs out of the old table top and doubled it up for the front half of the split-top. It has held up just fine over years of chopping out waste from many dovetails and mortises. Like you’re planning, I have a reversible filler (of ipe like other bench accessories) for the split and find that I leave it in the up position most of the time.