Your Southern Can Is Mine


Because I was (by far) the slowest and most infrequent blogger in the house, there’s already been better coverage of the 2013 FORP than I could ever offer:

Jam-master “J” Alibaba’s video and commentary over at the Benchcrafted blog
AP Style Maven Chris “The Tip” Schwarz’s day-by-day coverage at Lost Art Press
Jeff Miller hit on some brilliant photo essays
Justin Leib also had running commentary at Halfblind Woodworker
And finally, Don Williams’ summary at Don’s Barn

Georgia in summer is, indeed, hot and humid. Still, other than my kids it was easily the best cause I ever donated bodily fluids to.

Here’s a few shots of my spindly little bench. I suspect it may be showing up in photos here for a good long time, but I wanted to get a few shots of it while it was still clean. It’s getting no finish, I’m getting ready to rough the top up with a quick traverse planing, and I’ve every intention of beating it senseless for the rest of my days.

Dig, most thoroughly, the killer hardware Peter Ross and Lake Erie toolworks made for the event.














  1. says


    Saw lots of shots of you mule-ing around some big chunks of oak, the bench looks like it was worth it! I think it will take more beating than you can deliver in the rest of your days – enjoy.


  2. Justin Leib (@halfblindww) says

    Good work, chap! I still need to install the planing stop and clean mine up a bit, but I am not far behind ya!


  3. says

    That looks great. I’m really jealous. What is the tab on the side of the leg vise for? I looked over the other FORP blog posts and didn’t see a mention of that.

  4. says

    @Wilbur Pan

    Hey Wilbur – that’s the garter for the leg vise, as there isn’t any mount on the screw. Roubo doesn’t specify one for plate 11, but that and the crisscross are two of the things I was unwilling to stick with AJ on.

    I do love this bench, but for what it’s worth it hasn’t done anything to diminish my respect for the Doug Fir Roubo, which will continue to take abuse from me right next to this one. Bigamy is just an excess of available love :)

  5. says

    Very Nice… so while those guys were taking pictures and blogging, you were getting it done…
    Given the amazing fleck on the underside picture I see with the certificate, why didn’t that end up top-side?
    I slabbed up an oak tree from my backyard that I’m drying for a Roubo, and had planned on putting the pretty side up, but maybe no?
    Also is that an Emmert or a clone in one of those pics? and does that mean I count 4 benches in the lab?

    • says

      Hi Jeremy,

      Roubo is quite clear that the primary concern for orientation on these is ‘heart side up’. This is so that as the top moves, it tends to cup such that the legs bow inward, and the top doesn’t separate from the shoulders at the dovetail.

      However, my top was a near dead center cut, and had some pith on one side which I boxed out at Schwarz’s advice and filled the kerf with a pine strip (you can make this out on the end grain in one of the shots). So the heart side is technically down on mine, but the bench is so near completely quartersawn that it’s not an issue, and I didn’t want the pith cutout area on the top. That was the overriding concern in my case – in 90% of cases with a single slab you’d want heart-side up for the movement issue.

      For a working bench like this I think that functional concern trumps appearance. On a piece of furniture, however, I’d give much more weight to the aesthetics.

      The patternmaker’s vise you made out there is one of the clones – which honestly has been surprisingly solid and functional given that it only cost 2 bills when I bought it. One day I’ll replace it with an Emmert (or even better a Yost mid-size version) but that day hasn’t come yet.

      And your count of benches is good, but there is also my traveling bench which resides ‘upstairs’ where I do most of my photography. So five, though only three that are really used for metal and wood work. One for photos and travel and one for finishing/drawing. I like benches. Don’t even get me started on how many vises I have in service…

  6. says

    If I didn’t have such a disdain for using the word “sick”, I would use it to describe this. Instead I’ll use a more appropriate term. This bench is ‘illin.

  7. says

    I think you are only 2 benches short of a woodworking school…

    So you use the same benches for metalwork, do you do anything to avoid filings/oil cross contamination?

    Now that I see the pine patch, & pith I’d do the same.
    I got the same clone, it was an incredible value.

  8. says


    No – sorry, I was unclear. I don’t know that there’s any suitable way to avoid metal contamination other than separate benches… I have two benches (new Roubo and old Doug Fir Roubo) that are for woodwork only, an Ace hardware bench that I use for finishing/drawing, and a built-in bench that’s metalwork. Anything that involves removing or abrading metal in any way is done on the metal bench.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *