Home > Roubo > Gap Stops, and Puppies

Gap Stops, and Puppies

The day started early with what appeared to be a simple glue up with minor adjustments. Let no one think that the simplest of pieces take the least amount of time. The Roubo bench has many features that make it the most critical tool in a Hand Tool woodworkers shop. In the version I am building one of the features is the split top and subsequent gap stop. It’s another work holding device that I hope will become a useful tool.

Split Top Roubo Bench

Making the gap stop consists of gluing spacers between two pieces of lumber and fitting it into the gap. Nothing simpler, a great start to the day! It’s now one day later and it just fits, needs more adjustment and on top of that I’ve got a nice dent in the wall to repair….let me explain! Oh and I’ve not told anyone about the dent so let’s keep it quiet.

The Gap Stop consists of two boards, the length of the bench, approximately 1.5 inches wide. Spacers are used to glue the boards together providing a stop mid bench that can be used for planing against. The spacers also provide an area where tools can be placed so they don’t roll off the bench.

I cut the two outer boards and all of the spacers that would be needed. The two outer boards twisted magnificently and required a lot of work to get them close to flat. Then I checked my measurements and realized it was a little wider then I intended. Not to worry I planned to run it through through my planer. Next I check the actual gap between the two parts of the bench and realized that they were also a little wider then planned. So being In a hurry I clamped the boards to the table to prevent twist and glued everything up. Next morning I had a slightly twisted gap stop that wouldn’t fit in the gap. So I ran the gap stop through the planer. It only took two passes to begin showing a very strange variation in thickness.

Standing and staring at the stop for a minute I realized that the stop was flexing in the planer under the pressure from the guide rollers. I set them on the bench and hand planed them to fit.

A couple of thoughts that may help someone in the future. Make sure your boards have no twist, add a couple of additional spacers. Secure your work piece before planing, Be familiar with your tools and how they operate. Don’t assume the small stuff is easy! Enjoy the puppy picture!

Categories: Roubo
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