For Relief from Roubo, ask Roubo

I shelved all of my personal writing projects to complete work on “To Make as Perfectly as Possible: Roubo on Marquetry.” But I know myself well enough that if I don’t spend some time in the shop every day, I’ll spiral into a stressed-out, grumpy and sharp-tongued jerk.

So whenever I could take a short break during the last week, I’ve been banging out this Roubo bookstand in some very old and mild cherry. I considered making it to the exact size specified in the text of “L’Art du Menuisier,” but I think I must have been reading it wrong. My dirty translation had the book stand made from 8/4 stock.

I’ll have to revisit that passage some day. Perhaps next year.

In any case, this one is made from a board that was 1-1/8” x 10” x 21”. The whole thing took about three hours of shop time spread out over several days. I was going to finish it with a polissoir, but I had some fresh garnet shellac handy. If you haven’t tried building one of these from Roy Underhill’s article in Popular Woodworking Magazine, you should. They are as easy as tarte.

And now back to the manuscript.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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12 Responses to For Relief from Roubo, ask Roubo

  1. I gotta’ make one of those some day.

  2. I’m assuming that posting the six board chest chapter from Furniture of Necessity has taken a back seat to finishing Roubo (no complaints) or did I miss it?

  3. Scott says:

    Nice work. How many coats of shellac do you use?

  4. Patrick says:

    i think your 8/4 stock translation was correct. I seem to remember Roy saying (on his Roubo stand episode) that these were always made two at a time to conserve wood. The backs of both stands shared/overlapped the middle of the board. So everything comes out to less than 1″ thick after sawing apart and planing.

    (I also like the high tech book on the old school book stand.)

  5. That’s craftsmanship Chris!

    I’ve made quite a few of these sized as iPad stands, with squared ends rather than shaped ones. The best I could do, using sapele with hand tools, was turn one out in a day. To make one in three hours is impressive!

  6. Russ says:

    A little off topic. But I wonder if some of these Japanese bonsai bench brooms (with a little pruning), wouldn’t make a good polissoir. At $10, it might be worht a try. hmmm.

  7. billlattpa says:

    Well done. I almost forgot that you do some nice work when you want to.

  8. Bob Jones says:

    I’m working on one of those right now. Of course, it is at least a 6 hr project for me. I opened it up last night. That is big fun. I’m hoping to make a couple as gifts. Thanks for the tips.

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