Roubo Workbench

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Blog series by Brandon updated 07-18-2012 03:52 PM 7 parts 102732 reads 83 comments total

Part 1: Getting Started

01-13-2012 01:24 AM by Brandon | 13 comments »

The Predecessors One of the first projects that I made when I first started woodworking in 2010 was a workbench for the garage. All 2×4 construction with a 3/4” thick top of white pine. I made all the cuts on my newly acquired miter saw and actually assembled the thing in the living room. Here’s a picture. It was a decent garage/general purpose bench, but too tall and light to be a woodworking bench. I ended up cutting the length down and put it in the laundry clos...

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Part 2: Choosing the Material

01-13-2012 05:17 PM by Brandon | 22 comments »

I considered a lot of different materials for my bench. At the top of the list were southern yellow pine, white oak, red oak, ash, cherry, maple, and beech. Really, I think you can get away with a number of species, but it generally comes down to a few issues: availability, aesthetic (at least for me), price, and of course suitability for the purpose. Chris Schwarz really advocates using SYP in his workbenches book and even uses it for his 2005 Roubo bench. The advantages of SYP is that yo...

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Part 3: Some Design Considerations

01-19-2012 06:21 AM by Brandon | 12 comments »

Plans—they’re useful I’m sure, but I hardly ever use them. Sometimes I’ll sketch a few things down on graph paper, or other times I’ll actually use plans from a book, yet most of the time I tend to wing it. Like I mentioned in a previous post, I had Christopher Schwarz’s blue book which actually had plans for a Roubo bench. I think if I had purchased SYP and tons of it for a bench then I would have followed Chris’s plans pretty closely. Yet I was maki...

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Part 4: Constructing the Top

01-20-2012 01:51 AM by Brandon | 10 comments »

My workbench does not have a traditional laminated top. Rather than gluing the main planks on their faces, I opted to glue them on their edges mainly because I didn’t have enough lumber and didn’t want to go purchase more. Otherwise, I’d highly recommend gluing the faces to give you a nice thick bench. First I ripped the boards into six pieces each between 3 1/2” and 4” wide. The total width of the six boards were just over 22”. I arranged the boa...

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Part 5: The Legs and Stretchers

04-10-2012 10:53 PM by Brandon | 5 comments »

I have neglected this blog, but I still have tons of photos of this build, so I thought I should post them. Since we all like pictures more than text, I have a good photo-to-text ratio. :-) Each of the legs is constructed by laminating two 8/4 pieces of beech together. I knew that chiseling out the mortises was going to take considerable work, so I decided to make four of the mortises by cutting dados in the the pre-laminated legs on the table saw. Here’s a photo of the dado/mortis...

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Part 6: The Leg Vise

04-21-2012 08:46 PM by Brandon | 12 comments »

Before getting to the leg vise, just a quick note on the tenons on the top. I purposely made the tenons about 1/4” longer than they needed to be so that they would sit proud of the bench top. I did this because it would minimize damage on the ends of the tenons while trying to fit the top to the base. Also, this makes it easy to flush up perfectly once everything is in place. So, once the top was set in place and draw-bored tight, I cut the protruding tenons flush with the rest of the b...

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Part 7: The Sliding Dead-man

07-18-2012 03:52 PM by Brandon | 9 comments »

I don’t think I’ve really covered the dead-man much in this series, so here’s a short blog on it. The purpose of the dead-man is to support longer boards that you have placed in your leg vise for edge planing. The design I’ve chosen for mine is a fairly bland rectangular shape as you can see here: So, to build it I had a piece of jatoba about 5/4 thick which I hand planed and cut to size. Not sure of the exact measurements here, but I could take a tape measureme...

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