SYP Spilt-Top Roubo Workbench #4: Cost & Weight Estimate

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Blog entry by grfrazee posted 01-30-2013 03:11 AM 6479 reads 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: (Mostly) Finished Tail Vise Part 4 of SYP Spilt-Top Roubo Workbench series Part 5: Drilling Holdfast Holes »

I’m sure there are those of you interested in how much this thing weighs and (more importantly) how much it cost to build.

A quick volume estimate puts the total amount of wood at ~5 cubic feet. Considering an average specific gravity of about 0.60 (range for SYP is 0.54 – 0.65, and the hickory is more than that), the weight is:

(5 cu. ft.)(62.4 lbs/cu. ft.)(0.60) = 187 lbs

So, the wood alone is about 190 lbs. Factor in the weight of the vise hardware and the many metal planes I store belowdecks, I would guess it’s at least 260 lbs as it stands in the shop.

As far as costs go, I have pasted a screenshot from my Excel table below.

Tax is a low-end average value for all the purchases (~5% in WI and ~9% in IL). These prices reflect buying the SYP in November 2012 in Burlington, WI and the rest of the stuff (including hickory) in the west Chicagoland area not long after. The Lee Valley vises were bought on their website.

Personally, I think this price is well within the budget of the average woodworker. Heck, $60 of my cost was hickory for the end caps and leg vise, which could easily have been replaced by $5 of SYP. It is possible to build this bench with a very limited set of hand tools, but there’s no way I could have done so in the time it took me. The planing and jointing of the top laminates was very time consuming, and I can only imagine how long it would have taken with a #5 and a #7.

This is not the end of the series. I still have a few more things to accomplish with the bench, but I figured I’d post this now while I’m thinking about it.

Thanks for reading.


3 comments so far

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 3298 days

#1 posted 01-30-2013 01:11 PM

thanks for doing this blog, its interesting to see the cost

-- Joel

View WhoMe's profile


1568 posts in 4488 days

#2 posted 02-07-2013 11:05 PM

+1 to what Jap said.
I have bookmarked this for future reference as I plan to build one of these also. Just different wood since SYP is not something easily obtained in Southern California.

BTW, I read through your whole blog and didn’t see any dimensions. And I couldn’t get a indication from your bill of materials list. Care to share them when you get a chance. Like length, overall L x W x H of bench, width of each top slab, thickness of slabs, Leg dimensions and so on.

Thank you again for posting.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View grfrazee's profile


388 posts in 3384 days

#3 posted 02-08-2013 02:45 PM

...You’re right, I haven’t done that yet! I was planning on making the first post a “Plan & Dimensions” post, but that got away from me.

I’ll have to update one of these posts with dimensions, but for now here are the rough dimensions:
  • (2) 4” x 11” x 7’-6” top pieces with a ~2” gap (big enough to fit the head of a parallel clamp through)
  • ~34” to the top
  • Legs/stretchers roughly 4” x 4”


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