Split Top Roubo Bench Build #1: Preparing for the build

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Blog entry by ic3ss posted 02-11-2015 02:07 AM 3918 reads 12 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Split Top Roubo Bench Build series Part 2: Still gathering supplies »

Like many of us I have looked at all of those pictures of other people’s roubo workbenches with a jealous eye for quite some time. The ones built with Benchcrafted hardware just seemed to be top notch in quality, and they look like woodworker candy. I’ve had this build on my to-do list since 2011 because I don’t have a woodworking bench with woodworking vises or anything to hold my work down. I’m forced to use my old Unisaw as a bench and the best I can do is use a clamp to hold a piece down, and it’s not easy nor is it very efficient. What I need is a real woodworking bench.

Last October I decided I was going to build it so I re-arranged the stuff in my garage/workshop to see if I had the room, and I did, barely. I can fit an 84” long bench in there but I have to build a mobile cabinet for the planer/spindle sander/belt sander. With the space issue figured out I went ahead and took out my old general working bench made from tubafors and plywood and used it’s pieces to build a smaller bench in my shed. I resolved to work on no further projects until the bench is done.

Mmmmm, candy.

My first batch of 8/4 Hard maple. More to come next week.

I placed my order at Benchcrafted on the first week of January (yes this was my resolution for 2015) for the bench builders kit. I bought the Glide M Solo kit and it arrived just yesterday Feb 9th. Today I drove up to Portland, about an hour drive one way, and went to Crosscut Hardwoods. They have the best price on 8/4 eastern hard maple I’ve found recently at 5.29/BF. I just got home with about half of what I need. I was able to pick through the pile and I needed either 10” or 5-6” wide boards to reduce scrap but most of what they had left was 7-8” wide stock. So I have to wait ‘till next week when they get their next shipment and I’ll go back up and try to finish the load.

I’ve been wanting to do this project in the worst way, and I know it’s going to be fun and challenging. I hope you return to read about it in the next several weeks.

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

4 comments so far

View djang000's profile


67 posts in 3464 days

#1 posted 02-11-2015 01:48 PM

I’m myself in the process; I’ll follow your progress with great interest! :)

View kenn's profile


813 posts in 5051 days

#2 posted 02-11-2015 05:51 PM

Good luck, a bench makes a difference in how you work, I think you must have one to do “serious” woodwork. I will be watching your progress as well.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View daddywoofdawg's profile


1029 posts in 2906 days

#3 posted 02-11-2015 07:49 PM

I’m trying to figure out how high I would need, I see the palm of your hand,but being in a wheelchair that would almost be the floor,so should I go elbow height? any thoughts from anyone?

View ic3ss's profile


404 posts in 4108 days

#4 posted 02-12-2015 01:39 AM


I remember, in my internet travels reading about this bench, a version that the person said it was for wheelchair access. I remember because it looked very different. When I get time in the next couple of days I’ll try to find that for you. Good question.


-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

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