Roubo-inspired Workbench ... with construction lumber. #1: The First Slab

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Blog entry by kr580 posted 01-08-2018 01:48 PM 1621 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Roubo-inspired Workbench ... with construction lumber. series Part 2: The Second Slab »

Hello. First project here. Long time lurker, long time LJ enjoyer, woodworking noob.

I want a Roubo-inspired workbench. (I’m yet another Schwarz sheep I guess.) I can’t afford a legit Roubo workbench with decent wood so I chose to make it out of 2×4 kiln-dried Douglas Fir studs milled up to (hopefully) a good standard. Here goes nothing! I apologize for the crappy pictures, they’ve been an afterthought so far.

The Plan

Here’s my sketchup design. It will be made using 100% kiln-dried Douglas Fir 8’ studs because I can’t afford good wood. It’ll be 72” long, 24” deep and about 30-32” tall. Haven’t finalized the height yet. The top will be just under 5” thick. The legs will be split down the middle for a 2 wide x 4 deep lamination on each. I was too lazy to add that in the plans. The rest is fairly standard: leg chop, end vise (aligned with the dog holes, another lazy bit on the sketch), sliding deadman and a shelf. I overbuilt this to make up for the lightness of Douglas Fir. Here we go…

The First Slab

Over the course of 2 months I’ve been going to Home Depot or Lowe’s and taking my dear sweet time picking out as tight grain, clear, straight boards as I could find. I’d spend an hour digging through the stacks to leave with sometimes 1 or 2 boards, sometimes 8-10. Worth my time? Probably not.

Here’s the first two sides jointed, ready for the table saw trims. Turns out the jointer blades were a little crooked so these boards are a little wonky, which I only noticed at glue-up. Oops.

After the table saw action:

The first glue-up!

Turns out the cauls were essentially useless as the boards were all off kilter anyway. Looks cool though.

I was a little overzealous with the glue. And didn’t sharpen my plane blade very well so this was a long process.

Somewhat flat! Left the topside somewhat rough for final surfacing as the final step. Made the bottom side nice and flat for the other slab… Other slab…?

4 comments so far

View CampD's profile


1818 posts in 4296 days

#1 posted 01-08-2018 01:53 PM

Nice start!
I also have been wanting to make one and holding back with the cost of “legit wood”
so I’ll follow along on your build.

-- Doug...

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16814 posts in 3428 days

#2 posted 01-08-2018 01:58 PM

very nice!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View 489tad's profile


3865 posts in 3822 days

#3 posted 01-08-2018 10:07 PM

What you have going on there is so much better than mine. You’ll be fine. Looking forward for the rest of the project.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View duckmilk's profile


4255 posts in 2135 days

#4 posted 01-08-2018 11:23 PM

You should post this on the workbench thread.

We need some more conversation over there :)

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

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