Roubo Workbench

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Project by Jarmo posted 03-28-2015 02:57 AM 6437 views 10 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This workbench is now a year old, and I really like it.

I made it last January based upon plans and the Youtube videos from Jords Woodshop. It’s poplar with a maple vise chop and a mahogany end cap on the bench.

This bench was the first thing I made by myself and really forced me to be creative and develop my skills. Making a workbench without a workbench is really hard. But I’m very satisfied with the end product. I chose poplar because it had the best cost/hardness value I could buy from a place that would mill the lumber for me, since I didn’t have a jointer or planer and wasn’t about to dimension everything by hand when I really had no idea what I was doing. Unfortunately having the hardwood dealer S4S a bazillion board feet of poplar is really expensive, and was one of those transactions where I didn’t realize how expensive it would be until I went to pick up the lumber. Suffice it to say it would’ve been way cheaper for me to just buy one of the really nice workbenches you can order online, but that’s not the point of woodworking.

Anyway I love the end product. There are a few things I’ll change if I build another bench. My leg vise has some play in the screw and it sags, and the parallel guide is kinda annoying, and it doesn’t close entirely square. I’d probably invest in one of the nice Benchcrafted vises. As for the tail vise, it’s not a real strong vise, and it would be nice to have a wide one that could clamp with more than one dog. As for using poplar, I actually don’t see yet how using a much harder wood would be that much better. Sure my bench top is dinged up some, but that doesn’t bother me. And it’s stayed dead flat for the last year. The other smaller bench I made with a yellow pine top is all out of whack after just a couple months and needs to be flattened again already.

11 comments so far

View waho6o9's profile


9073 posts in 3824 days

#1 posted 03-28-2015 03:05 AM

Heck of a job Jarmo first project and it’s a great workbench

well done.

View bluekingfisher's profile


1333 posts in 4227 days

#2 posted 03-28-2015 07:42 AM

You should give yourself a pat on the back, for building such a large and well constructed project without a planer or jointer is indeed impressive.

Woodworking tools can cost a pretty penny, however as you have found out having someone else do the mailing is about as expensive as buying the tools do do it yourself. I learned that too. If I do a job now, I buy the necessary tools. Should I need them again, then I feel I have benefited. And if I don’t then, too bad, it would still have worked out cheaper than have some contractor or journeyman do the work for me.

Now you have a good solid work bench you can take the time to plan and build great projects and save towards buying the tools to make your woodworking productive and enjoyable.

Great job.


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View Eric's profile


94 posts in 4223 days

#3 posted 03-28-2015 12:13 PM

Really good work there. I also want to build a roubo workbench and am looking for some ideas for mine

-- Eric

View DanielS's profile


123 posts in 3184 days

#4 posted 03-28-2015 04:31 PM

Very nice bench. That will be a real pleasure to work on.

-- Daniel S

View gsimon's profile


1327 posts in 3360 days

#5 posted 03-28-2015 04:51 PM

great bench – congrats!

-- Greg Simon

View Norman1's profile


121 posts in 4014 days

#6 posted 03-28-2015 09:59 PM

Great looking bench. Thanks for sharing.

-- Michael A. Norman

View woodenwarrior's profile


255 posts in 3442 days

#7 posted 03-29-2015 02:00 AM

That’s a beautiful bench! I hope yours gives you many years of pleasure working on it.

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

View intjonmiller's profile


20 posts in 3069 days

#8 posted 03-29-2015 02:11 AM

I’m jealous. I’ve been wanting to build a Roubo for a while now, but I don’t have time. One of these days…

Also, definitely invest in at least a basic thickness planer and build a sled for jointing, if not getting a jointer as well. It took me months of watching classifieds but I finally scored incredible deals on both. I don’t have to pay for S4S anymore. :)

View Ocarp's profile


37 posts in 3565 days

#9 posted 04-02-2015 04:19 AM

Looks fantastic!

-- Geoff

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4114 days

#10 posted 06-04-2017 12:36 PM

This is a wonderful workbench and beautifully done. It’s a great addition to your shop and will serve you well for many years.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17534 posts in 3865 days

#11 posted 08-31-2018 03:22 PM

Love this bench.

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

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