Roubo Workbench Accessories

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Project by RogerBean posted 06-01-2015 03:23 PM 20368 views 36 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I was researching my Roubo workbench project, I came across a book that showed a wide range of bench accessories that were commonly used in the hand tool era. For example, the shooting board and bench hook are common today, but the machinist’s vise and anvil attachments are less so. I also added some others.

I don’t normally post little shop made fixtures and accessories, but in this case a number of readers might find it interesting. (Most of my shop fixtures are for box making and are detailed in my ebooks.) Being small these bench accessories also were easier to make with my shoulder recovering from surgery. So, here’s a look at the bench accessories I’ve made so far:

Moxon Vise:
For the woodworker who hand cuts dovetails, the Moxon vise is a logical addition, and mine is a pretty standard Moxon, using the BenchCrafted hardware. It’s made of beech, and 16” between the screws, rather than the 24” that is the BenchCrafted standard. I don’t do a lot of really large projects, and the 16” capacity should cover anything I have in mind. It’s not a big deal to make a larger one if I ever need one.

As with all the BC stuff, the really smooth hardware makes this a pleasure to use.

Machinists Vise:
We all need a metal working vise from time to time, but it never occurred to me to attach one to a traditional woodworking bench. I happened to see in an old text, that it was typical in times past to mount a machinist’s vise to a board that could be clamped firmly to the Roubo bench when it was needed. Voila! Multi-purpose. The bench dogs hold it firmly, and I made it deep enough that additional clamps could be added in the gap if necessary.

Shooting Board:
This is the traditional tool for truing the ends of boards. Every hand tool worker has one, and this one is adjustable to keep the angle true, and also has an auxiliary piece for shooting narrow miters. This one is made to accommodate my LN #62 low angle jack plane. Wide miters would require another board, but this one should handle most of my needs. It’s adjustable to permit precise maintenance of square.

I generally refine miters on a shop built fixture the 12” disc sander on my Delta sanding center. But sometimes it’s desirable to clean up and end piece on the bench. Hence, a shooting board. I still like the disc sander, but I’m willing to give the shooting board a go.

Bench Hook:
Sawing off a piece of wood is so common that we take the bench hook for granted, but it’s a standard accessory for the woodworking bench. Simple and effective.

Another pretty simple addition from the old text. I happened to have a small anvil and decided to add it to the capabilities of the new bench. In fact, this anvil is maybe a bit larger than ideal for this application at 45 or 50 lb. Smaller is probably better. I honestly don’t use the anvil often in my wood shop, but since I have one…

Veneer Cutting Fixture:
When working with thick veneers commonly used in marquetry, the veneer is too thick to cut with a scalpel, so it must be sawn. I saw this fixture at the American School of French Marquetry that Patrick and Patrice use to saw their sawn veneer. Works great to produce a clean square edge with a French pattern veneer saw.

Most of these accessories will end up stored right under the bench on the shelf. It’s one of the reasons I favored the traditional Roubo bench without drawers.

Sharpening Station:
I also made a small “sharpening station” for touching up edges at the bench. Just hooks on the edge. It’s a design I took from Deneb Puchalski of Lie-Nielsen.

So, that’s all I’ve done for now in the way of workbench accessories. Thanks for looking in.


PS: This will probably double post again, but I understand Cricket’s working on the problem.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

12 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


8751 posts in 4038 days

#1 posted 06-01-2015 04:06 PM

Nice set of accessories Roger.
You must be enjoying the ride as the slope steepens. I believe almost all is now lost.
There is of course that disc sander comment that affords a glimmer of hope but …....

Kidding aside, you are certainly set up to give galootery a good try and I commend you for it. I have no doubt that with your attention to detail your work will not suffer and will likely improve.

If I had one addition to suggest it would be a mitre jack. Since I made mine it has been used far more than I had expected. I just keep finding new uses for it.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4574 days

#2 posted 06-01-2015 04:31 PM

Beautiful and useful additions to your new bench Roger. I would suggest adding a jig for planing thin workpieces if you need one. Here’s my humble version. It’s not beautiful, but if works!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3532 days

#3 posted 06-01-2015 05:20 PM

Great assortment of bench accessories! I especially like the “veneer cutting fixture” since this is new to me. Favorited as all in one place reference. Thanks for sharing and thanks for posting!

P.S. I’m still working on my bamboo furnace—working with sheet metal is just as challenging as working with wood but not half as much fun since I have to wear leather gloves all the time and don’t have the assortment of cool tools for metal work.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4543 days

#4 posted 06-01-2015 06:20 PM

i really like all of it roger, well except for the anvil, and i dont think your shoulder would like that one either….lol…i really like the moxon, it can be a really nice asset, thanks for showing us …

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 3907 days

#5 posted 06-01-2015 07:05 PM

You have been very busy making all these accessories .
One thing I notice is the lack of round holes in the top for the hold downs any reason for that ?
I guess storage racks /shelf’s for all this is next .


-- Kiefer

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 4193 days

#6 posted 06-01-2015 09:42 PM

Paul: I’ve been eyeing the need for a miter jack.
Mike: Thanks for the tip!
Klaus: Sharp eye. The pictures were taken before I had decided where I wanted the round holes. Decided to go with the BenchCrafted plan:

This one shows the hole placement.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View RPhillips's profile


1323 posts in 3076 days

#7 posted 06-02-2015 12:34 AM

really nice, great job! gotta make me one of those moxons one day. love the benchcrafted hardware.

-- Rob - Indianapolis IN - Learning... one mistake at a time...

View bluekingfisher's profile


1333 posts in 4219 days

#8 posted 06-02-2015 09:19 AM

Some great bench accessories there, all useful and practical of course. I have begun to realise the ‘old ways’ incorporated and utilised scraps normally found in the shop to make effective jigs to get the work done.

Thanks for bringing them all to the one post. I too will favourite as a quick reference.

Good luck


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

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4044 days

#9 posted 06-02-2015 12:13 PM

A nice variety of essential workbench helpers.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Randy63's profile


252 posts in 4132 days

#10 posted 06-03-2015 11:02 PM

Nice set of accessories to go with your new bench. All are good usable fixtures and I’m sure you will continue to
add to this set as time goes along.

-- Randy, Oakdale, Ca.

View SteveGaskins's profile


762 posts in 3827 days

#11 posted 06-05-2015 01:31 AM

Really nice accessories to go with a really nice bench, Roger. Well done my friend, well done. I cannot wait to see some of the furniture pieces which come from this bench and accessories.

-- Steve, South Carolina,

View Alan's profile


44 posts in 2542 days

#12 posted 06-05-2015 04:59 AM

Nice! It’s amazing how useful some very simple bench accessories can be, and how much more useful they make your bench.

One comment, when you’re actually using that anvil, if you can get it directly over that leg, it will make your hammering more efficient.

-- I have some idea what I'm doing.

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