Another Roubo

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Project by SlideRule posted 09-10-2015 05:30 PM 2742 views 4 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Another day, another Roubo. Inspiration and recommendations drawn heavily from The Schwarz’s book Workbenches. The bench is all construction-grade Southern Yellow Pine (easy to get here in North Carolina). I don’t have a planer or jointer, so most everything was done by hand using an old Bailey #5, a gift from my brother, and an old Stanley block plane that was my dad’s. My brother happened to come down and brought his Bailey #8 (which used to belong to our uncle).

As I sorted through the bin at the lumber yard, I found one piece that had this exposed live edge and knew that I had to include it. Wire-brushed it to get rid of any dirt/bugs and loose bark, and then poured clear epoxy all over it.

The American flag detail is pine and walnut. I had made the flag a while back, not sure what I was going to do with it. About halfway through building the bench I figured I’d inlay it—MADE IN THE USA.

The vise is the Veritas quick-release…can’t say enough good things about it. My shop is a little small to allow for a tail vise, though I could add one in the future. The Gramercy hold-downs are great and I haven’t missed a tail vise yet.

The sliding deadman is removable, and the “V” is cut directly into the bottom stretcher. All of the stretchers have a ½” rabbet cut on the top inside edge to allow for a shelf—I’m thinking of a ship lap shelf—or building a pair of drawers or something. I like having plenty of open space below the top, and like having the legs/deadman/stretchers/front apron all flush for clamping, so any drawers or anything would need to be set back. We’ll see.

All joints are draw-bored mortise and tenons. Except for the vise, there is no metal in the bench (no screws or nails).

Finished with BLO/Varnish/Mineral Spirits mixture. After building a Roubo, I understand what all the hype is about. Love working with it.

7 comments so far

View Notw's profile


732 posts in 2293 days

#1 posted 09-10-2015 05:49 PM

Very nice bench, and I like the dog pose a lot better than the “bondo” pose!

View KerwinLumpkins's profile


12 posts in 1561 days

#2 posted 09-10-2015 06:44 PM

Man that’s nice. Great execution on that, and good dog shot. Could you give a ball park figure for materials cost? I’m going to end up redoing mine with nicer materials in a year or two and I’d like to have an idea of what it’ll cost me then.

View SlideRule's profile


20 posts in 1529 days

#3 posted 09-10-2015 07:21 PM

Hey KerwinLumpkins, the wood cost about $250 or so. I needed (6) 4”x4”x12’ for the top and the stretchers, and then (4) 2”x6”x8’ to build up the legs. It’s all construction-grade southern yellow pine. My brother built a similar bench using douglas fir, the construction grade stuff available near him. Christopher Schwarz says that he buys all the wood for his workbenches from the construction bins at the orange/blue stores.

I’d love to one day build a bench from maple or beech, but that wasn’t in the budget yet, and I didn’t feel my skills were up to snuff to mess with expensive wood like that. Maybe in a few years…though I promised my wife I’d get 10 years from this bench.

The vise cost almost as much as the rest of the bench combined, but you could definitely find a cheaper option.,41659

View Billy E's profile

Billy E

162 posts in 2620 days

#4 posted 09-11-2015 08:06 AM

Nice. Hope to start mine soon. Where did you find the 4×4s? Having a hard time finding anything other than 2x that’s not treated. Thanks

-- Billy, Florence SC

View SlideRule's profile


20 posts in 1529 days

#5 posted 09-11-2015 10:59 AM

Billy, I found them at a local lumber yard (not HD/Lowes). You could definitely use 2x for the top, but it would mean that you have twice as many joints to prep and glue—which is why I was very happy to find good 4×4s in untreated SYP. If I’d had a planer and jointer I would have used 2×6s for the top, making the top a little thicker (though it’s plenty thick as it is).

View Scott Landry's profile

Scott Landry

193 posts in 2010 days

#6 posted 09-12-2015 05:09 AM

very nice bench. I think you sold me on the southern yellow pine.

-- Every project is an opportunity to acquire new tools and any solution that requires buying a new tool is the correct one.

View John's profile


246 posts in 2121 days

#7 posted 09-12-2015 03:36 PM

I love the flag inlay. I’m gonna have to borrow that one. Great job, I know you said ten years, but it looks like it’ll last a lifetime.

-- I measured once, cut twice, and its still too short...

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