Roubo Bench

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Project by Joel153 posted 12-21-2015 01:54 PM 12130 views 13 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello to all.
This is my first posting here, and really the first project that I have completed. I have started more than a few projects but none have turned out as finished, mostly due to my own procrastination and inexperience. So this is a big step for me. After over a month of working nights and most of the weekend I finally have something to show for my labor, and a useful something at that!
This is my own version of the Roubo from Chris Schwarz’s book. I made some changes and allowances for the lumber I used, and for the equipment I plan to use on/with this bench.
The lumber all started as rough cut 8/4. I used air dried Larch for the top, 2×12’s ripped to 3 3/4” wide and stood on end for the laminated top. The legs are air dried Hemlock 2×6’s, squared, planed and laminated three pieces per leg for a 5 3/4” square legs. The stretchers are kiln dried pine 2×6’s, laminated together for about 3” of thickness and 5” height. All the joints are drawbored mortise and tenon, and I am very impressed by their solidity.
I built this in the reverse order that Chris suggested and I regret that. Building the base first turned out to be a huge mistake. As the project started to come together I realized that it would be much more difficult to match the mortises in the top to the tenons than the other way around. The outcome of that is that I now have some gaps in the through mortise and I don’t think that I will be able to fix them to look nice.
When I glued up the top I decided to leave all the boards full length (8’ give or take a few inches), that way I now have a nice top piece for a kitchen butcher block island or other project in the future.
Overall this was an awesome learning experience, and I can’t wait to start using it on my next project!

17 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4151 days

#1 posted 12-21-2015 02:50 PM

That looks very nice. Congratulations and welcome to Lumberjocks.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3883 days

#2 posted 12-21-2015 03:02 PM

Looks great. Very stout.

View wb8nbs's profile


164 posts in 3977 days

#3 posted 12-21-2015 04:26 PM

I am SO jealous.

-- The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.

View waho6o9's profile


9098 posts in 3861 days

#4 posted 12-21-2015 04:36 PM

Great bench and welcome to LJs!

View oltexasboy1's profile


257 posts in 2989 days

#5 posted 12-21-2015 05:01 PM

Looks very good and I think that everybody except Chris has some gaps in the tenons. MY son took a router and a 1/4 upcut spiral bit and cut around the where the gaps were and filled them with a 1/4 strip of walnut, fitted them tightly in the cut and pounded them in and planed off the excess. Looks pretty good and like it was planned that way.

-- "The pursuit of perfection often yields excellence"

View HappyHowie's profile


485 posts in 3229 days

#6 posted 12-21-2015 05:50 PM

This was a very big first step. No turning back now. Start a second project with your brand new bench.

I suspect you will surprise us a lot since you seem to make your own path on your journeys. Go for it…

Eventually, on some things I bet you will see the wisdom of woodworkers past that their time and true methods are the best since those methods have stood the test of time. However, keep the maverick part of you. I bet you will come up with some surprising and interesting projects.


-- --- Happy Howie

View CincyRW's profile


165 posts in 2935 days

#7 posted 12-21-2015 07:40 PM

Thats a fantastic looking bench and should last you a lifetime. Dont worry about the mistakes, because they happen to everybody. As Oltexasboy showed, the trick is how you recover from them.

Really nice looking bench!

View JimDaddyO's profile


679 posts in 4363 days

#8 posted 12-21-2015 10:36 PM

View hoss12992's profile


4180 posts in 3177 days

#9 posted 12-22-2015 01:27 AM

That looks great. Great job and look forward to your future project posting. Welcome to LJs

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9998 posts in 3613 days

#10 posted 12-22-2015 02:22 AM

Welcome aboard…

Your bench is built like a Sherman tank and should last for generations to come. Nicely done.

Do you have vices in mind?

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View BurlyBob's profile


9404 posts in 3550 days

#11 posted 12-22-2015 03:29 AM

That’s a fine looking bench.

View PAchemist's profile


57 posts in 2358 days

#12 posted 12-22-2015 04:48 AM

Great looking bench. Massive!

View TheFridge's profile


10863 posts in 2770 days

#13 posted 12-22-2015 05:05 AM

Good stuff. I just put a square inlay over the ends of the tenons to cover my mistake. Plus, it was a good excuse to get a router plane to replace my shop made one that worked just ok.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View hungryJ's profile


53 posts in 2639 days

#14 posted 12-22-2015 12:45 PM

my bench is the same, i don’t mind having an old mistake staring me in the face. reminds me to do proper planning and layout on all the pieces that i do on top of it

-- just a goon with a hammer.

View bondogaposis's profile


6067 posts in 3636 days

#15 posted 12-22-2015 01:50 PM

Great looking bench, you will be glad you built it as every future project you make will be the better for the superior stability of your Roubo. What kind of vises are you going to add?

-- Bondo Gaposis

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