Roubo Workbench (Hand Tools Only)

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Project by Brian Gulotta posted 10-12-2016 05:58 PM 4983 views 3 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Roubo Workbench (Hand Tools Only)
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After a few months of working on the weekends, I have finished my workbench build! It was built entirely with hand tools. The hardest part was definitely milling all the lumber to size. The temporary bench (child’s oak school desk) just didn’t want to stay put. It lasted just long enough to finish the bench. It will be repurposed as an ATC, or part of one anyway, in a future project. I made plenty of mistakes along with way. The bench isn’t perfect by any means. However, I could not be happier with the results. I’m still waiting on my face vise to arrive as well as a little popup planing stop. I also want to add a little shelf on the stretchers so I can have a place to put my hand planes when not in use (finished from some scrap cedar and red oak for the cleats). The bench is 6’ long ~34” tall and ~18”deep. It is made entirely from scrap lumber (minus the oak pins and ash butterfly key in the top) leftover from my storage shed build. After this experience, I will definitely be building another bench down the road as my abilities improve. But for now, I am looking forward to getting a few smaller scale Christmas presents finished :)

18 comments so far

View theoldfart's profile


12572 posts in 3525 days

#1 posted 10-12-2016 08:34 PM

Very nice Roubo. If there any flaws I sure don’t see them. You may want to post a pic on the workbench of your dreams thread.

I have a shelf on my bench and I do keep my plans there even though I have a cabinet makers chest. I just keep them wiped down.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Andre's profile


4498 posts in 2880 days

#2 posted 10-12-2016 10:00 PM

Darn nice looking Bench! I got hooked on them there brass pop ups from L.V. put a row of them behind my Tail Vise!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1128 posts in 4506 days

#3 posted 10-12-2016 10:41 PM

Very nice. One of my bucket list items is to make a bench.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View Brian Gulotta's profile

Brian Gulotta

132 posts in 2032 days

#4 posted 10-12-2016 10:42 PM

Thanks guys for the kind words!!!

View gsimon's profile


1327 posts in 3188 days

#5 posted 10-12-2016 11:16 PM

looks really good! congrats

-- Greg Simon

View AnttiN's profile


38 posts in 3289 days

#6 posted 10-13-2016 01:56 AM

Your workbench is excellent and masterful. Perfection is the enemy of simply great! Congratulations.

View BurlyBob's profile


8829 posts in 3340 days

#7 posted 10-13-2016 04:52 AM

That’s a great looking bench. You make me jealous.

View Brian Gulotta's profile

Brian Gulotta

132 posts in 2032 days

#8 posted 10-13-2016 11:43 AM

Thanks guys!!!

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3941 days

#9 posted 10-13-2016 04:37 PM

It’s a very nice bench and beautifully done. It’s a great addition to your shop.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View ohwoodeye's profile


2617 posts in 4228 days

#10 posted 10-13-2016 07:43 PM

Very nice. Built entirely with hand tools…...........what the hell are those? :)

Well done!

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View Burbs's profile


48 posts in 1758 days

#11 posted 10-14-2016 03:01 AM

Really nice! I’ve begun saving and salvaging lumber for a nice roubo bench and although I’ve gotten more into hand tools, I know I will not be doing it all by hand. My jointer and planer are just too fast and way more accurate.
Props to you though. I’m jealous especially when I’m planing on my 100 lb plywood and 2×4 bench.

-- ---The day I learn nothing of value will be the day I'm laid to rest--- Burbs

View muesli's profile


510 posts in 2583 days

#12 posted 10-14-2016 08:10 AM

Great looking and sturdy bench! After building one and working on it I can say, that it’s really worth the effort. Nothing better than a decent workbench. Well done!

-- Uwe from Germany.

View Brian Gulotta's profile

Brian Gulotta

132 posts in 2032 days

#13 posted 10-14-2016 03:07 PM

I can definitely understand using a powered planer and jointer. That is the most tedious and physical part for sure. I enjoyed it though (would have even more so if I would have had a sturdy surface to plane on ;) ) and also gained some really good experience with my hand planes in the process. After the bench build, I whipped out my #4 and that thing feels so light now after using the bigger planes during build process.

View Brian Gulotta's profile

Brian Gulotta

132 posts in 2032 days

#14 posted 10-14-2016 03:08 PM

Muesli yes indeed. The bench is definitely sturdy. Even more so after I added a ~36 pound face vise to it.

View WhattheChuck's profile


455 posts in 4635 days

#15 posted 10-17-2016 12:02 AM

Awesome job—you’re only gonna make one of those by hand about once in your life!

A couple of the pix are upside-down—be great if you flipped them.

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

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