Roubo Workbench with a German Flair

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Project by ShannonRogers posted 10-24-2010 07:14 AM 7545 views 12 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I thought I had uploaded this already but was surprised to discover I missed it. With so much talk about workbenches these days I figured now was a good time to post my Roubo workbench. I finished this early in 2010 and have built several pieces on it since then. I am thrilled with this beast. I work almost entirely by hand so having a bench that is so functional is a life saver. I used the Benchcrafted end vise on the front left side and wooden screws for the leg vise and sliding leg vise. The bench is made entirely of Ash and comes in around 400+ lbs. This is the most valuable player in my shop hands down!! It took me more than a year to build because well, I’m slow, but also because I had many other projects moving in and out of the shop and I had to work on it when I could find time around those. I blogged the entire build and you can find it on my site in Projects under Roubo Workbench

I have not added any finish to the top yet because I knew I would get some movement and just have to reflatten the top. The 3rd picture included shows a shot of the end vise and end cap and you can see how the 12/4 lumber of the end cap and shrunk away from the rest of the top significantly. While the bench is really not out of flat by much, I will flatten it again this winter and apply a few light coats of Danish oil.

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

19 comments so far

View Tony Strupulis's profile

Tony Strupulis

260 posts in 4466 days

#1 posted 10-24-2010 08:34 AM

I saw the two leg vises and said to myself, that looks like the Renaissance Woodworker’s vise! I don’t know what that means when I recognize people by their benches.

Looks great. I’m working my way through the Roubo podcasts.

-- Tony -

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 4704 days

#2 posted 10-24-2010 09:31 AM

Hey Shannon,
One sweet bench…great job.

View mafe's profile


13695 posts in 4432 days

#3 posted 10-24-2010 12:38 PM

What a wonderful bench, you are going to love the time you will get by it.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1369 posts in 5342 days

#4 posted 10-24-2010 03:41 PM

Wow, very cool project. Does it have enough vises? :-) Inspires me to make another bench.

-- Bob A in NJ

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 5367 days

#5 posted 10-24-2010 04:53 PM

Yeah, the two leg vises is absolutely killer. If I ever made another complete bench, I would think seriously about it (right-handed, of course).

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View a1Jim's profile


118310 posts in 4920 days

#6 posted 10-24-2010 05:35 PM

View NormG's profile


6575 posts in 4347 days

#7 posted 10-24-2010 06:18 PM

Now that is a bench just wanting something to be put on it. Great work. I bet I am slower

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 5435 days

#8 posted 10-24-2010 06:30 PM

Great bench Shannon. A thing of beauty AND functional. So solid and the vices are terrific. I’m sure it is a joy to work on. Glad you gave us a chance to see it!

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View MayflowerDescendant's profile


414 posts in 4130 days

#9 posted 10-24-2010 07:58 PM


That’s one AWESOME bench. Great job! Thanks for sharing.

-- Glen - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 4788 days

#10 posted 10-25-2010 01:27 AM

Great bench it should give you a lifetime of service. Well done.

View sedcokid's profile


2738 posts in 4941 days

#11 posted 10-25-2010 02:58 AM

Shannon, I wish I had a great bench like this. You did a wonderful job on it!

Thanks for sharing!

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 4173 days

#12 posted 10-25-2010 03:07 AM

Great bench!! I’ve got to get one built. Have had a stack of 8/4 hard maple waiting for the day to come.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View dorran's profile


140 posts in 4577 days

#13 posted 10-25-2010 08:08 AM

In the event of earthquake or tornado; Get under this bench. Do it justice and use it and abuse it.

-- Life is about choices. You can spend a lot of money on furniture and have really nice furniture; Or you can spend a lot on tools and have even more expensive, crappy furniture. I made my choice.

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 5130 days

#14 posted 10-25-2010 03:40 PM

Sweet bench! Looks like its really massive. Does the slidding vise roll?

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4807 days

#15 posted 10-25-2010 03:50 PM

How cool! I’ve been watching Roy Underhill on PBS’ website. He just built a splayed leg Roubo. This is a wonderful bench and an incredible demonstration of old world craftsmanship.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

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