Roubo Workbench

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Project by Woodbridge posted 03-05-2019 09:16 PM 7257 views 3 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For most of my woodworking journey my workbench consisted on a 24”x36” rolling shop cabinet with an oak top made from reclaimed pallet wood.

Since my new shop is almost complete I decided to pull out a maple slab that I have been storing in my shed for the last three years and build myself a proper workbench.

I decided to build a traditional Roubo style bench guided by the plans in Chris Schwarz’s Workbenches book.

My bench is 5’8” long, 21”wide and 32” high.

The top is one piece of hard maple. It was 4” thick but had quite a twist in it. I flattened it with a router and sled and it finished at 3” thick. There was a large crack in the centre which I reinforced top and bottom with butterfly splines. The legs and stretchers are about 3” x5” and laminated from two pieces of maple.

The end vice is from my old workbench and I splurged an bought a Benchcrafted face vice. The vice chops and sliding deadman are made from some roasted maple that I had in my shed. The shelf is made from left over hardwood flooring.

I cut the tenons using hand saws. The mortises were hogged out using a power drill but both the mortises and tennons were fitting by chopping and pairing with a chisel. I used drawboard pegs on all the joints. Gaps were tightened by driving in wedges.

The bench is rock solid and I’m looking forward to many years of use.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

22 comments so far

View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 4255 days

#1 posted 03-05-2019 09:21 PM

Looks great Peter. Now you just have to get over that first scratch on your beautiful workbench. Or you can wait to see the suggestion by CaptainKlutz (personally, I would be content with a small scratch). ;)
Enjoy it! ;)

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View CC's profile


23 posts in 3292 days

#2 posted 03-05-2019 09:23 PM

Looks great.
I see many exciting projects coming from the work bench.
Get moving on them

-- CC, King City, Ontario

View Buckethead's profile


3196 posts in 3329 days

#3 posted 03-05-2019 10:48 PM

Woodbridge this is a beauty. really impressive.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View theoldfart's profile


13133 posts in 3911 days

#4 posted 03-05-2019 11:28 PM

Peter, it looks great. Why the taper on the legs?

Maybe another Rolhfs chair to christen the new bench ? :-)

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

View shipwright's profile


8816 posts in 4258 days

#5 posted 03-05-2019 11:55 PM

An artist’s bench! If you ever decide to give up woodworking, advertise it in a gallery not a woodworking forum. :-)

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

View Woodbridge's profile


3755 posts in 3878 days

#6 posted 03-06-2019 12:15 AM

Thanks folks. TOF – the legs are straight. I added one inch pieces (cut-offs) to the top of each leg to beef them up to 4” x 5” and provide more bearing surface for the top and also to increase the weight of the bench..

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View metolius's profile


432 posts in 2190 days

#7 posted 03-06-2019 12:20 AM

I love it when a nice workbench comes up in the projects feed.

This one is a beaut !

-- derek / oregon

View CaptainKlutz's profile


5617 posts in 2954 days

#8 posted 03-06-2019 01:28 AM

Nice work. Slab is awesome. Another work bench too pretty to use. BTDTGTTS.

Don’t forget to enter this beauty in the Workbench Smack down thread.

PS – Might want to have one of your friends stop by and drop an dirty engine block on it, so you get blame someone else for the inevitable dirt, wear, and tear; that all good workbenches soon enjoy. :-)


-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4302 days

#9 posted 03-06-2019 02:39 AM

Peter, hope you feel you can pound on this beauty! LOL! Nicely done, but that’s to be expected from a master craftsman.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Bertha's profile


13635 posts in 4153 days

#10 posted 03-06-2019 01:00 PM

That’s one awesome bench. Wonderful choice for the top. You’ve got enough thickness to flatten many times, so you’re right, it will live longer than you (sorry).

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Woodbridge's profile


3755 posts in 3878 days

#11 posted 03-06-2019 02:07 PM

Thanks for looking folks and I appreciate the comments. Its definitely intended to be a user.

I dressed this bench up with some extra coats of shellac to make it pretty for for the pictures. However, I’m not the neatest woodworker and no matter how hard I try to keep it looking pristine I suspect in a few months it will be covered in glue spots, paint and chisel nicks.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View daiku_padawan's profile


108 posts in 1689 days

#12 posted 03-06-2019 03:11 PM

Always like seeing a good bench. Working on a first but would like an heirloom quality one some day like yours. ;-)
Just need to work on my skills.

-- ~Daniel

View Holbs's profile


2388 posts in 3489 days

#13 posted 03-06-2019 04:34 PM

roasted maple? I love it :) Looks beefy and pretty awesome. I’m in the midst of my roubo build, but using douglas fir. Will not look as family heirloom’ish as your bench though!

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View Woodbridge's profile


3755 posts in 3878 days

#14 posted 03-06-2019 05:37 PM

Holbs – roasted maple is maple that has been heat treated to give it a chocolate brown colour. I bought it several years ago to use for a project that I never got to. Best thing is when you cut it or plane it it smells like maple syrup.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View WoodSpanker's profile


576 posts in 4852 days

#15 posted 03-07-2019 03:22 AM

That right there is as right proper a workbench as you caould have! very nicely done.

-- Turning perfectly good wood into sawdust and kindling since 1990.

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