New Roubo Style Workbench (1/2 Scale)

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Project by Woodbridge posted 01-09-2020 01:44 AM 2158 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This winter I will be leading the construction of a new workbench for the local woodworking club, of which I am a member. The new workbench will replace the rickety purchased bench that has been in the club’s workrshop far to long.

Rather than draw plans from which the members will construct the bench I decided to build a 1/2 scale model. The bench is based on John Tetrault’s Modified Roubo Bench (from Fine Woodworking Magazine). In particular I liked the wedged dovetail through tenon that connects the stretchers to the legs. Building the scale model gave me an opportunity to understand how to construct this joint.

The model is made from poplar door casing cut-offs the where planed to a 1/2 inch thickness and laminated together to make up the pieces. The model is 17 inches high, 30 inches long and 10 inches wide. This will translate into a full size bench that is 34 inches high, 60 inches long and 20 – 24 inches wide (to be determined).

I photographed the model with my WoodRiver #1 plane to help create the illusion of a larger bench. I also included pictures of the 1/2 scale model alongside the traditional Roubo bench on my workshop.

The model can come apart(no glue) so that the joinery can be inspected. It is held together with wedges, pinned tenons or screws.

I’ll post pictures of the full sized workbench when it is completed.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

8 comments so far

View anthm27's profile


1851 posts in 2442 days

#1 posted 01-09-2020 01:51 AM

Supurb, and with no glue a great way to give people an insight into the joinery.
Great job

-- There is no hope for any of us if we keep apologizing for telling the truth.

View swirt's profile (online now)


7089 posts in 4304 days

#2 posted 01-09-2020 03:46 AM

Cute baby bench. I like the style. Funny touch photographing it with a No 1.

-- Galootish log blog,

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4666 days

#3 posted 01-09-2020 11:33 AM

Nice work Peter. Maybe you can gift it to a child after the full size bench is built.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View HokieKen's profile


20631 posts in 2471 days

#4 posted 01-09-2020 02:07 PM

That’s awesome :-) Way to go above and beyond as far as “drawing up plans” too. I’d like to have that to throw in the bed of my truck for vacations…

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View shipwright's profile


8780 posts in 4130 days

#5 posted 01-09-2020 03:27 PM

Nice one Peter, you have your work cut out for you this winter. You were a great student and I’m sure you will be a great teacher.

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

View PaxJen's profile


219 posts in 1989 days

#6 posted 01-09-2020 03:40 PM

Cute! I should have done this before attempting my workbench. Too far along now . . .

-- Pax - Maryland

View Ivan's profile


17134 posts in 4200 days

#7 posted 01-10-2020 05:42 PM

Just awesome! ...clean lines, sturdy…

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View harmless_Matt's profile


2 posts in 497 days

#8 posted 09-08-2020 05:12 PM

That’s lovely work. I want to do that!

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