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Project by Bernard58 posted 11-01-2020 12:02 PM 5278 views 3 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a hybrid Roubo style workbench, adapted from the project described in Fine Woodworking.

I wanted to make the bench top in maple but unfortunately the lumberyard was out of stock and I didn’t want to wait, so I settled for ash, which is softer. The legs are made from meranti, of which I had some stock laying around already for years, without using it. The stretchers are from oregon pine. I later added a cabinet with 2 doors and three drawers to sit under it, made mostly from plywood and yellow pine for the drawer fronts. I didn’t add the angled braces described in the original design as I believe the bench is more than sturdy enough without them.

The jaws of the bench vise are 88 cm long and the vise uses Lie Nielsen hardware consisting of 2 chain drive screws. Super happy I chose the largest size for this as I can place pieces up to 60 cm between the screws. The tail vise also uses Lie Nielsen hardware and works super well. Together with the round and rectangular bench dog holes, home made bench dogs and some other clamping devices this offers many clamping options which is something I was really looking for. I added some leather to the inside of the vise jaws and the bench dogs for protecting the workpieces.

It also has a sliding “deadman” with multiple holes that accept a peg, to support long pieces. As the bench is very heavy (100 kg?), I added castor wheels which are attached to a horizontal bar made of oak that is attached to the legs using hinges. A vertical batten is connected to this and has a wheel at the end that rides against the underside of the bench. When it is moved inwards, the wheels are lowered and the legs raised from the floor.

Dimensions are: H 91 cm; W 62 cm; L 210 cm. The top is 10 cm thick.

Overall, I’m super happy with how the bench turned out and it’s a joy to work with. I finished the top with about 5 coats of Danish oil and several coatings of wax. Nevertheless, whenever I’m gluing or painting something I put a large piece of carton on the bench as I don’t want to ruin the top, and I’m super careful when drilling or sawing as I don’t want the bench to end op with multiple saw marks, drill holes or stains, like my previous bench (which I am now using more for the “dirty” work.

The top is made by gluing multiple 10×5 cm pieces together in several steps.

I didn’t have enough pieces of ash of sufficient length, so joined a few shorter pieces end to end using finger joints. Instead of trying to clamp these long pieces together, I used screws in pocket holes.

Before gluing the top boards, I routed the holes for the bench dogs using a template:

Making the pockets for the hardware was a chore, as these aremore than 6 cm deep. I first drilled holes and than used a router with a long bit:

The legs are joined to the top with large tenons of about 5 cm length.

I made the bench dogs from padauk, they have spring made from a thin piece of oak to hold them in place in the dog holes. The dog holes in the bench are slightly angled to the right, those in the tail vise are angled to the left, to ensure better clamping

-- Bernard Delaey, Belgium -

23 comments so far

View Eric's profile


5835 posts in 1370 days

#1 posted 11-01-2020 12:14 PM

Looks like a very sturdy bench, like the multiple lines for the dogs. Great craftsmanship.

-- Eric, building the dream. the "Loft"

View dbeck's profile


107 posts in 1856 days

#2 posted 11-01-2020 12:34 PM

What a thing of beauty. You sure will get a lifetime of use from that bench. The one i completed last year isnt half of what yours is and i love every minute on it.

View Brit's profile


8520 posts in 4340 days

#3 posted 11-01-2020 01:07 PM

Excellent work.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


10906 posts in 3906 days

#4 posted 11-01-2020 03:53 PM

Nice heavy duty bench. Will last 3 lifetimes.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View pottz's profile


26617 posts in 2481 days

#5 posted 11-01-2020 04:17 PM

wow that is a bench to take pride in bernard,absolutely beautiful,just dont be afraid to use it, a well used bench is a thing of beauty.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View tynewman's profile


240 posts in 1209 days

#6 posted 11-01-2020 04:38 PM

Beautiful, I need to build me a better bench. Thanks for posting

-- Ty

View iminmyshop's profile


409 posts in 3491 days

#7 posted 11-01-2020 04:38 PM

Wow. Enjoy it. I look forward to the projects made on this bench.


View grovemadman's profile


963 posts in 5269 days

#8 posted 11-01-2020 05:02 PM

How is this bench not a Daily Top 3???? I don’t want to disparage anyone’s work on this site, but clearly this is well beyond worthy of a Top 3 Pick. Nice work Bernard! I’m giving you my personal Top 3 pick Bernard because you deserve it!! I’ll leave it at that so as not to insult anyone else who may have posted a project.

-- "It is the job of the woodworker to hide his mistakes and keep a tight set of lips about them!"--Chuck

View BurlyBob's profile


10803 posts in 3762 days

#9 posted 11-01-2020 05:31 PM

Really fantastic. I want one.

View Peteybadboy's profile


4954 posts in 3446 days

#10 posted 11-01-2020 07:57 PM

Bernard excellent work! I am being pushed into making one.

-- Petey

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27827 posts in 4602 days

#11 posted 11-02-2020 12:14 AM

That is one a nicea bench! Very well built!!!!!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View AJ1104's profile


1557 posts in 3156 days

#12 posted 11-02-2020 03:24 AM

Beautiful looking bench! You did a great job with the design and craftsmanship. I hope you enjoy using it! I agree with grovemadman. Definitely Top 3

-- AJ

View mikeacg's profile


2138 posts in 2554 days

#13 posted 11-02-2020 12:22 PM

Beautiful job Bernard! Congrats of your Top 3! I hope to have a single woodworking shop one day where I can build myself a useful tool like that!

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl, [email protected]

View builtinbkyn's profile


3036 posts in 2437 days

#14 posted 11-02-2020 05:42 PM

Super bench Bernard! It reminds me that I have a pile of hard maple sitting in the garage ready for a build of a new bench. I’m going to take a look at those plans you posted from FWW. Enjoy your new workbench!

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View SubVette's profile


210 posts in 3042 days

#15 posted 11-02-2020 06:48 PM

She is a beautiful, very nicely done. I sure could use a nice bench definitely on my list of things to make. I’m not kidding when I say I am jealous!

-- John in Florida

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