Rubio Style Workbench Add-On

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Project by TechRedneck posted 01-27-2012 01:04 AM 16597 views 79 times favorited 38 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a nice shop of power tools. I like them all, however I have discovered the power and joy of hand tools. Use of hand tools is taking my skill and quality up a notch.

To do things right with hand tools you need a good solid bench. A lot of the floor space in the shop is already taken up. Some time ago I built a 4×4’ torsion box assembly table. It is very heavy and stable, however not that great with vices and not adequate for hand tools.

After a lot of thought, I decided to build the “business” end of a traditional woodworking bench and just bolt it to my assembly table. In the pictures you can see how I used the combination wood/bolt threaded hardware and bolted the back of the new bench to the old and used traditional dovetailed front legs and mortise and tenon cross beam. All the joints were friction fit and then thru bolted for easy breakdown or tightening.

The table is 5’ long and a little over 1’ wide. The whole table fit in the planer after glue up. Once assembled I finished it off with a hand plane and drilled the 3/4” holes with a hand brace and bit.

I then added a Veritas large single screw for the leg vise and glued up two 6” cherry boards for a 2” thick leg. The end vise is a Groz Quick release. The top is 3” thick Ash and the legs are 4” of Ash. It was finished with a couple coats of BLO with the first coat thinned 50/50.

The height is a little more than a traditional bench which should come to the knuckle of your little finger. However I use the power tools to get most of the stock prepped and then use hand tools to finish and fit. The assembly table serves as an out-feed table for the jointer and planer. The bolts on the back of the hand tool bench allowed me to bring it level with the table and shims under the legs compensated for the slight slope in the floor.

Overall it is very solid and stable.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

38 comments so far

View waho6o9's profile


9068 posts in 3819 days

#1 posted 01-27-2012 01:11 AM

Fantastic addition. I like the way it turned out.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17529 posts in 3861 days

#2 posted 01-27-2012 01:11 AM

This is a very nice nod to the Roubo AND to handtool woodworking. Excellent project, congrats!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3841 days

#3 posted 01-27-2012 01:18 AM

Excellent addition to the shop. Congrats on a really nice build.

View Northwest29's profile


1712 posts in 3733 days

#4 posted 01-27-2012 01:25 AM

Now there is a really great idea and well executed as well. May have to adapt something like that to my bench. Thanks for the share.


-- Ron, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View a1Jim's profile


118253 posts in 4820 days

#5 posted 01-27-2012 01:27 AM

A beautiful bench nice work.


View Warren's profile


81 posts in 3578 days

#6 posted 01-27-2012 02:02 AM

thats awesome looks ideal for small shop solutions :)

-- Warren, Cambridge,OH.

View CL810's profile


4176 posts in 4231 days

#7 posted 01-27-2012 02:54 AM

Very clever and functional – Well Done!

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 4662 days

#8 posted 01-27-2012 03:56 AM

This is an excellent idea! Thanks for sharing this. Gotta add this to my list of projects to copy!

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View chrisstef's profile


18135 posts in 4249 days

#9 posted 01-27-2012 04:01 AM


-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Woodenwizard's profile


1369 posts in 4286 days

#10 posted 01-27-2012 04:47 AM

This is a great Idea! exactly what I could use. Hope you don’t mind but I may steel your idea. Thanks!

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View TechRedneck's profile


770 posts in 4099 days

#11 posted 01-27-2012 04:57 AM

Thanks for all the nice comments. I owe a lot to my fellow LJ’s and will be happy to answer questions if anybody decides to try something similar in their shop.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 4225 days

#12 posted 01-27-2012 05:46 AM

nice bench on a bench. hoe do you like the veritas saw? i was thinking of buying one.

View TechRedneck's profile


770 posts in 4099 days

#13 posted 01-27-2012 05:54 AM


Saws have to feel good in your hand. I tried a few and found the veritas felt just right. The price is good when compared to other premium saws. I’ve only had it for several weeks but have no complaints. It cuts fast and straight, can’t ask for more.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View bluekingfisher's profile


1333 posts in 4222 days

#14 posted 01-27-2012 11:22 AM

That’s a real nice addition to your assembly table. You now have the best of both worlds, plenty of space for power tool working and with your new addition you have a bench for hand tools when you want those quite, stress free times for ww while in the shop.

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View michelletwo's profile


2795 posts in 4258 days

#15 posted 01-27-2012 01:01 PM

I luv handtools, so I find your solution quite clever.

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