Roubo Workbench

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Project by Andrius_Sta posted 03-11-2012 06:20 PM 6730 views 26 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built my very first workbench with the guidance of Chris Schwarz’s workbench book. I am amazed by it’s workholding capabilities and stability.

I used yellow pine for most of the bench (the vise and crochet are Oak/Meranti)

Building this took me about 70 hours of labour and a truck load of pine.

Some snapshots from the journey:

Next to the french bike I kept the boards inside for couple weeks for the moisture to be
Equilibrium with the shop.

2 of 3 Essential tools for this project that made everything super fast and easy. (Third one is something to rip the boards apart, this time it was my circular saw.)

Laminations These beams are soon to be a massive thick workbench top!

Tenons This time festool was my tenon saw. I am honestly happy with how this tool performs, even though it supposed to be for cutting up sheet goods

Final glue up It’s very handy to have a handplane for tweaking joints before gluing up the 4 beams together. Clamp pressure here is not much help for getting rid of imperfections on the edges.

Soon All the parts ready to join together.

Drawboring An ancient technique that everyone should look up and try. I could not have done without it on this project.

Dead flat Any hils,twists and other imperfections must be removed for a dead flat worksurface. A hand jointer makes sure that everyting is level and will help you to maintain the flats in the future.

Eastern approach Cutting out the opening for the vise with a Ryoba saw and chiseling the waste with a japanese chisel.

If you are considering building a workbench for yourself I really recommend you to google a guy named Christopher Schwarz and read his books.


-- Andrius Sta, Utrecht The Netherlands

21 comments so far

View mafe's profile (online now)


13683 posts in 4426 days

#1 posted 03-11-2012 06:52 PM

What a beautiful workbench.
I love the fact you made it from Pine, it gives it a more ‘casual’ look.
Nice work, really something to be proud of and enjoy for the years to come.
Best thoughts,

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

View JohnMeeley's profile


255 posts in 3670 days

#2 posted 03-11-2012 07:19 PM

My comments can only point out what you know first hand.

That, my friend, is one beautiful build. (drool) I enjoyed every view of it you provided. Rock solid, No doubt. Southern Yellow Pine with your obvious choice in grain will yield stability and strength for years to come. Did you monitor the moisture content? I mean with a meter, Not just acclimate. The numerous questions rambling through my head are starting to echo.

Congratulations. Seal the surface before I ruin it with my driveling.

edit... kinda wish I was twenty again. KINDA! ;)

edit the edit I also did not realize the size of your Japanese toolbox until I saw it under the bench.

-- "The greatest pleasure in life is doing what others say you cannot do."-Walter Bagehot

View ITnerd's profile


263 posts in 3936 days

#3 posted 03-11-2012 08:02 PM

Great bench; +1 on the SYP . Nice work, you’ll enjoy that every time you use it.

-- Chris @ Atlanta - JGM - Occam's razor tells us that when you hear hoofs, think horses not zebras.

View Tag84's profile


573 posts in 3994 days

#4 posted 03-11-2012 08:46 PM

prachtig werk Andrius! ;)

-- -Thomas -

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4180 days

#5 posted 03-11-2012 10:02 PM

Looks like you are in a much different place than your last post? Very pretty. Wonder how it will stand up? Looks like you have aquired some tools and a place to use them?

Great to see you working.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Andrius_Sta's profile


38 posts in 3962 days

#6 posted 03-11-2012 10:22 PM

Thanks for the feedback.

@JohnMeeley: No I didn’t measure the moisture content on these boards. They were kiln dried and stayed in a inside lumber yard for a long while. So I was pretty confident about the moisture content.

It still had some tension when I started planing the boards though. But it’s even pointed out in the Schwarz’s book that individual boards this size of pine won’t be as stable as expected. So it is advisable to work only the stock that you’re gonna glue up the same day. Once glued up into fat beams and reworked it stays pretty stable.The table top does not show any twists yet, after I assembled the bench about two weeks ago.

@DocSavage: Yes I finally have a place where I can work wood :)

-- Andrius Sta, Utrecht The Netherlands

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 3643 days

#7 posted 03-12-2012 12:37 AM

Excellent bench, can’t wait to see what projects make it on to LJ’s that go across that bad boy.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View DamnYankee's profile


3320 posts in 3899 days

#8 posted 03-12-2012 12:40 AM

Very nice work.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View rlamb007's profile


76 posts in 3875 days

#9 posted 03-12-2012 12:43 AM

That looks awesome. I am so jealous. I have started collecting all the info to build be one some day.
Where did you get the hardware? Great Build..Thanks for sharing.

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 3835 days

#10 posted 03-12-2012 02:42 AM

Quite a fine difference from your toolbox project space. A solid and pretty bench like this will make you bolder, truer and motivated. Nicely done.
It also should be easier for you to do curved work, given the last photo. Ha.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View Michael's profile


32 posts in 4222 days

#11 posted 03-12-2012 05:07 AM

The bench is really cool. What I am curious about is the tool holder you have spanning your window. Mind sharing a picture or two about how that is set up?

-- Michael

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 4320 days

#12 posted 03-12-2012 05:07 AM

a great looking bench. going to be one of the your proudest tools to own; and of course, to bragg about.
you deserve every bit of praise, for this acompolishment.
thanks for letting all to see.

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4928 days

#13 posted 03-12-2012 07:21 AM

very nicely done!!!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 4414 days

#14 posted 03-12-2012 12:32 PM

Very well done!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View pastorglen's profile


267 posts in 4027 days

#15 posted 03-12-2012 01:27 PM

That is just nice. Great work! Enjoy using it for years and years to come!

-- Glen, Pennsylvania, Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."

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