Finished! First Project...Split Top Roubo Workbench

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Project by TDog77 posted 07-17-2012 01:12 AM 9845 views 21 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well this thing has been quite the journey for me. This is my first official woodworking project other then my crosscut sled for my tablesaw. I decided against a lot of advice at taking on a project of this scale as my first one but I knew I wanted and needed a workbench so decided what better project to learn traditional joinery on then one that can have a few cosmetic flaws on. I followed along on this guild build over at Wood Whisperer and could not be happier with the instruction and guidance Marc offered. I built the entire bench out of White Ash with some accent pieces made out of Walnut. It contains dovetails, small and large mortise and tennon joints including many that use the drawbore technique (which I love by the way), shiplap joints and about 1 gallon of glue! I struggled over what hardware I wanted to use and after choosing Benchcrafted for the tail and leg vise I could not be happier; It is smooth, strong, extremely well crafted and pleasing to my eye at least. The top slab is a full 4 inches thick with a split and gap stop running dead center of the top the can be set below the surface, removed for clamps or left high as a stop. The overall is 87 inches long and 2 feet deep about 35 inches tall and I would estimate it to be about 350-400 pounds. I used my router, tablesaw, jointer and planer a TON plus many small hand tools that I will give a short rundown on another post since I don’t think I can talk about it in this section and will go over what I like and dislike about each since most of them I used for the first time extensively. I think all in all it took me about 80 hours to build but honestly a fair amount of time was spent picking up other tools that I needed, many hours getting planes and chisels flat and shaving sharp and learning how to use some of the tools and even set others up. Heck I got so sick of the knives on my Old DJ-20 that I installed a Byrd during the process as well. I generated 8 full contractor bags of shavings during the course of this build and cannot seem to get rid of them LOL and will at least figure out a way to compress and burn them in the fireplace. I cannot wait to put the thing into full use for a kitchen island that I want to build next! I think I am going to be needing some addiction classes with this new obsession of mine or at least a case of wine to ease the nerves of my saint of a wife in taking on the three little ones solo for such long periods. Thanks to all you fellow jockers who helped me set up, find, tune and use my tools…..After this build I have a lot more coming.

30 comments so far

View crashn's profile


528 posts in 3379 days

#1 posted 07-17-2012 01:20 AM

ummmm wow. Please have your wife call mine and explain how to let me into the shop. PLEASE?

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View waho6o9's profile


8953 posts in 3490 days

#2 posted 07-17-2012 01:39 AM

Outstanding first project TDog77! That’s a mighty fine workbench my friend.

View blackcherry's profile


3344 posts in 4736 days

#3 posted 07-17-2012 02:35 AM

Just a fabulous bench now the projects will be flying out of the shop. I built my out of white ash a few years back and it still look great and holding up just wonderful. This is one stout looking bench which add volumes in using hand planes. Best wish to you and your new workmate enjoy the journey…BC

View jcwalleye's profile


306 posts in 3986 days

#4 posted 07-17-2012 02:53 AM

Congrats. Beautiful job. And as BC said, an essential element for using hand planes.

You’ve got a right to be proud of that bendh.

-- Trees, a wonderful gift --Joe--

View Bsmith's profile


330 posts in 3584 days

#5 posted 07-17-2012 02:58 AM

Very nice work. You should get many years of use from this work bench and many more projects of this caliber. Keep it up.

-- Bryan

View DouginVa's profile


503 posts in 3186 days

#6 posted 07-17-2012 10:26 AM

You should be very proud of this project. Looks great. Hey, I found a way to get rid of shavings. Put a post on Craigslist under “Free Stuff” or the “Farm & Garden” sections. You’d be surprised how many replies you get. I started doing this a few years ago and I have a steady stream of people I give bags away to. One uses them in the garden as a soil amendment, another to mulch walking paths in their garden, and one uses the saw dust to dry animal hides…he’s a taxidermist.

-- Just a man with his chisel.........

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9727 posts in 3242 days

#7 posted 07-17-2012 02:56 PM

great project…. congratulations on seeing it through to the end…

Mind me asking how much $ do you think you put into it?

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View SergeantSawDust's profile


174 posts in 3095 days

#8 posted 07-17-2012 02:59 PM

That’s very awesome.. You must have tremendous patience for tackling such a feat for your first project. Very well done!

-- Woodworking for the hobbyist woodworker.

View tsangell's profile


216 posts in 3606 days

#9 posted 07-17-2012 03:58 PM

Beautiful. Really fantastic.

View Bertha's profile


13588 posts in 3606 days

#10 posted 07-17-2012 04:47 PM

Man, I’d hate to see your second project! It’s phenomenal.

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

View oldnovice's profile


7681 posts in 4281 days

#11 posted 07-17-2012 05:03 PM

You are one of those people that make it difficult for the rest of us novices who have been woodworking for a number of years … 40 or more. I don’t have a bench like that and I surely could not afford to buy one that good!

Outstanding work, whether it is your second or your twenty second! You are not a novice!!!!!!

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View JohnFD's profile


7 posts in 3400 days

#12 posted 07-17-2012 05:07 PM

What a tremendous project Your bench will make everything else so much easier. I am jeolous.

-- JohnFD Lewes Delaware

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3954 days

#13 posted 07-17-2012 05:11 PM

Nice Bench !!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Mauricio's profile


7166 posts in 4065 days

#14 posted 07-17-2012 05:50 PM

Wow, the bench is amazing and very ambitious for a first project. I love the ash too.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View jcees's profile


1079 posts in 4712 days

#15 posted 07-17-2012 06:25 PM

Nice job. Now get to work! Otherwise it’s just so much pretty shop furniture. And as far as addiction goes, wait till you start working with highly figured woods like curly maple and ribbon mahogany. Then you will find out how bad your “jones” is.

Again, darn fine job on that bench.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

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