Roubo Workbench

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Project by buck_cpa posted 03-30-2014 12:48 AM 4303 views 6 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I started a blog about this build but discovered I enjoy the woodworking process more than the blogging process. Here’s the rundown. I followed Chris Schwarz’s plans… of course.

Dimensions: 34” tall, 22.5” wide, 76” long

Top: construction 2×4’s and some reclaimed redwood 2×6’s from a deck that was 30 years old. I used 3/8” oak pegs through the top… they helped with the assembly. The end caps are walnut. I used the circular saw to cut the tenons onto the top. Dado stack to cut the receiving mortise in the walnut cap.

Legs: The legs are pressure-treated 6×6s that I planed to 5.25” square. I used the tablesaw to cut the dovetail tenons on the legs. This was actually pretty simple. It just took a while to think through the series of cuts.

Stretchers: The stretchers are laminated construction 2×6s. The stretcher joinery is mortise and tenon. I didn’t drawbore, but still used 3/8” pegs.

Shelf: The bottom shelf is shiplapped furring strips… about $9 total for the shelf.

Leg vise: The chop is a 2.5” slab of reclaimed poplar. The screw is from lee valley ($40). Parallel guide is walnut. I used ash for the wedges in the parallel guide with a 3/8” oak peg through the side for extra security. The parallel guide pin was heated and “burned” into the poplar handle.

Deadman: The deadman is a stair tread that I found in a construction dumpster. The shape was free hand. I cut a groove in the top with the router to accept the top guide. The bottom “v” rail was from a shiplapped shipyard 2×6 that was destroyed in a fire here in Nashville. I kept the dark burn marks on the side as I thought it looked kind of cool and reminds me of its’ history.

End vise: The end vise a slab of mahogany that was given to me. I bought the Woodstock vise hardware off of amazon for $60 and I’m very pleased with it. The handle is oak with poplar ends.

Drawer: I really wanted a drawer for my layout stuff. The dovetails are very proud intentionally, I think it looks cool. It’s made of maple and walnut and glides on some pine runners attached to the bench.

Tool rail: I saw this on the workbench smackdown blog and had to make it. My neighbor gave me a cedar 2×4, so I took it to the dado stack and cut some slots.

Most of the material I used was given to me, but I probably spent $140 for the vise hardware, other hardware, dowels, and construction material. If I did it again, I would spend an extra $100 for some solid (non pressure treated) legs. I love everything else about it.

Thanks to everyone on here for documenting their ideas and projects. This site is great and everyone’s feedback is so helpful. It’s comforting to know that there is whole community of people that share the same obsession. Oh yeah, I tried to do some carving… F for my last name and the year in roman numerals… I have some work to do. But it was fun trying it out.

6 comments so far

View TheGermanJoiner's profile


847 posts in 2484 days

#1 posted 03-30-2014 02:35 AM

Great job on the bench. It will definitely serve you and children and grandchildren and your great grandchildren and your great great…. You get the idea. Nice job

-- Greg - Ferdinand and Son Construction: Do it right the first time. Like us on Facebook

View swirt's profile (online now)


5448 posts in 3818 days

#2 posted 03-30-2014 02:50 AM

Wow! Very nice in appearance and outstanding use of inexpensive lumber. Thanks for all the details on each part.

Caution on the cedar tool rail. Cedar, if unsealed, will cause rusting on steel left in contact with it. I recommend sealing it with shellac or poly wherever it would come into constant contact with the iron in your tools. (Learned that lesson the hard way)

-- Galootish log blog,

View R_Stad's profile


428 posts in 2690 days

#3 posted 03-30-2014 03:03 PM

Came out great. Beautiful and functional. Thanks for the details. Well done.

-- Rod - Oregon

View ALLPRO's profile


4 posts in 2365 days

#4 posted 03-30-2014 05:26 PM

That is outstanding. Looks like the most built bench I have ever seen.

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3022 days

#5 posted 04-04-2014 01:19 PM

Great looking and solid bench, very well made and has great features. I’m sure it will serve you well and will last for many lifetimes. Great job!

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16901 posts in 3465 days

#6 posted 04-04-2014 01:25 PM

Did you tag this beast with “smackdown”? It’s a great worker, and looks good too. Nice job!

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

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