Roubo Bench - Lumber size options

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Forum topic by JP4LSU posted 02-07-2018 01:05 PM 1461 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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109 posts in 925 days

02-07-2018 01:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: roubo wood size type

So I’ve been planning on building a Roubo bench. It will be my first large wood project and most complicated endeavor and first big project using hand tools.

I’ve been pricing out some wood and watching CL as well. I’ve come across a small yard that sells hardwoods at really nice prices and it is s4s stuff.

However, he rarely gets 2” thick material.

Would it be crazy to consider laminating the top with 1×4 material instead of 2×4?
It is true 1” I believe as well.
Would it be unappealing to the eye with wood variations every 1” instead of 2”?

He has some soft and hard maple, white oak, and some beautiful European Beech. But that is a little more pricey.
Thanks for the inputs.

3 replies so far

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2773 days

#1 posted 02-07-2018 01:34 PM

If it’s already surfaced there isn’t much more work. Just more glue. For me , shop furniture, even my bench, haven’t really been about aesthetics. That said I am not sure it will look bad.

Some people argue for softer wood for their bench. That way the bench gives before the project does if you drop something. Your call on that.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Robert's profile


3750 posts in 2259 days

#2 posted 02-07-2018 02:21 PM

1×4’s is just more glue and more work. There is no reason you can’t do that.

Personally, I like a hard wood top so I would go with hard maple.

Be sure to sticker and let the wood acclimate in your shop a month or so before beginning. Even if its kiln dried, I recommend doing this.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View JP4LSU's profile


109 posts in 925 days

#3 posted 02-07-2018 09:36 PM

Thanks Brian. the only thing I don’t want to happen in the appearance is a lot of color variation every 1”. But that really shouldn’t be a problem I guess if using consistent coloring of woods like maple, white oak, beech.

I’ve heard arguments of using softer woods for a top that is softer than the wood you are building furniture with. I’m not too worried about that. I’ll probably get what I can get my hands on for the cheapest. Likely end up being SYP. Unless I can get some soft maple for a good deal.

rwe2156, yes you are correct. Good advice for laminating thinner stock.

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