Roubo Workbench

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Started in January 2009 and finished in March (of that same year!), this bench started me down the path of hand tool woodworking and I haven't looked back. Credit goes to Scott Landis' Workbench Book for inspiration, and Chris Schwarz for re-presenting the Roubo design in his first Workbenches book. The first couple of pictures show the bench in the shop just after the shop floor was completed. The third pic is right when the bench was done and got an initial coat of Danish Oil. The last pic was taken right when I got the underside cabinet built and put in place (Jul 2011).

The top of my bench is a single piece of oak, nearly 3 inches thick, that was originally a threshhold in an old house torn down in the early 1990s and saved for a "someday" project that ultimately became this bench. I sandwiched the block w/ 3" white oak pieces to get uniform thickness AND to get 24" depth for the work surface. The underside still has the gray paint with dados for sidelights. I handplaned the surface with a wooden Sandusky jack before I knew what I was doing, but got through it! I think there were three garbage bags of shavings before all was said and done. The legs are blind-mortised into the top and draw-bored, as are the stretchers. I truly bumbled my way through this build, with no hand tool experience or clear concept of what I was doing at the time; more guts than anything. Chris' book steered me through it at each step of the way, though. I truly relied on that book.

Legs are eastern pine, planed down from large solid-wood outside window sills of the same house. All wood on the bench is salvage, including the leg vise hardware, sliding deadman and leg vise chop.

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

14 Comments

Beautiful bench! The last picture with the cabinet and everything is what dreams are made of. What a beautiful place to work! 

Jerry-Holland Mi

great shop space smitty.

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

Thanks fellas! Getting a few of my favorite things over here makes it feel more like home.

The shop space is an absolute disaster right now... gotta clean it up for the holidays.

The bench at work:

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

I have a long term goal of making my shop have more of that "feel". I just love it! 

Jerry-Holland Mi

Looks like a wonderful place to work.  WOW on the workbench.  Thanks for sharing the background.  
  
Looks great. You will truly love the hours you spend at it. Great build. 👍🏾

My Woodshop is my happy place? trimandcraft.ca https://www.facebook.com/Trimandcraft

Great shop space. Beautiful. Rustic feel that just makes you want to be there….well done on all of it!

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Not much of a looker today…

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

That’s a proper look Smitty.

Watch and learn, practice and learn, create and learn


Now this looks even better 😉
I agree! That’s a great look!!

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Hah! For me, that’s a sign of neglect. My bench has fallen victim to the Law of the Flat…

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

It’s a real thing…real as physics!!

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

talk about an inspiration  - that's what a work bench should look like!!