Roubo-style Workbench

Roubo-style Workbench

I finished up my Roubo-style workbench based on Christopher Schwarz plans this month. I build early stringed instruments (harpsichords, violas da gamba, etc.) and this bench was just what the doctor ordered.

I cut the 4×6 leg mortises into the top by hand using back saws and used my Laguna 14" SUV band saw with a custom-built jig for the tenons. The legs and stretchers were assembled using drawbore pins and a little glue. The top is not glued and was purchased from Cool Craigslist Guy for $180. The quick-release vise on the end (down by the walnut) was a birthday gift from my wife, purchased at an antique store, and all of the other parts – handwheel, crisscross, etc. – were purchased from and MSC Industrial Supply.


Height: 32"
Width: 22"
Length: 101", including tail vise
Top thickness: 4"
Legs: 4″ × 6″
Leg vise chop width: 7 1/2" at the top

The finish is a couple of coats of natural Watco Danish Oil and I purchased the 3/4" holdfasts from Black Bear Forge at a Lie-Nielsen show here in Portland, Oregon. I’m making my own dogs using door catch roller balls and 3/4" oak (or ash if I can find it) dowels. A Moxon vise add-on is currently in the works.

The four-month (part-time) build process is detailed on my blog at

Finally, I had help and guidance from Roger Green, a veteran woodworker, and Darrel Wallen, a journeyman machinist. Thanks again, Roger and Darrel!

Darin R. Molnar

Oops…my bad.

Darin R. Molnar

Very cool bench,great job.

woodworking classes, custom furniture maker

Thank you, fellas. It was a long time coming – just like a harpsichord!

Darin R. Molnar