The Roubo Workbench Build

by Patrick Harper - Blood, Sweat, and Sawdust

Roubo Workbench Sketchup

Roubo Workbench Sketchup

I’ve been very unhappy with my workbench for quite some time. The MDF top sags due to the weight of the vise. The top is too thin for holdfasts. And the work holding is generally subpar.

I’ve struggled over designs to the point of exhaustion. I eventually settled on the French Roubo with dovetailed through tenons as seen in infamous Plate 11. After much thought, I decided that building furniture was more important to me than a stunning workbench. I dropped the dovetails in favor of stub tenons. This will allow me to build the bench in significantly less time.

There is no desire for rock hard or exotic lumber here. I settled for cost-effective, Southern Yellow Pine. I had to sort through an entire stack of 2×12’s at the local Borg, but I was able to find enough suitable boards to supply an 8 ft long, 4″ thick top. This left me enough greenbacks in my budget for a Classic Bench Crafted leg vise.

Stay tuned!

Roubo Workbench Lumber

Lumber Haul

You can find links to my other posts regarding the Roubo build below:

Part 1: The Tension Builds

Part 2: Jointing and Ripping

Part 3: Lamination without Lamentation

Part 4: Sketchup to the Rescue

Part 5: Benchtop Lamination Followup

Part 6: Milling the Beams for the Top

Part 7: Sketchup Design Completion

Part 8: Jointing Wide Edges

Part 9: A Quick Roubo Build Update

Part 10: One Stout Bench Top

Part 11: She’s Got Legs

Part 12: Squaring End-Grain

Part 13: Cutting Tenons

Part 14: Chopping the Mortises

Part 15: The Stretchers

Part 16: Completing the Roubo Workbench Base

Part 17: Installing the Bench Crafted Leg vise

Part 18: Draw Boring Everything Together

Part 19: Dead-men Tell no Tales

Part 20: Making the Roubo Workbench Shelf

Part 21: Holdfast Holes

Part 22: Roubo Workbench Completion

Bonus: Crap Wood for Good Workbenches

Bonus: Jointing Wide Edges by Hand – Companion Video

Roubo Sketchup File