My office building where I work is upgrading their HVAC system, and the new equipment was delivered packed in long crates. The wood was going to be scrapped so I loaded up my hatchback and brought it home. Now I figure I have to make a proper workbench, since I’ve been making do with a wobbly 1950’s kitchen table on hairpin legs (cool table, but it makes a crappy workbench).
I like how the Roubo style benches look, and they seem pretty straightforward to build. I found Chris Schwarz’s 2011 article on his “Petite Roubo” (PDF can be found here). These are the plans that I’m roughly following. I’ve also been soaking in all the videos and blogs on workbenches of all kinds. Basically, I’ve been building this bench in my head for the past 6 months.
Let me also preface this by saying that I am a complete amateur, teaching myself as I go, so I may be doing things incorrectly. Feel free to constructively criticize my work methods! I figure I’ll make all my mistakes on this build with free wood, so when I’m ready to make a “nice” bench out of hardwood I’ll know what I’m doing.
I don’t have any power tools yet (besides a handheld drill) so I’ll be using hand tools for this build.
First I flattened the faces of my long 2×4s so they would laminate together nice and tight. I’m basically following Paul Sellers’ method from his workbench YouTube series.
Next, I laminated them together with wood glue. It was a lot easier than I thought.
I flattened the top so I have a decent work surface to work on the legs. Just a quick go with a Stanley No. 5 to even it out. I checked for twist, and it was perfect. Lucky me!
Next, I glued up some 2×6s for the legs. I decided to try the method that David Barron describes in this video. It seemed easier than chopping mortises.
I flattened and squared the sides of the leg, then cut the bottom square in the miter box.
One leg pretty much done. Just got to do that three more times.
Thanks for looking! Hopefully I’ll make more progress soon and I’ll share it in the next installment.
-- Marc -- Worcester, MA