I first got into woodworking a year ago when my wife and I bought our first house. At the time, my son and I built a makeshift workbench using 2×4s, plywood, hardboard, and a $20 vise from Lowes. It’s served me well in building some cabinets for the house, but it’s seriously lacking in a lot of ways.
Being a big fan Christopher Schwarz’s books, DVDs, and blogs, I’ve been wanting to build a Roubo-style bench for months. I finally got a break in my honey-do projects and started working on it this weekend. I don’t own a power jointer or power planer, so all of my dimensioning and flattening is done using hand planes.
I bought a bunch of SY pine a few months back, cross cut / ripped it all slightly over-sized for the final pieces, and stickered it so that it could equalize in my shop.
The first pic shows the last leg clamped up with the first 3 laying on my old bench in front of it. My bench isn’t going to be an exact replica of Schwarz’s version; as shown here my legs are made solid and I’ll be cutting the tenons later – as opposed to the way Chris made his tenons in the lamination process.
In this second pic, you can see my hand planes. My jack plane is a modern Stanley #5. Both my jointer (#7) and smoothing (#4) planes are vintage corrugated sole Stanleys that were bought off of eBay. It took a few days of tuning them up, but I absolutely love them.
I’m going to start working on the top laminations tomorrow. My current bench is only 48” long. The small size of my shop dictates that my bench can’t be any longer than 60”; which is fine considering that I primarily make small boxes, cabinets, and coffee tables. Flattening / dimensioning 60” long boards on a 48” long bench is going to be a challenge, but figuring out how to overcome obstacles is one of my favorite things about woodworking.