Top expansion and attachment on the Roubo and Holtzapeffel workbench

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Blog entry by benchbuilder posted 12-28-2011 04:50 PM 2040 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a question for those of you who have built the Roubo or Holtzapeffel workbench. The top is attached to the base without any means for allowing it to expand or contract without moving the legs with it. So if this is true, do the streatchers on the leg assemblies end up with gaps do to the expansion/contraction. If so is it enough to worry about or cause loose joints. I know this design has been around for a long, long time so it must be good and the expansion/contraction problem not a problem. Is this true???

3 comments so far

View Tadd's profile


35 posts in 2839 days

#1 posted 12-28-2011 06:13 PM

I know Christopher Schwarz talks about this in his blog. He almost encourages using wet wood on the top that will contract over time. The result is that the legs splay out from the top to the base. He states that the bench actually becomes more stable over time due to the shrinkage in the top.

-- Tadd, Denver,

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2721 days

#2 posted 12-28-2011 06:39 PM

^I recall what Tad mentions from Swartz’s book. I think if you drawbore the stretchers into the legs, you should be OK. You know who you should ask is Carter’s Whittling (a LJ here). His bench is outstanding and he really thought a lot about the joinery and wood movement. He’s your guy, I suspect. Good luck!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View benchbuilder's profile


284 posts in 2479 days

#3 posted 12-28-2011 07:48 PM

Thanks Bertha, I will do that

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