Roubo Inspired Bench #1: A "slight departure" from the Woodwhisperer Roubo Workbench Build

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Blog entry by jusfine posted 05-24-2013 02:34 AM 3974 reads 4 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Roubo Inspired Bench series Part 2: Enjoying the winter months with my Beech! »

The desire for a new workbench was born before Marc began his Roubo build last year, but I can’t say his 2012 videos did not throw more fuel on the fire, as did some of the “Worbench of your Dreams” discussions and topics here.

Personally, I need more space for storage, and it seems to be a waste to me to have an open base, so I decided to build an enclosed base, and in doing so, it caused me some design problems as I began to wander away from the WW plan. The more sites I looked at, the photos of the benches, discussions online, more books, getting so confusing…

I also wanted to incorporate a few of the Greene and Greene design elements which I enjoy so much, so that took me farther yet from the original Roubo.

This last year there have been numerous Roubo benches with an amazing amount of detail shown and explained, I will have a few less explanations and photos than some of the previous buids, but thought some of the differences will be interesting to see.

If you have questions about something I have not covered, please just ask…

I happened upon a hot deal at the wholesaler last fall, and bought a whole lift of 8/4 European steamed beech for a steal of a deal.

Each piece was surface sanded and the edges looked like they had been jointed, but upon close inspection, it had been cut with what looked like a glue-line rip blade – flat and square edges, what more could you ask for?

Since it was winter in Alberta and the temperatures range from +5 to – 40 degrees Celcius, I waited for a warmer day to move some of the lumber into my shop, piled and stickered it, and covered it with a blanket to slow the drastic change in temperature.

After about a week, I removed the blankets and began to work on the base.

I created a solid beech frame to sit on the floor, attached my plywood to it, and once the cabinet is finished will detail the plywood (hiding the edges and fasteners) with some beech trim.

Baltic birch plywood top and layout “story pole”, planning how the “rails” will support the top slabs.

Machining and gluing up the blanks for the legs. Two of the legs will be inside the case, the other two mounted on the face of the base cabinet to allow for easy installation of the leg vise.

The Artistic Photo: Cleaning up some ridges from the jointer blades early one Saturday morning… I guess you had to be there.

Progress: Installation of the two legs inside the cabinet.

Next is machining and laminating the tops.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

7 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


6476 posts in 2066 days

#1 posted 05-24-2013 02:37 AM

A bench with an enclosed base and some G&G flare? Sounds like a bunch of awesomeness to me. Can’t wait to see it.

View waho6o9's profile


7180 posts in 2044 days

#2 posted 05-24-2013 02:54 AM

Most excellent base, I really like the idea of a bench base inside of a

It lends itself to have a bank of drawers and or pullouts.

View Don W's profile

Don W

17971 posts in 2035 days

#3 posted 05-24-2013 01:53 PM

It’s looking good Randy. What’s the plan for the crap that falls through the dog holes?

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View jusfine's profile


2405 posts in 2393 days

#4 posted 05-24-2013 03:11 PM

Thanks for the comments; Don, the majority of the dog holes are outside the cabinet, but the top of the cabinet will be sealed with ply, leaving a 3.5” gap between the bottom of the laminated benchtop and the top of the cabinet. A good place to slide my jigs, etc. and will make it easy to clean if needed.

The next installment will clarify it, but you can see the gap if you picture the top installed (last photo) resting on the shoulders of the tenons.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 1760 days

#5 posted 05-24-2013 03:23 PM

”I happened upon a hot deal at the wholesaler last fall, and bought a whole lift of 8/4 European steamed beech for a steal of a deal.”

I’m too envious of your “hot deal” to appreciate the nuances of your post! LOL ;-)

Seriously, looks good and I’m anxious to see how you incorporate the G&G elements. I agree 100% on utilizing the space under the bench top with a gap between top of cabinet and bottom of work top—I’d use such space for clamps mainly.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Don W's profile

Don W

17971 posts in 2035 days

#6 posted 05-24-2013 08:26 PM

That’s what I figured Randy. Mine is built the same way. I keep stuff under there. Once in a great while I pull everything out to clean it.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


13738 posts in 2086 days

#7 posted 05-26-2013 11:56 AM

A bundle of milled beech… Wow! And I can’t think of a better use for it!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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