Roubo Bench - She's Got Legs

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Blog entry by kenn posted 04-07-2009 10:29 PM 3575 reads 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It’s time to get some legs on this baby. My son and I started my milling the mostly oak stock I am using for the legs. Photobucket


I glued them up and dressed them up until they came in at a finished dimension of 3 5/8” by 4 5/8”. They are beefy but I want this to be a sturdy bench that’s not going to move and has enough size for whatever project I want to tackle. The top is 23 5/8” wide and looks to finsh up about 9’ 2” long. I settled on 1 1/2” by 3” tenon size and layed them out.



Then I made a simple jig that I could clamp to the bench and rout the tenons. I must confess that I did want to chop these out by hand, but after I had chopped one tenon to a depth of 1/4”, I wised up and went to the router.


It took a few passes and the bit a little bit of flare on it that caused some burning on the last pass, but I got to the 2” depth I wanted. Next I cleaned up the corners with my chisels and here is a finished mortise.


You know what needs done now, make the tenon. I chose to cut them by hand.

They didn’t take long before the legs looked like this.

Here is a test fit, we’re getting close on this one.

My oldest daughter wanted to give me some help so I put her to work undercutting the shoulders. She likes using the chisels and carving.

After all of that, here’s a leg fitted into its mortise.

Once that leg was in place, I had to get three more to fit into their mortises. Here’s the proud lumberjock with his legs in place.

My helper wanted to keep working, so we decided to make the parallel guide that will fit onto the bottom of the leg vise. This is simple piece of wood with equally spaced holes so first I layed them out.

Then I had them drilled while I took a break, had a soda…

A little dressing up for looks, cut a slot in the leg and here is the result of our efforts.

Next up is to mortise and tenon the strechers in place. Thanks for checking out my progress. I’d be interested to hear if this is too many pictures.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

15 comments so far

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 3781 days

#1 posted 04-07-2009 10:33 PM

Looking good, I really want to build me a Roubo for my shop.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3782 days

#2 posted 04-07-2009 10:34 PM


Looking Good!!!

Not too many pictures for me. I like being able to see the many steps in the progression of the project.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2794 posts in 3465 days

#3 posted 04-07-2009 10:38 PM

I love watching this stuff. Lots of picts. Thanks… you’re nominated for an oscar!

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View spanky46's profile


995 posts in 3417 days

#4 posted 04-07-2009 11:00 PM

Great job so far! The more pics the better for me!

-- spanky46 -- Never enough clamps...Never enough tools...Never enough time.

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3675 days

#5 posted 04-07-2009 11:01 PM

nice project! pretty cool how everyone chipped in to help and make it happen – quality time together!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View treeman's profile


208 posts in 3477 days

#6 posted 04-07-2009 11:03 PM

Never too many pictures. I am researching workbenches mysef and will have to consider the Roubo design. Great progress!!

View Roger Gaborski's profile

Roger Gaborski

253 posts in 3775 days

#7 posted 04-07-2009 11:14 PM

Never too many picture –

-- Roger Gaborski,

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4427 days

#8 posted 04-07-2009 11:17 PM

Great job and not too many pictures. keep it comming.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3849 days

#9 posted 04-07-2009 11:25 PM

Kenn, this is looking really good. I have one of these in mind as well so your posts are certainly an inspiration to get started. And it is nice to see you getting your assistant involved in the action as well.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4126 days

#10 posted 04-08-2009 12:33 AM

Great progress photos. Thanks for sharing!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3984 days

#11 posted 04-08-2009 01:24 AM

Never too many pictures! We eat that up like candy around here. Great looking bench so far….Motivates me to make one. Are you making it all from oak or just the legs?


View kenn's profile


810 posts in 3747 days

#12 posted 04-08-2009 05:32 AM

The top is hard maple, the legs are mostly oak, and the strechers are a mystery wood I’m looking for help identifing in my next blog ( there’s a little tease for you), and the leg vise will be ash. Thanks for the comments and I won’t feel like I’m overloading with pictures.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View F Dudak's profile

F Dudak

342 posts in 3837 days

#13 posted 04-08-2009 11:19 PM


Who’s going to lift it?

-- Fred.... Poconos, PA ---- Chairwright in the making ----

View Jim's profile


120 posts in 4025 days

#14 posted 04-09-2009 01:03 AM

looks good. But you need to get your helper some safety glasses.

-- Jim in Cushing Oklahoma

View Jon3's profile


497 posts in 4132 days

#15 posted 04-09-2009 06:05 PM

Looking good Ken! My legs are going good too. I hope to have the first dry fit of all the legs and stretchers either tonight or tomorrow.

Just as a tip, if you create a ‘series’ for this blog, all of your roubo posts can be placed in that series, and people will be able to follow them easily, and distinguish the roubo series as a separate group. (also lets you favorite the series, so you don’t miss new posts!)

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