Pezking's Roubo - oak and poplar

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Project by Pezking7p posted 08-10-2014 02:22 AM 3933 views 24 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve not been into woodworking for long but I like my hand tools and it didn’t take long to realize I spent more time trying to rig up a way to hold something than it did to do the work. So obviously I went ahead and undertook a full on roubo build.

I wanted to keep the materials simple so I chose red oak for the top and poplar for the base. In retrospect I wish I had chosen maple for the base but I got a heck of a deal on the poplar. I lost a lot more to the milling process than I expected so I put two cherry filler strips in the top.

I went with a large leg vise chop with a sliding deadman, and a wagon vise because I think they are cool. The leg vise hardware is just a simple vise screw from lee valley, and the wagon vise is a homemade rig that I put together for about $30.

I learned a ton doing this project, and I screwed up a ton of things, too. If you’re reading this and thinking “gosh I want to make a roubo” my one piece of advice is don’t dovetail the legs into the top, and if you DO, get a rasp or a float. I tuned mine with chisels and sandpaper, and it was brutal!

Cheers and thanks for looking.

Wagon vise is ghetto rigged:

Dovetails and leg assembly:

Spent a lot of hours swearing at dovetailed legs:

Even put Mrs Pez to work:

Here is my lathe setup that I used to make the knob on my wagon vise wheel. This was my first time wood turning, it went better than expected. Used a 1/2” bench chisel.

-- -Dan

29 comments so far

View MedicineMan's profile


106 posts in 1554 days

#1 posted 08-10-2014 02:41 AM

GREAT BUILD! Makes me want to finish the bench I started a few months ago.

View Cantputjamontoast's profile


416 posts in 2519 days

#2 posted 08-10-2014 02:43 AM

Looks like a wonderful bench to me. May you have many years of pleasure and increase in talent and knowledge. My you build heirlooms that your greatgrandkids talk about.

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

View Hammerthumb's profile


2109 posts in 1062 days

#3 posted 08-10-2014 03:02 AM

Dan – excellent job! Kind of makes me want to update my old bench. Soon as I get a few other projects out of the way …

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View shampeon's profile


1378 posts in 1270 days

#4 posted 08-10-2014 03:03 AM

Beautiful bench, Dan. As you know, I’m a big fan of red oak and cherry together, but beyond that, the wagon vise and dovetailed legs look outstanding, and BIG OL’ CHOPS are things of beauty. Take a bow.

Oh yeah, don’t forget the “smackdown” tag.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View CL810's profile


3049 posts in 2075 days

#5 posted 08-10-2014 03:08 AM

Dan I really like this bench. Your choices of wood and vises combined with excellent execution have resulted in a great bench. Great job!

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View BTimmons's profile


2284 posts in 1572 days

#6 posted 08-10-2014 03:23 AM

Awesome job! Pretty cool that your wife pitched in too.

-- Brian Timmons -

View waho6o9's profile


6391 posts in 1663 days

#7 posted 08-10-2014 03:24 AM

That’s a fantastic bench Dan, congrats!

View gtommyb's profile


3 posts in 1264 days

#8 posted 08-10-2014 04:48 AM

Beautiful bench. I’m confident you’ll be remembered by many (Not just grandchildren, but generations beyond that). Your talent is obvious.

View hoss12992's profile


3328 posts in 979 days

#9 posted 08-10-2014 06:52 AM

Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View camps764's profile


852 posts in 1446 days

#10 posted 08-10-2014 10:48 AM

Strong work dude, the bench looks awesome!

-- Steve

View jinkyjock's profile


470 posts in 661 days

#11 posted 08-10-2014 10:56 AM

Congrats on a great build,
and also for a concise informative post.
Would love something similar,
perhaps a scaled-down version as my ‘shop is only 16×12ft.
Cheers, Jinky (James).

View theoldfart's profile (online now)


6544 posts in 1538 days

#12 posted 08-10-2014 11:40 AM

Dan, great bench. I’m still swearing at DT legs! The vises are outstanding.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View terryR's profile


4811 posts in 1395 days

#13 posted 08-10-2014 01:36 PM

Nice work, Dan! I love everything about it…of course, I didn’t have to deal with the DT’s! :)

Such a classic build, I want it for my next bench!

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View WhoMe's profile


1219 posts in 2330 days

#14 posted 08-10-2014 01:42 PM

Looks great. Nice wood combo and the vices look great too.
If you didn’t dovetail the legs, what joint would you use?

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View Pezking7p's profile (online now)


2328 posts in 738 days

#15 posted 08-10-2014 01:59 PM

Thanks all. I’m blown away by the response to this bench. I thought it was pretty standard fair and I didn’t realize how beautiful it would be until I literally put the last coat of finish on.

WhoMe, if I chose another joint, I would pick blind mortises. This would have cut 2-3 weeks off my build, or about 30-40 hours. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I had a good rasp or those fancy floats I saw at lie nielsen. The big floats are actually only $60 and would be my first choice for tuning these joints.

-- -Dan

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