Roubo Bench

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Project by jackd942 posted 12-04-2009 06:15 AM 10691 views 15 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After working for several years on a small store bought bench, I finally decided it was time to make my own. After much research, I decided on the Roubo as represented in Chris Schwarz’ Workbenches book. I also decided to use Southern Yellow Pine as it is widely available here and fairly cheap. I made a trip to Home Depot and bought enough material to get the job done. After bringing it home and stacking it all up, I got to work. I started by planing and jointing ( A lot of planing and jointing ) the stock and gluing it up in 5 inch sections. I then glued enough of those sections up to cover the top up to the sliding end vise I plan to install. I routed a square dog hole strip and then glued that up. Afterwards, I glued up one more 5 inch section and the top was complete. I took my #7 jointer and went to work flattening the top. After quite a bit of work with the #7, #5 and #4, I was pretty happy with it. I then moved on to the legs. These legs are massive, but the mortises were surprisingly not bad. I hogged out the majority of the mortises with a forstner bit and then cleaned them up with a chisel. The tenons were made by leaving the two outer pieces shorter than the center two in the lamination. After constructing the stretchers and gluing them up, I attached the entire assembly to the top. Everything was glued and I also used drawbored pegs for strength. It turned out pretty well, but I still have to add the sliding vise block, end cap and screw as well as the leg vise and sliding deadman. If you would like more details on the build, you can see them at my blog @

-- --Jack D - Southeast Missouri --

16 comments so far

View Rev. Jim Paulson's profile

Rev. Jim Paulson

120 posts in 3300 days

#1 posted 12-04-2009 07:01 AM

Awesome bench Jack. That bench is very solid and it won’t be going anywhere when you need to do some planing. There are some really nice features with that bench design. I look forward to seeing more of your work.



View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3614 days

#2 posted 12-04-2009 02:22 PM

Looks solid, strong and heavy workbench – the critical & important elements of a good woodworking bench.
Keep us updated on the progress.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3588 days

#3 posted 12-04-2009 02:24 PM

Nice bench, i’m about 95% complete on the same bench and also used SYP. Its a great bench, looks like you did a great job.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3845 days

#4 posted 12-04-2009 02:29 PM

Wow, you have been busy lately haven’t you, Jack? This is a nice bench that any of us would be proud to have built. I just hope you had some help to move this around. I am sure it is as solid as it looks.

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

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3309 days

#5 posted 12-04-2009 07:45 PM

That should last a lifetime. I know you will enjoy it
Great job

Thanks for sharing


View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3600 days

#6 posted 12-04-2009 09:54 PM

Hey Jack
This is a great bench solid and super constitution.This just goes to show you don’t have to use expensive material to have a super bench that looks great too.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


970 posts in 3144 days

#7 posted 12-04-2009 11:34 PM

Great bench. I really need one myself instyead of just the TS outfeed table

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

View flyingoak's profile


68 posts in 3131 days

#8 posted 12-06-2009 06:54 PM

Great looking bench. I am about to build one myself. How thick is your top? it looks about 5 inches.

Thanks in advance

-- where is the duct tape.....

View jackd942's profile


44 posts in 3834 days

#9 posted 12-07-2009 02:50 AM


The top is 4” thick. The bench is extremely solid and weighs a lot, but not so much that you can’t move it around if you need to. It will not move on it’s own or when you’re working stock or anything, but picking up on one end and scooting it around is not a problem. It is built exactly to the dimensions in Chris Schwarz’ book “Workbenches: From Design and Theory to Construction and Use”. Hope this helps.

-- --Jack D - Southeast Missouri --

View DoctorDan's profile


281 posts in 3038 days

#10 posted 02-23-2010 03:58 AM

Good job. Good wood selection and build.
What vices are you going to put on it.?

-- Daniel -

View FrankCarson's profile


10 posts in 3026 days

#11 posted 03-08-2010 01:25 AM

That is a beautiful bench, jackd942. I’m getting ready to build one as well. Thanks for sharing your build.

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12758 posts in 3180 days

#12 posted 03-10-2010 04:59 AM

very nice bench…. looks great…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 2451 days

#13 posted 11-15-2011 07:59 PM

Nice solid bench, it must have a few scars on it now and you probably look at it like an old friend. Good for you.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Chris Carlson's profile

Chris Carlson

18 posts in 2393 days

#14 posted 02-12-2012 08:00 PM

Very nice bench. Looks solid and practical. I have been doing some research on traditional benches and this would be something I would like to build. Thanks for sharing. Were there plans inChris Schwarz’ Workbenches book or just ideas. Maybe this is something I should buy.

View jackd942's profile


44 posts in 3834 days

#15 posted 02-12-2012 08:30 PM


Thanks…it has been a very nice bench. Yes there are very detailed plans as well as procedures in Chris’ book. If you get the deluxe version there are also plans on a cd.

-- --Jack D - Southeast Missouri --

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