Roubo-style Workbench

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Project by DrDarin posted 07-21-2016 12:48 PM 1779 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finished up my Roubo-style workbench based on Christopher Schwarz plans this month. I build early stringed instruments (harpsichords, violas da gamba, etc.) and this bench was just what the doctor ordered.

I cut the 4×6 leg mortises into the top by hand using back saws and used my Laguna 14” SUV band saw with a custom-built jig for the tenons. The legs and stretchers were assembled using drawbore pins and a little glue. The top is not glued and was purchased from Cool Craigslist Guy for $180. The quick-release vise on the end (down by the walnut) was a birthday gift from my wife, purchased at an antique store, and all of the other parts – handwheel, crisscross, etc. – were purchased from and MSC Industrial Supply.


Height: 32”
Width: 22”
Length: 101”, including tail vise
Top thickness: 4”
Legs: 4” × 6”
Leg vise chop width: 7 1/2” at the top

The finish is a couple of coats of natural Watco Danish Oil and I purchased the 3/4” holdfasts from Black Bear Forge at a Lie-Nielsen show here in Portland, Oregon. I’m making my own dogs using door catch roller balls and 3/4” oak (or ash if I can find it) dowels. A Moxon vise add-on is currently in the works.

The four-month (part-time) build process is detailed on my blog at

Finally, I had help and guidance from Roger Green, a veteran woodworker, and Darrel Wallen, a journeyman machinist. Thanks again, Roger and Darrel!

-- Darin R. Molnar

7 comments so far

View BurlyBob's profile


5239 posts in 2169 days

#1 posted 07-21-2016 01:47 PM

Darin, that is a really fine looking bench. Was that top made out of Doug fir?

View Billy E's profile

Billy E

162 posts in 1983 days

#2 posted 07-21-2016 02:03 PM

Very nice. Should provide a lifetime of service (or more).

-- Billy, Florence SC

View helluvawreck's profile


30112 posts in 2770 days

#3 posted 07-21-2016 06:36 PM

I love this bench. It’s a great addition to your shop.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View DrDarin's profile


8 posts in 578 days

#4 posted 07-21-2016 06:56 PM

Burly: Yes, I believe it’s Doug fir – it came out of a warehouse in Salem, Oregon. I ordered it up from a guy who offered custom cuts on Craigslist and I had it cut down at Creative Woodworking in SE Portland.

Darin, that is a really fine looking bench. Was that top made out of Doug fir?

- BurlyBob

-- Darin R. Molnar

View DrDarin's profile


8 posts in 578 days

#5 posted 07-21-2016 07:03 PM

Thank you all for your kind comments. Darin

-- Darin R. Molnar

View TylerAnderson's profile


13 posts in 1879 days

#6 posted 07-25-2016 03:25 AM

Nice Bench!

View DrDarin's profile


8 posts in 578 days

#7 posted 07-27-2016 03:25 PM

Thanks, Tyler. D-

-- Darin R. Molnar

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