|Project by seandietrich||posted 03-12-2010 04:33 AM||16046 views||26 times favorited||15 comments|
In my attempt to move over to a hand tool lifestyle, I decided to upgrade my workbench to a Roubo, since they are all the rage. This is Roy Underhill’s version. I don’t have his book, so I had to redesign it to fit what I remember it as, keeping his basic vision as a base to work off of. I biult the bench using all handtools, no power. The bench needs no glue (other than the lamination of the top) or fasteners. The tool well is however secured using bolts because I wanted the option to remove it in the future if needed. But I still maintained my commitment to refraining from power tools.
This has a standard leg vice, wagon vice, hard wood dogs (not shown), a valet or holdfast (not shown), a tool well, and a bottom shelf. I’ve enjoyed this bench a lot so far.
The top is local pine 2×4s from a big box store, and the bottom is 4×4 treated lumber for added weight. I cut evey board to length by hand, and then laminated the top. Once dry, I planed it down with my jointer and got to work on the mortises.
The front legs are secured with a rising dovetail (Roy’s Design), and the back legs are splayed outwards for added stability. Because as you can see, Roy’s design is for a narrow bench top.
After practicing the rising dovetail on scrap for a day, I cut the joints on the actual bench itself. Beautiful looking once finished. After all the joints were cut using back saw, mortising chisel, auger, paring chisels I got to work on the stretchers for the legs.
I stained the bottom, and then put the whole thing together. I made a back tool well using tongue and groove, and then bolted the sides on.
The leg vise was ordered from Lee Valley, and I cut the vice front using my bow saw for the fancy design. Then I added a wagon vise with another bench screw that I got online. After that was finished, I added the bench dogs, which are not pictured here. Then to finish things up, I added leather to the gripping surface of the vises to improve the hold.
The bench has been the best bench I have ever had. I am so glad I upgraded from my old bench. This is probably one of the most timeless bench designs out there, I was so satisfied to have built it using only hand tools. There is an unexplained bond I feel with my saws and chisels that I have never experienced before. This bench took me a week to complete, but is solid as a rock, and very very stable due to the splayed legs.
-- "Unless workmanship comes to be understood and appreciated for the art it is, our environment will lose much of the quality it still retains." -- David Pye