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Mr Wolfe's Roubo inspired hybrid workbench

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Project by MrWolfe posted 01-23-2018 09:34 PM 3854 views 16 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Mr Wolfe's Roubo hybrid workbench.
This is my first major wood project aside from a few small hardwood boxes and some picture frames. I’ve spent about 150 hours over a period of 5 weeks making this piece. My budget was about $200 on wood (I had the oak), $150 on the vises, the rail and hardware, and about $100 on bench dogs, holdfasts, inline clamps. The coolest part was the glue up where I was able to use the vises to help glue up the legs, vise cheeks and some of the other parts. I’ve already used it many times since I finished it in January. It is NOT traditional and I’m not a master woodworker. I used a very affordable and effective face vise and end vise instead of wagon vises, leg vises, shoulder vises, twin screw vises, moxon vises or even the quick release face vises that are available. I’ve learned a lot while making this bench and used many techniques I’ve learned about on this site and youtube. I built it out of yellow pine with cedar, mesquite, poplar and some oak that I had on hand. The cabinet, drawers and sliding deadman were afterthoughts that I really enjoyed making. The bench looked kind of naked without those elements. Yeah… I know that the finish may get scratched or dinged but I have a 24 inch by 60 inch piece of black rubber mat that fits the top and some smaller pieces fitted to match the vise jaws to cut down on the inevitable scratches. I already know that some day I will refinish the top… an hour to remove the finish and a half day or so to refinish it. Everything I did on this piece was the first attempt (and sometimes the second or third too after the first) at techniques I had not tried before. There has been lots of happy accidents along the way and I am very pleased with the end result.

I have found that power tools are great for some operations/steps but I am shifting towards hand tools now in a big way. They are so much quieter, no need to wear ear protection/earmuffs all day, no sawdust so no goggles or a respirator and shavings are so much easier to clean. They often are as fast or faster and offer more control and are a real joy to use. One bad point though is I have a new Ebay addiction for hand planes >=(

Anyway… I’m looking forward to some feedback aside from the criticisms that I’ve already acknowledged.
It is finished except for some inlay I will put on one dovetail joint to cover some chipping that happened during assembly… it was a bit too tight.





32 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

3076 posts in 1894 days


#1 posted 01-23-2018 11:34 PM

Well done…

View Kelster58's profile

Kelster58

427 posts in 446 days


#2 posted 01-24-2018 12:25 AM

Beautiful work…....I would be proud to own that piece…..GREAT job!!

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View sstoner's profile

sstoner

5 posts in 86 days


#3 posted 01-24-2018 12:36 AM

great job!!!

View Hazem's profile

Hazem

105 posts in 1154 days


#4 posted 01-24-2018 01:23 AM

Awesome work. Makes me want to build another bench.

I went through the same Ebay/plane addiction. A bit of advice if you like: skip the old Stanleys and get yourself the Veritas low angle planes (smoother, jack and jointer). Unbelievable planes. I can get a glossy finish with just the smoother…no need for sandpaper.

God bless.

View MrWolfe's profile

MrWolfe

25 posts in 29 days


#5 posted 01-24-2018 01:30 AM

Thanks for all the great comments everyone.
Hazem, I’m mostly getting a few of the Stanley specialty planes that I will actually use but I did spring for the Verias router. I was thinking about the low angle planes so as my budget allows I will buy them.
Thanks

View AJ1104's profile

AJ1104

430 posts in 1565 days


#6 posted 01-24-2018 02:05 AM

Your bench looks awesome! I hope you enjoy making many projects on it.

-- AJ, Long Island. New York

View dannmarks's profile

dannmarks

454 posts in 487 days


#7 posted 01-24-2018 11:44 AM

OK there is so much here that I like. Never thought of a pivot bar on the bottom like that. Never really thought of the stop dogs going down the front/side. I prefer open cubby holes over drawers – but that is just that – a lazy preference because I like to to just reach up and get crap. This is perhaps one of the best work benches I have ever seen. I have saved it to my favorites as I will be using it to design a work bench my self. This is an awesome piece of work.

View dannmarks's profile

dannmarks

454 posts in 487 days


#8 posted 01-24-2018 11:54 AM

I have to laugh about the nicking and dinging it. I have a simple Formica hard top assembly table on wheels that I made several years ago. The Formica is an off white and was always nicely keep. It also has a multitude of tools and screws etc underneath. Last year we made a loft for the Grandson and it was a project done with a son in law.

He was to simply apply Polyurethane to the boards. I had a roll of 3 ft wide painters paper on the end of the bench for him to cover up the work surface. But no, he just slopped the poly all over the Formica. All those years of somehow being a little careful of the work surface ruined because this dolt did not have enough sense to cover it while basically painting boards… I just shook my head and thought some sad and bad thoughts. I did suggest that next time he use the provided paper as intended but never did tell him how very disappointed in him I was. It has been a few years since then. He still does not have an ounce of common sense to this day.

So be thoughtful of who you let near this beautiful work bench.

View gargey's profile

gargey

917 posts in 681 days


#9 posted 01-24-2018 01:58 PM

If you’re worrying about the finish of your workbench (or considering putting a rubber mat on it and the vice jaws when you work), then you’re doing it wrong.

At least in my opinion. Its a rather pointless piece of furniture if you want to keep it pristine. Use it to do work and don’t worry about nicks, dings, scratches and saw marks. That’s what its for.

Otherwise you’re screwing up your ability to do the work the thing is intended to facilitate. Kind of like not using a handplane cause it will dull the cutting edge.

View scottbrooks37's profile

scottbrooks37

1 post in 413 days


#10 posted 01-24-2018 02:31 PM

Sir your choice of finish is absolutely stunning. Thanks for sharing!

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1102 posts in 2667 days


#11 posted 01-24-2018 03:33 PM

Ditto on all of the above!!! That belongs in your living room, not your shop. Too nice to beat on.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View TimTucker's profile

TimTucker

13 posts in 851 days


#12 posted 01-24-2018 04:28 PM



I have to laugh about the nicking and dinging it. I have a simple Formica hard top assembly table on wheels that I made several years ago. He was to simply apply Polyurethane to the boards. I had a roll of 3 ft wide painters paper on the end of the bench for him to cover up the work surface. But no, he just slopped the poly all over the Formica. All those years of somehow being a little careful of the work surface ruined because this dolt did not have enough sense to cover it while basically painting boards…

Have you tried scraping it with a plane blade or cabinet scraper? I have a similar bench and one of the big benefits has been that any glue / etc. that gets on it usually scrapes right off easily.

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

11680 posts in 2773 days


#13 posted 01-24-2018 04:44 PM

Wow! This is for museums, shows and exhibitions -it’s such awesome. That dark colour is just…!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Rick's profile

Rick

8899 posts in 2938 days


#14 posted 01-24-2018 05:03 PM

WOW! That’s a nice Bench for sure! Congrats on the TWO Awards!

-- I Take My Kids Everywhere! The Problem Is, They Keep Finding Their Way Back Home! (Rick, Ontario, Canada)

View MrWolfe's profile

MrWolfe

25 posts in 29 days


#15 posted 01-24-2018 05:30 PM

Thanks for the comments everyone and Gargey, I actually agree with you. Nicks, dings and scratches are like battle scars and badges of honor. Even so, I know at some point I may want to refinish the top and i know how quickly that can be done =( don’t ask me how I know )= This bench is a major tool and I intend to use the heck out of it. I like to work carefully and clean as I go but that is just my nature. Thanks for the input because, Yes, it is meant to be used.

Someone asked me in a pm/dm about where I got the vises and the bench dogs, clamps etc for less than $150.
I wanted to share that here because maybe someone else is also wondering about that.

Amazon prime for the front vise Yost Tools F10WW Yost 10” Front Vise, and the Irwin 226361 Woodworker’s 6 1/2 ” Vise_.
Bench dogs from Kreg, bench hooks/holdfasts ( American Eagle 8 inch) also from Amazon prime. I did a lot of comparison shopping online and found that Ebay has some really great deals (but remember to check the shipping prices). The A.E. bench hooks/holdfasts are working out well but they are cast iron and if they break in the future I will replace them with some handcrafted holdfasts (cost less ) by a blacksmith on Ebay.

I hope that helps.

The vises were just the hardware and I built the cheeks/jaws. Tabletop is mostly pine but the vises are poplar and mesquite.

Feel free to ask any other questions about this bench.

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