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Split top roubo workbench !!

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Project by HT1591 posted 03-21-2018 07:54 PM 2514 views 3 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey guys. I just finished this roubo split top workbench and wanted to show it off!! This was my first serious build that I worked on everyday for close to 2 months. The top is 3 and 3/4 of an inch thick and is made from sapelle padouk and maple. The legs are padouk and are mortised and tennoned into the top The stretchers are maple and I used my domino xl for the joinery. Each joint has quadruple 14 mm dominos 140mm long. The long stretcher is attached with Veritas bench bolts I installed a Veritas twin screw Vice as a face Vice it’s 32 inches long The bench height is 36 inches 28 inches wide and a little over 6 feet long. I have about 80 hours of work invested into this bench and it has been such a long and difficult build for me. It weighs well over 500 pounds and I put some high friction rubber padding under the feet. Not everything came out perfect and I’m a little depressed about it but the bench functions in every way possible The mortise and tenons that secure the top to the base where a bit too loose and about a 16th of an inch at most different from each other in there depth and width throwing off the flatness of the top. I may just glue the top onto the base and ditch my original plan of being able to take it all apart of I ever need to move it. Or I may just live with it and flatten it based on how it rests on the base currently. The end caps have small gaps because of the previous issue I mentioned. All in all I’m super excited about completing this build. I learned a massive amount of discipline and skill with working with such big and heavy pieces. I noticed that at every step of this project I always under estimated the time it would take and the difficulty of the task at hand. If I could go back (witch I probably never will. I plan on using this bench for the rest of my life ). I would be way more careful and slow with the mortise and tenons What do you guys think about this workbench??? I still need to drill dog holes I think I’m going to drill as few as possible and add them as I see the need arise Also for the Vice being that my whole top is a solid thickness without a wider (thicker) apron was a bit tricky I secured pieces to the underside of the bench on both sides of the leg to make up the length of my Vice chop. Went fairly smoothe I do not think the Vice was designed to be installed this way but it’s very sturdy and is working flawlessly. If you guys are interested in seeing more pictures and some of the process check out my Instagram My name on Instagram is exotic wood collection





16 comments so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 765 days


#1 posted 03-21-2018 08:05 PM

WOW … you are really going to cry when you scratch that one … you’ll probably tear up drilling the dog holes! Looks nice.

View HT1591's profile

HT1591

16 posts in 585 days


#2 posted 03-21-2018 11:07 PM

Haha I know but I’m going to drill as few dog holes as possible and add as I see a need. My theory in building such a nice bench is that it is the one and only thing I made or will make that I will be looking at every single day and appreciating every day. Plus sapelle is very stable. And the padouk was about 35 years old so it’s extremly dry I’m using 100% tung oil as a finish.

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 765 days


#3 posted 03-22-2018 10:18 AM

That’s how I felt all those many years ago, but as time went on that feeling slowly faded. I sometimes think I can hear my bench crying as I add yet another ding!

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6131 posts in 3471 days


#4 posted 03-22-2018 11:53 AM

Super nice looking workbench!
I would think scratches and dents are expected during its use. You’ll probably be paying more attention to the project it supports when it happens. It’s that new car getting its first ding feeling and the feeling is worse if you built it.
But be proud; it sure is nice!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View HT1591's profile

HT1591

16 posts in 585 days


#5 posted 03-22-2018 12:28 PM

Tony c. You couldn’t have said it better. It’s forsure like a new car. Even after a ding or 2 you still appreciate it The main thing for me is that I finally have a stable heavy workbench to accommodate hand tool work(witch I love more than anything ) I had been using a garbage sjobergs workbench it was pretty useless I would wedge the bench against the shop wall with my body weight while hand planing and the Vice was terrible Having 24 inches in between centers is a dream come true I was used to and and a half depth and 3 inches on my old Vice.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6131 posts in 3471 days


#6 posted 03-22-2018 01:10 PM

Wow! Trying to hold a workbench steady while working on it; not fun! :(

Nothing like having a good sturdy bench to work on like the one you built. Keeps your mind on what your building instead of splitting your concentration in two separate tasks. A smooth running shop will produce a higher quality project; your on you way that’s for sure!
.
I took the liberty of flipping two of your photos. :)
.

.

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View TWegs's profile

TWegs

35 posts in 733 days


#7 posted 03-22-2018 02:12 PM

This is absolutely beautiful. I would be scared to get near it with a chisel it’s so nice. Great job on this. I would go with your recommendation of flattening where it stands, but use a hand plane and a long straight edge and take your time. The wood is going to move on you yet and you’ll probably have to check it again in a month. Excellent bench!

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8345 posts in 2446 days


#8 posted 03-22-2018 03:37 PM

Beautiful bench… I’d be tempted to put it in the dining room and not the shop :^)

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View CrustyOlfardt's profile

CrustyOlfardt

12 posts in 185 days


#9 posted 03-22-2018 05:31 PM

Wow, beautiful work! I’m fairly new to woodworking and can see the build of a quality bench is in my near future.
Pardon a newb question…. I assume the split top is for use of a hand saw to make long cuts? What do you think about creating a filller piece to close that gap when the saw is not in use?

Thanks,
Mike

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

32061 posts in 2984 days


#10 posted 03-22-2018 06:44 PM

This is a beautiful work table and will be a great addition to your shop.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

View HT1591's profile

HT1591

16 posts in 585 days


#11 posted 03-22-2018 07:51 PM

Hey mike. I’m somewhat of a “newbie” to woodworking as well. The split top to my knowledge has 2 basic functions I still need to build the divider that will rest in between the two tops. It will be constructed in such a way that when resting on one side it will be flush with the bench top and when flipped over will protrude about a half inch above the top. This will serve the function of a planing stop. The second function is that it will have slots to hold tools while you are in the middle of a project like chisels handsaws marking gauge …..etc. if you are going to attempt this build I have some advice. Firstly. Take your time and confirm a design that you want down to the tee. Also before you cut anything try to think through the project from beginning to end and figure out the best order to complete the build in. I know it sounds like a minor detail but from my experience it is so important and can make a project go so much smoother. Also try to play out how and if your available tools will be able to complete every task needed. If your not sure stop and think For example after gluing up the two tops (witch weigh about 150 pounds each!) I needed to make sure they where the same thickness. Even with all my prior planing to make sure of this they where off. I could have sent it Through my dewalt 13 inch planer but decided it would be too risky and could potentially ruin the hours and hours of work I had already put into making these tops (and the money). Instead I stopped took a few days off until I could find a cabinet shop that would run it through there industrial sized drum sander. Also too crosscut the to the same length so I could start the mortise and tenon layout I had a cabinet shop make 2 cuts for me on there sliding table saw. I under estimated every step of the way but had to be disciplined and do things right. I wish you the best of luck in your build remember take your time and plan out everything you could before hand.

View HT1591's profile

HT1591

16 posts in 585 days


#12 posted 03-22-2018 07:54 PM

Thank you guys for all th feedback my wife already wants it for our dining room table lol.

View CrustyOlfardt's profile

CrustyOlfardt

12 posts in 185 days


#13 posted 03-22-2018 08:46 PM

HT,
Thanks for the sage advice. Youve given me much to consider and your bench is an inspiration.

View HT1591's profile

HT1591

16 posts in 585 days


#14 posted 03-23-2018 01:26 AM

No problem!! Hope your bench build goes well.

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1396 posts in 1342 days


#15 posted 03-23-2018 08:21 PM

Beautiful build

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