Rubio Style Workbench Add-On

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Project by TechRedneck posted 01-27-2012 01:04 AM 7517 views 65 times favorited 37 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a nice shop of power tools. I like them all, however I have discovered the power and joy of hand tools. Use of hand tools is taking my skill and quality up a notch.

To do things right with hand tools you need a good solid bench. A lot of the floor space in the shop is already taken up. Some time ago I built a 4×4’ torsion box assembly table. It is very heavy and stable, however not that great with vices and not adequate for hand tools.

After a lot of thought, I decided to build the “business” end of a traditional woodworking bench and just bolt it to my assembly table. In the pictures you can see how I used the combination wood/bolt threaded hardware and bolted the back of the new bench to the old and used traditional dovetailed front legs and mortise and tenon cross beam. All the joints were friction fit and then thru bolted for easy breakdown or tightening.

The table is 5’ long and a little over 1’ wide. The whole table fit in the planer after glue up. Once assembled I finished it off with a hand plane and drilled the 3/4” holes with a hand brace and bit.

I then added a Veritas large single screw for the leg vise and glued up two 6” cherry boards for a 2” thick leg. The end vise is a Groz Quick release. The top is 3” thick Ash and the legs are 4” of Ash. It was finished with a couple coats of BLO with the first coat thinned 50/50.

The height is a little more than a traditional bench which should come to the knuckle of your little finger. However I use the power tools to get most of the stock prepped and then use hand tools to finish and fit. The assembly table serves as an out-feed table for the jointer and planer. The bolts on the back of the hand tool bench allowed me to bring it level with the table and shims under the legs compensated for the slight slope in the floor.

Overall it is very solid and stable.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

37 comments so far

View waho6o9's profile


5284 posts in 1324 days

#1 posted 01-27-2012 01:11 AM

Fantastic addition. I like the way it turned out.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


10340 posts in 1365 days

#2 posted 01-27-2012 01:11 AM

This is a very nice nod to the Roubo AND to handtool woodworking. Excellent project, congrats!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View ShaneA's profile


5449 posts in 1345 days

#3 posted 01-27-2012 01:18 AM

Excellent addition to the shop. Congrats on a really nice build.

View Northwest29's profile


888 posts in 1237 days

#4 posted 01-27-2012 01:25 AM

Now there is a really great idea and well executed as well. May have to adapt something like that to my bench. Thanks for the share.


-- Ron, Eugene, OR, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View a1Jim's profile


112875 posts in 2324 days

#5 posted 01-27-2012 01:27 AM

A beautiful bench nice work.

-- Custom furniture

View Warren's profile


81 posts in 1083 days

#6 posted 01-27-2012 02:02 AM

thats awesome looks ideal for small shop solutions :)

-- Warren, Cambridge,OH.

View CL810's profile


2392 posts in 1735 days

#7 posted 01-27-2012 02:54 AM

Very clever and functional – Well Done!

-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."

View Cory's profile


724 posts in 2167 days

#8 posted 01-27-2012 03:56 AM

This is an excellent idea! Thanks for sharing this. Gotta add this to my list of projects to copy!

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View chrisstef's profile


11458 posts in 1753 days

#9 posted 01-27-2012 04:01 AM


-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Woodenwizard's profile


1092 posts in 1802 days

#10 posted 01-27-2012 04:47 AM

This is a great Idea! exactly what I could use. Hope you don’t mind but I may steel your idea. Thanks!

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View TechRedneck's profile


746 posts in 1604 days

#11 posted 01-27-2012 04:57 AM

Thanks for all the nice comments. I owe a lot to my fellow LJ’s and will be happy to answer questions if anybody decides to try something similar in their shop.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 1730 days

#12 posted 01-27-2012 05:46 AM

nice bench on a bench. hoe do you like the veritas saw? i was thinking of buying one.

View TechRedneck's profile


746 posts in 1604 days

#13 posted 01-27-2012 05:54 AM


Saws have to feel good in your hand. I tried a few and found the veritas felt just right. The price is good when compared to other premium saws. I’ve only had it for several weeks but have no complaints. It cuts fast and straight, can’t ask for more.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View bluekingfisher's profile


1104 posts in 1727 days

#14 posted 01-27-2012 11:22 AM

That’s a real nice addition to your assembly table. You now have the best of both worlds, plenty of space for power tool working and with your new addition you have a bench for hand tools when you want those quite, stress free times for ww while in the shop.

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View michelletwo's profile


2290 posts in 1763 days

#15 posted 01-27-2012 01:01 PM

I luv handtools, so I find your solution quite clever.

-- We call the destruction of replaceable human made items vandalism, while the destruction of irreplaceable natural resources is called development.

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