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Forum topic by Wupper posted 06-26-2015 07:06 PM 1055 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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19 posts in 1093 days

06-26-2015 07:06 PM

I am looking at building a Roubo workbench but a bit larger than Benchcrafted plans. I have 250 bf of Curly Maple, all is under 3 in thick.It will be longer and wider, hopefully 96 X 34-36 in. What is a good wood for the ends to contrast Curly Maple?
Can one or should one laminate 2 X 6s for the legs. I want it to look like I cared.
Is it diffucult to add extra dimension to a workbench? Seems to me one can just enterpolate but I’m a Aviation Mechanic and think in class 3 and 4 fit and small numbers. Thanks! I will thank anyone ahead for comments, will try to add pictures as soon as I start. Wood is at the mill being planed and edged this week. I am using Benchcrafted plans as a go-by.

I willingly confess to so great a partiality for trees as tempts me to respect a man in exact proportion to his respect for them.

13 replies so far

View jmartel's profile


7958 posts in 2178 days

#1 posted 06-26-2015 07:19 PM

Walnut is always a popular choice for curly maple.

You can laminate for the legs no problem. If you don’t want to look at the laminations, just add a 1/16” or 1/8” veneer strip glued up to the side of the lamination to hide the glue lines. Put a small chamfer on it that is the same thickness as the lamination and no one can tell.

34-36” is pretty wide unless it’s going to be in the center of your shop instead of along the wall.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 2455 days

#2 posted 06-26-2015 09:27 PM

I was tempted to make my bench wider than the recommended 30” max – I am so glad I went with the wisdom of the many.
My bench is 29” wide and I love the ‘narrow width’.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Wupper's profile


19 posts in 1093 days

#3 posted 06-27-2015 12:33 AM

Thanks to both of you. Didn’t think about laminating it.I am not going to finish the top, only the sides and bottom. I love a 3 part = spar varnish, mineral oil and Boiled linseed. Makes a beautiful finish.

View TheFridge's profile


9608 posts in 1514 days

#4 posted 06-27-2015 01:05 AM

Laminations are ok. Hell. Mine is nothing but and it works like a champ.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2999 days

#5 posted 06-27-2015 03:29 AM

It’s your bench so by all means built it any way, any size, and from what ever material you wish.
Since you did ask for other’s opinions, I’ll toss mine into the heap.
I would regret using curly Maple for my work bench. I am sure I’d have a project or two where I would wish I had some nice figured Maple and there it would be, staring at me from the top of my bench.
Also, it would be laughing at me when it comes time to level the surface. Curly maple is about the worst thing I can imagine to have to work down with hand plane.

For Roubo style, three laminated 2×6s would work fine. You could make your tenons before gluing up the legs

Also, for Roubo style, a 3 foot by 8 ft surface would be way too big unless you are one of these guys with a 30’ x 40’ shop. Even then I’d rather have two benches of 2 foot by 7 or 8 foot size than one big aircraft carrier deck spread out in the shop. I could not have a surface that big in my shop without crap accumulating on it.

View Wupper's profile


19 posts in 1093 days

#6 posted 06-29-2015 12:08 AM

Thanks, I will consider it but the wood is freebie from my brother in law and I can get more if I pay for it at wholesale. He just wanted me to use it for a bench. I will honor his request. My shop is 12 X 30 and then an alleyway through the barn 12 X 30. I have a 8 ft rolling door I can wheel my tablesaw in and out and will have plenty of space because I’m a disabled vet and can’t afford all the Jibber jabber tools. I have a second hand Craftsman table saw a chop saw and a lathe (a rusty lathe) and a rusty drill press. I learned from my dad who had a buck saw, 2 man timber saw and a 2 man crosscut. First time I saw a 2 man timber saw I asked him what it was for and he said “Work.”

If a man goes into the woods and says something and no one hears him, is he still wrong?

View WhoMe's profile


1564 posts in 3271 days

#7 posted 06-29-2015 12:31 AM

Is there some way to simulate the size of bench you want to build.Maybe like a piece of plywood at 3 by 8 ft? Try to set it up at the height you want, like on some saw horses and blocks. Put it in your shop where you feel the bench would go and see how it works. Will the over all size fit. Can you reach to the other side for a tool when the bench is at the proper height and desired width?
Doing this simulation would probably help you regarding bench top sizing. Instead of after it is built and then realizing it doesn’t fit your needs. Maybe it will work, maybe you might change its dimensions. It is surely worth the effort.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View Wupper's profile


19 posts in 1093 days

#8 posted 06-29-2015 10:57 PM

Good idea. Will try that.
Thanks If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees.

View BasementShop's profile


69 posts in 1328 days

#9 posted 06-29-2015 11:02 PM

Laminations are ok. Hell. Mine is nothing but and it works like a champ.

- TheFridge

That’s a working man’s bench??? Looks like a display shelf for an arts gallery to me!

Nicely done!

And thanks for the pressure to do a better job on the in-house, self use projects in the future. What an average raiser!!!

View Wupper's profile


19 posts in 1093 days

#10 posted 06-30-2015 02:22 AM

Hadn’t thought but the top is isn’t it. I was just concerned about looks of the legs. I like Jmartels idea and will probably cover it. This will also be a show piece for selling work benches top people I hope.

View rwe2156's profile


2967 posts in 1508 days

#11 posted 06-30-2015 11:38 AM

I agree with crank, even though that wood is free, its awful nice stuff to use for a workbench and it will be a bear to flatten. I suggest you discuss it with him before you get into this project. If its a “keep peace in the family” type thing or it honors your brother in some way, by all means do it that’s more important.

I would shoot for a top at least 3” thick with 5×5 or 6×6 legs. Most important thing is you want mass (weight) and rigidity. You’re basically using timber framing techiniques for the base. You just want it rock solid.

I vote for walnut for the endcaps and aprons. Just some kind of darker, hard wood. Mahogany would look good, too.

You might want to reconsider the size. I don’t know what kind of ww’ing your doing but I know mine is 34 X 90 and I wish it wasn’t that big because I tend to have too many tools cluttering it up. But if you’re organized and put your stuff away its nice to be able to have a couple areas to work on different aspects of a project.

Keep us posted on your progress!

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Wupper's profile


19 posts in 1093 days

#12 posted 06-30-2015 01:17 PM

Looking at dark hard woods and Walnut and Mahogany are good suggestions. Having worked on aircraft there is a rule, “Never lay a tool on an aircraft surface”and I would keep that rule as well for my workbench. I would however use the gap stop for temporary use. I also have a whole roll of brown paper and will use it for backing if I need glue up or for staining or varnish. I really don’t mind the surface getting dirty.

Forget all that stuff about lift, gravity, thrust and drag. An airplane flies because of money. If God had meant man to fly, He’d have given him more money.

View Wupper's profile


19 posts in 1093 days

#13 posted 08-03-2015 10:36 PM

I am finishing insulation, although 90 degrees is too hot to work much in the shop. Farming, woodworking, finishing a shop and sitting by the pool drinking Blue Moon keeps me busy. My wife is in NY this week and told me I could stay up til 9PM to watch movies.

“Welcome to Lubbock. Please set your watches to 1962.”

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