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Construction Grade SYP Roubo

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Forum topic by BubbaIBA posted 11-04-2012 04:49 PM 1900 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BubbaIBA

220 posts in 1014 days


11-04-2012 04:49 PM

I made some photos of the shop this AM, so I guess I’ll post photos of the bench as well as the sharpening station.

I finished the basic build of the Roubo several months ago and have been slowly adding appliances, the base shelve, and holes as needed. The bench is close to perfect as a work bench, I’ve yet to find any function where I would change anything about the basic build and any special need has been easily fixed with a simple appliance. About the only problem I’ve had with the bench is occasionally with the holdfasts, because the bench’s top is a little over 4 1/4” you will need to hold your mouth just right and stick your tongue out to get ‘em to work :-). BTW, during the build I debated using a split top vs. solid and split won just because of ease of handling during the build. I’m glad it did, the split top adds greatly to the functionality of the bench.

I have less that $300 USD in the wood and almost a 1/4 of that was for the red oak chop and the maple tool holder/stop down the middle of the split. I expect if a person shopped around for vise screws the bench could be built for under $600 USD and it would last a lifetime. I’m still using a construction grade SYP bench I built 30 years ago, no reason to expect this one will not last at least that long.


6 replies so far

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grfrazee

325 posts in 777 days


#1 posted 11-04-2012 05:43 PM

I’m planning on building a very similar workbench this Christmas out of SYP. Good to know it’s worked out well for someone else!

Did you go off any plans when building it or just freefprm it? I’d love to see plans, if you have them and wouldn’t mind sharing.

-- -=Pride is not a sin=-

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BubbaIBA

220 posts in 1014 days


#2 posted 11-04-2012 06:39 PM

I used Benchcrafted hardware, the bench is an amalgam of their plans and those from Schwarz’s “Workbenches” book. The bench is so simple, except for vise install, there isn’t really a need for plans all you need are instructions for the vise or vises you plan on using. If you are going with other than Benchcrafted vises I’d just pick up Schwarz’s book, there is a lot of good information on bench builds in it.

Good luck, hope you have some help. It’s a heavy sucker, a 2’X9’X 4 1/4” slab of SYP is a load. That’s the reason I ended up building a split top. When you finish and are ready to flatten the top I’ll post some photos of a simple jig and carriage using a router to flatten the top for the first time. After the first flattening a #7 or #8 should work fine.

BTW, many years ago I needed a bench and didn’t have the money to build one out of European Beach (which at that time all proper work benches were) nor even enough for a maple bench. I used SYP 2X4s and 4X4s from HD to build my bench, always with the thought that someday I would build a “real” workbench. Someday never came, mostly because the SYP bench worked so well there was never a need. The only reason I built this one is I wanted a bigger bench and I wanted better work holding than was available on my first one (face vises suck). Another advantage of a SYP or DF bench is they are cheap and they do not look like furniture…..they are work benches, nicks, dings, spilled whatever is no big deal. They free you to work, I’ve seen benches and photos of benches that I could never work on because I would worry about dinging it. With SYP, dings just give it character.

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grfrazee

325 posts in 777 days


#3 posted 11-04-2012 08:43 PM

I’ve read the Schwarz book, but I borrowed it from the library and have had to turn it back since. I’ve got a pretty good plan in my head of what to do but wanted to see if you had anything I could look at, just in case my mental planning had an unforseen snag.

I take it your top halves are 1ft wide each? That’s too big for my planer (it’s an old 10” Ryobi lunchbox deal). Maybe I’ll just have to do it in four smaller parts roughly 6” wide and then glue the quarters into halves. Then again, I’m still not sure if I want to do a split-top or a solid top.

Those were my thoughts exactly on using SYP instead of something more expensive. I could afford a maple top, though I’d much rather spend that money on tools. Schwarz recommended SYP in his book, so who am I to argue?

What size is the gap between your two halves?

-- -=Pride is not a sin=-

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BubbaIBA

220 posts in 1014 days


#4 posted 11-04-2012 09:35 PM

Go to http://www.benchcrafted.com/Downloads.html for the Benchcrafted downloads.

My split is 68mm, that’s about a thin red one under 2 3/4”.

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grfrazee

325 posts in 777 days


#5 posted 11-05-2012 01:02 AM

Thanks for the Benchcrafted link.

I bought some leg vise and end vise hardware from Lee Valley a couple weeks ago. The Benchcrafted hardware looks amazing, but a little out of my price range. I’m also planning to make a Moxon vise this next weekend, but I got a couple veneer press screws for that.

-- -=Pride is not a sin=-

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Brett

621 posts in 1321 days


#6 posted 11-05-2012 08:56 PM

grfrazee, Chris Schwarz has a chapter in the book “Hand Tool Essentials” that also describes how to build the Roubo bench. It might be the exact same information as Schwarz’s first “Workbenches” book, but I don’t have that book, so I can’t verify that. The “Hand Tool Essentials” book can be purchased online for about half the prices of the “Workbenches” book, so if you do decide to buy, that option may be cheaper.

UPDATE: I just noticed that “Hand Tool Essentials” is available for $6.99 at http://www.shopwoodworking.com/hand-tool-essentials (no affiliation). That’s a bargain for anyone interested in hand tools.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

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