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How much BF of lumber for roubo style bench?

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Forum topic by lateralus819 posted 178 days ago 554 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lateralus819

888 posts in 388 days


178 days ago

I’m thinking of building a workbench this winter. My local hardwood dealer is having their annual halloween sale. 20-50% off plus an additional 5% with costume. So there is huge savings to be had.

I was curious how much BF roughly there is in a typical work bench in the roubo style?


12 replies so far

View Tugboater78's profile

Tugboater78

927 posts in 690 days


#1 posted 178 days ago

I was under the impression that 100 bd ft would more than cover a top and even less for the base. I will let the more experienced peeps chime in though.

-- Justin - the tugboat woodworker - " nothing changed me like the first shnick from a well sharpened, decent hand plane"

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

9106 posts in 1117 days


#2 posted 178 days ago

Wow, ‘typically’ is a tough nut to crack.

This can be calculated, but of course requires measurements. Thickness of top and legs, length and depth of top, etc. etc.

How big (or small) are you planning to go?

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

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6676 posts in 1412 days


#3 posted 178 days ago

I can’t answer how much for a Roubo style workbench, but I had between 130 and 150BF in my 21st Century Workbench. I built mine out of Ash, as it was the most affordable in my location at the time.

I would suggest buying more than enough lumber the first time, so that you will be sure of matching the entire project. You can always use the/any additional lumber on other projects later. Regardless of how well you pick your lumber, at some point, some pieces just won’t work for the portion at hand, so having extra always helps.

Good luck! And enjoy the build!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View lateralus819's profile

lateralus819

888 posts in 388 days


#4 posted 178 days ago

Smitty, I’m not really sure. I’m thinking at leas 8’ long. Maybe 3” thick. I’m not sure what a good “standard” is as far as thickness goes.

While I’m at it….I was planning on going with maple, as i think IIRC from the selection they offer. It’s the cheapest and hardest i can get.

What are some suitable woods that are onthe cheaper side? I know poplar is out.

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

920 posts in 648 days


#5 posted 178 days ago

You’ll want at least 125bdft I’d say. I used about 105 with a bit left over on my 6’ bench.

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1369 posts in 1131 days


#6 posted 178 days ago

8 feet long and 3” thick…..how deep?
‘Assuming’ 24” deep, you’d need about 50 bdft- just for the top. Of course, add-in 10% for waste. You’re at 55bdft.
3” thick is beastly. But 2” would be perfectly adequate.

But you’ll want to check my math- I went to public school. LOL/

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lateralus819

888 posts in 388 days


#7 posted 178 days ago

Ah, i thought i had read some were 4”!

I was thinking maybe 3’ deep.

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

1353 posts in 926 days


#8 posted 178 days ago

36” deep is too wide to reach across, mine is 29” and I wish it were 25” for practical reasons.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9106 posts in 1117 days


#9 posted 178 days ago

24” across is mine, love it. Too deep is 4”, imho. Thinking anywhere 2.5” to 3” is right, and that’s for ‘whack-a-hold-fast’ functionality (they have difficulty in the thickest of tops).

EDIT: Oh, and anything over 6’ long is dreamy… If your shop can handle an 8’ bench, go for it. The 10% waste factor is sound.

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

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

401 posts in 1029 days


#10 posted 178 days ago

I recently purchased the lumber for my upcoming Roubo build. 4” thick top, 90” x 24”. 5”X5” legs, plus stretchers and a lower shelf. Including a waste factor, I figured 150 bdft. Haven’t built it yet, so I don’t know how close my estimate is, but I think I’m within 20bdft.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6676 posts in 1412 days


#11 posted 177 days ago

+10 on Smitty’s concern on being (too) Long…

My workbench is 89in + end vise, of just a tad over 7 1/2ft. OR 8ft when the vise is fully open and 30in wide. If I had it to do over, I would seriously think about making it about 2ft shorter in length. I have a 24×30 shop, so technically I have the room, HOWEVER, I do find the size somewhat tedious to deal with on occasion. With a bench this big you really need to be able to work from ALL sides of the bench.

That means having a CLEAR work area of about 8ft x 12ft FOR ONLY THE BENCH with no clutter at all. IMO, that is a lot of space to be dedicated to just one piece of equipment. Just sayin’...

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View crank49's profile

crank49

3237 posts in 1469 days


#12 posted 177 days ago

Figured for a 3” top, 24” x 84” = 42 BF
for 5” sq. legs, = 25 BF
then 2” x 6” stretchers – 17 BF

I’d add about 25% to all these numbers to allow for waste. Total = 105 BF.

The amount to add for waste all depends on how close to final size you can buy your timbers and how picky you want to be to match grain or avoid knots, etc.

My shop is 23ft square and I do work from all sides of the bench. I have a vise on one side and one end and also a planing crochet on the other side. Works well for me, but everyone is different.

-- Michael :-{| Diapers and politicians both need to be changed often; and for the same reason.

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