building a roubo work bench

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Forum topic by happy_budah posted 11-29-2013 05:14 AM 1648 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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136 posts in 3794 days

11-29-2013 05:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: mahogany maple traditional question

hey need some input on an up and coming project. Ill be using mahogany for the top of work bench and am planning on wrapping it in hard maple and also using maple for the base. the mahogany is crazy hard but tends to give lots of splinters if the edges rant rounded. Am i about to wast some good mahogany??

-- the journy of a thousand miles begins with a single step " Lou-Tzu"

9 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


3883 posts in 1763 days

#1 posted 11-29-2013 03:14 PM

For a work bench as you are describing it, it will cost you several hundred dollars in wood. There is a Youtube video of a guy made one with materials as you plan on. I think he said he had spent about a 1000 on it.


View richardwootton's profile


1699 posts in 1951 days

#2 posted 11-29-2013 10:44 PM

I would personally save the Mahogany for something else. How thick are you going with the top?

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2629 days

#3 posted 11-29-2013 10:52 PM

Douglas Fir makes a great workbench. You can buy all tou need from Lowes for $100-150
If I had to use a hardwood, I’d probably use Ash, Maple, or Oak since those tend to be the cheapest in my neck of the woods.
No way I’d use Mahogany…....Unless you just ‘want’ a mahogany workbench. This IS a hobby afterall. Use whatever puts a smile on your face.
But from a functional standpoint, Doug Fir or SYP is king in my opinion.

View bondogaposis's profile


4723 posts in 2347 days

#4 posted 11-29-2013 11:08 PM

I built my Roubo from ash and poplar, mahogany is a nice wood and I love to work with it, but way too expensive to buy for a bench. If you have a cheap source for it no doubt it will make a nice bench but it won’t be functionally any better than one made with a less expensive wood.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 1888 days

#5 posted 11-30-2013 12:59 AM

If you are set on mahogany for your workbench top, you will be in a very exclusive club indeed.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View happy_budah's profile


136 posts in 3794 days

#6 posted 11-30-2013 01:05 AM

Well first I was given about 120 board ft of 5.5 by 1.5 in various lengths . I was gonna make the top about 2.5” thick

-- the journy of a thousand miles begins with a single step " Lou-Tzu"

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 2979 days

#7 posted 12-01-2013 05:48 AM

check out my bench pictures! I used ash with some mahogany features. David Marks has made his bench from walnut. If you want a mahogany bench then make it. it’s only a little more money; but who cares, it’s your bench and you’ll be using it for many years to come. so enjoy what you like.

View Texcaster's profile


1281 posts in 1670 days

#8 posted 12-01-2013 06:04 AM

I built mine in Euro Beech, traditional but a luxury timber in Australia. It was the end of 3M3 I bought for commercial work. Everyone thought I lost my mind but there was just enough. It was the best thing I could have done with it.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View Woodmaster1's profile


957 posts in 2583 days

#9 posted 12-01-2013 12:07 PM

I plan on building a workbench out of 100 year old maple floor joist rescued from a renovation. I have vise parts from an old workbench that was in my basement when I bought my house and another vise I picked up for free. I think the only wood I need is for the base, if there is not maple. I will start the project in the spring when it gets warmer, no heat in the garage.

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