Roubo Workbench Part I

After thinking about it and thinking about it and thinking about it, I finally decided that I better stop thinking and start doing. This past weekend, I begin my new workbench project. I decided to follow Chris Schwartz's lead and make a Roubo workbench like he had done (check out his blog). I happen to also have his Workbenches book too.

The Workbenches book was fun to read, but after completing it, I didn't rush out and start making my new workbench. Perhaps I'm the type that like to think about things and decide if a certain plan would fully satisfy my needs. For whatever reason, I contemplated building a workbench for over a year. While my existing workbench was passable, it certainly wasn't nice enough or functional enough to call it a 'final' workbench.

So after picking up some wood -- southern yellow pine for the base -- I got started. While I'm not completely copying the plans, I'm using a very close approximation to the Roubo workbench. I used my bandsaw to cut those massive tenons and then I flattened things out with my reconditioned Stanley No.4. I made sure I started off with a sharp blade.

In a short time I managed to produce quite a pile of shavings. This pictures above certainly illustrate that point very well. That was after a couple of the legs. While if produced a lot of shavings, it was fun work since I made sure there was a sharp blade on it.

From 2009.10.24 Roubo Workbench

I took down all the measurements for my first mortise and got to work. I set up a handy side stand to help keep things aligned properly and easy to adjust when running the drill press with the forstner bit. I also made sure I reduced the speed of the drill press to 1100 rpm to help keep the bit sharp.

Once the drill press cleared out a bulk of the mortise I got my chisels out for the cleanup. I knew this part would take a while, but it was quite fun so it didn't bother me. The chisel was quiet and I played some nice tunes on of my radio.

More to come!


Unknown said…
Welcome to the Roubo journey. Mine is essentially done minus the sliding leg vise and the bottom shelf. I took me the better part of 8 months to build it as I kept getting interrupted by other "must build fast" projects. I'll be curious to follow your build and see what work holding options you come up with. Of course if I can be of any assistance during your build (and Schwarz can't help you) drop me a line and I am happy to help.
Michael D. said…
Thanks! I'm hoping I get through it before eight months, but with work, kids and other projects I'm not willing to wager on it!
Michael D. said…
Ok, so it's close to a year later and I haven't quite finished it! I did have a lot of other projects get in the way though -- namely putting in a totally new bathroom, two kitchens, moving laundry, and putting in new hardwood floors (and a few other things).

Check out my second post in the series of my Roubo adventure --

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