Workbench Tour No. 9: French Oak Roubo Workbench


I built my first Roubo in 2005 out of yellow pine. Loved it to death. I sold it after I had the opportunity to build this beauty in 2013. It has remained my workbench ever since.

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I don’t know why, but this bench seems to receive more abuse than any other bench in our storefront. Perhaps it just looks like it can take a punch. Or an auger. Or a sawcut. It doesn’t look any worse for the wear, however.

When I first built it, I omitted the parallel guide on the leg vise, which is how A.J. Roubo shows it in his 18th century text. I worked that way for more than a year. It’s not a bad way to work; you just slide a scrap between the vise jaw and the leg at the floor. But a Crisscross mechanism is much more convenient. So I was glad to upgrade (even though it was difficult to do on an assembled oak the size of a baby woolly mammoth).

That was the major change. I also added a swing-out seat (it’s vintage; I recommend you buy a Benchcrafted version). And some one-piece bench hooks, which people are constantly stealing. I might make some for all the benches in the coming weeks.

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— Christopher Schwarz


Rating Workbench Tour No. 9: French Oak Roubo Workbench is 5.0 / 5 Votes: 5
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