This is a project that is way overdue. I’ve been working with my lightweight commercial workbench for way too many years. Last Friday I purchased 10 beautiful 5/4 x 5″ x 12′ boards of southern yellow Pine. I had already purchased my Benchcrafted tail vice about a year and a half ago. This tail vise is quite an expensive piece of machinery to have just laying around not earning it’s keep. So I have decided to go ahead and build my very own Roubo Workbench. In these pictures you’ll see the boards have already been cut in half and resting nicely on my two saw benches. I will be following Chris Schwarz’s plans for a 18th century Roubo workbench, modified as to fit incorporate my Benchcrafted tail vise. The finished Bench top should be 5″ thick, 20″ wide and 72″ long. This is going to be one heavy workbench. The overall workbench dimensions will be H 34″ x W 20″ X L 72″. I am using Chris Schwarz’s book “Workbenches – From Design & Theory to Construction & Use” as my primary source for plans and instructions. I also have Chris’s other workbench book “The Workbench Design Book – The Art and Philosophy of Building Better Benches”. He has republished his “Workbenches” book and it is available on his website at Lost Art Press.
My biggest conundrum at this point this how to mount the Benchcrafted tail vise. The issue at hand is, I have not glued up all my boards yet because I want to cut them out before laminating them so that I don’t have to hog out a lot of material later. It’s kind of like putting a jigsaw puzzle together in 3-D before you’ve even seeing the pieces. Not only that, the pieces don’t exist yet, and I will have to fabricate them correctly, so when it does go together, everything will fit perfectly.
I’ve been toying with the idea of making a 1/2 scale model, just so I know how everything will fit together. This is one of those projects I have to sleep on and think about for a few days before the solution comes to me. In the meanwhile I’m studying the plans, and I’m looking at my boards in the garage longing to have this bench finished.
This will not be a very long journey, I want this workbench finished before the ghouls and goblins come out on Halloween.