The Roubo Workbench

Jul 28 2017 1 Comment

Posted on July 28th, 2017 by Gaston Monge-Grassi
Many of you know my favourite workbenches are the Roubo style as a stationary bench and the Moravian workbench (from previous blog) as a portable bench.
There is a lot of information about how to build the Roubo style bench on the internet, but I thought it would be worth giving you some info and links to help you out if you are considering at building a bench for yourself.
In the 1700s, a French craftsman named Andre Jacob Roubo took the time to record his vast woodworking knowledge, presumably for the benefit of future generations. His resultant work, L'Art du Menuisier (loosely translated, "The Art of the Joiner") was a three-volume set containing over 300 illustration plates. In 2008 woodworkers Christopher Schwarz and Bjenk Ellefsen of Lost Art Press admirably took on the Herculean task of translating the work into English. 
That initial translation caused a stir in the woodworking community, because it provided explanation and details of Roubo's workbench design—absolutely the most crucial piece of shop equipment in a pre-table-saw era.
Recently Christopher Schwarz and Will Myers, after building many workbenches, put together a video to show you how to do it with simple tools and using wet wood. I purchased this video online last week and it's worth every cent. Link here
Here is a very good video from Ryan Van Dyke walking you through the features of his finished Roubo bench.
For your bench hardware you can get everything you need from Benchcrafted, if you can afford it...
Here are some slideshow videos from Benchcrafted showing the hardware they produce to fit these workbenches.



Another great source of fine wooden vise screws and related components available for your workbench is Lake Erie Toolworks. Definitely worth having a look at this. Very affordable gear!! Well, at least more affordable then Benchcrafted.

In New Zealand at the Centre for Fine Woodworking in Nelson, you can build your own bench in one of their courses or purchase one from them made to order. Check their website or contact them for more info.

Christchurch, see you next week! Stay warm and have a great weekend.




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  • “The Samurai Carpenter” has a video and plans for making a very good version of this complete with the removable central tool holder on You Tube.

    Jude Woodside on

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