The Roubo

This whole thing started from a conversation with John, a store worker and fellow woodworker from the local Woodcraft in Greenville, SC.  John steered me to reading a book on workbenches.  I embarked on constructing the “Roubo” after reading the book by Chris Schwarz on workbenches.  I started the project before Christmas in 2012.  I got sidetracked by a trip to Belgium on business.  Upon my return in mid January, I got back in earnest to finish the project.  This workbench is based on the writing of Frenchman Jacques Andres Roubo in late 1700s.  The dimensions and construction is based largely on the designs Chris had recommended.  The drawings in Chris’ book specified an 8 foot long bench.  My bench is a foot shorter, with a proportionately shorter base.  Other than the length, the modifications I made include gluing a European beech face on one edge and facing the leg where the leg vise is with hickory.  The leg vise itself is made from hickory.  The bench is made of southern yellow pine (SYP) except for the exceptions noted.  The top has round dog holes and round hold fast holes.  The moving deadman is identical to what Chris had drawn.  The moveable deadman that allows the clamping of extra long stock against the front face of the bench.  The entire workbench can be regarded as a three dimensional clamping device.  All the joints are mortise and tenon, drawbored and pegged with contrasting color – walnut dowels.  The top is finished in 1 part varnish, 1 part linseed oil and 1 part mineral spirits.  The wagon vise is a late retrofit.  See my post concerning the wagon vise if interested.

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