BC-Roubo bench


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Established Member
12 Feb 2017
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Hampshire & France
BCR or the Budget Conscious Roubo.

I made this in November 2018. It has had a few test modifications extra vices, dog holes in the top etc (test bed), but I don't seem to have any photos of this at the moment. It is in France and I have not gone back this year because of the difficulty of COVID and the complete mess called brexit, when I go back I will update.
I wanted to make a Roubo on a budget.The total cost came out at £100-120. What drove the cost down was the use of skirting boards laminated together. This made the bench tops 5 1/2" thick, and heavy. I am glad I split the top as it was very difficult to lift on my own. I wanted a split top so I could clamp in the middle, and also skirt (see what I did there!LOL) around the issues of movement. Where I am in France Summer 30c and winter can be -5c. The top sits down on M&T legs and are recessed onto the top leg stretchers. The stretcher also has a slot which takes L buttons fixed under top (also allows movement). The legs are construction grade 4x4" planed down to 3 1/2 x 3 1/2, they were cheap, er I mean within budget!

The braces have a metal threaded inserts and grub screws to hold them in. The legs/stretchers are M&T with wedge and glue. This means, 8 grub screws, 8 wood buttons, lift off the tops and the leg/stretcher assembly comes away after kicking up the shelf held with large dovetails. You will see in the drawings that I have a Japanese butterfly and screw down blocks, but in the end, it does not need it, the shelf stays put. I wanted to be able to take it apart to move if I wanted to, and I also wanted the minimum of metal fixings to make that happen.

The leg vice was a score. £20! It was just put on as bought until a new leg was fashioned. It now has a 52 1/2 record across the end and a small woden on the other end, great for holding sheets (told you it was a test bed). It is tall, thought it would be easier to take off than put on, but then started to do some carving at it so it remained (my back thanked me). But I will now cut it down a little and make a secondary bench to sit on top when I need to get close, something the centre section being open could help with the clamping I think. The braces surprisingly are very helpful. I can hang a clamp from it and makes clamping a long board easy.

I am very happy with it and it does not move and inch. Now if you decide to throw that great big chunk of walnut out you have, and go for laminated skirting board do it! I will be round to collect it as soon as I can....:)

I have posted some photos already on a thread I am following- Billw workbench design. But thought as I found some more photos I might as well put it under a new thread. Billw is doing a great plywood bench btw, drop over and have a look.


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Is that chisel shar ... Ow
14 Mar 2013
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That has turned out nicely, congratulations on a job well done. I wish you many years of happy banging on it :cool: