Roubo Workbench Build (Brought to you at SnailSpeed)

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Expert at Jibber-Jabber
20 Aug 2019
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Chapter 1: The itch

I have been kinda fed up of using my dining table converted workbench for over two years now. It rocks (not the good kind), squeaks, shakes and everything a workbench shouldn't.
Had the itch to design and build a new one. Procrastinated for months over COVID and watched the timber price skyrocket. Couldn't wait much longer as the list of projects I needed to complete (but would have liked to have a good workbench to work on) was getting longer. Finally, made the call.

Yes, it is yet another workbench build. Difference is it will be a painfully slow ordeal. When I say slow, I mean glacial! (Busy job, little 2 year old trouble, life...)

Decided on a Roubo design from Chris Schwarz's book and adjusted the length to 6 feet (that's all I can fit in my setup). Also have a different vice design for the leg vice - more on that later.

Decided to use southern yellow pine as my timber as well.

I had ordered the timber from a merchant in Manchester and had it picked up by a man with a van, last April. So it has had a long time to "settle-in".

When I started this, I didn't have a bandsaw or a planer thicknesser and had been suggested that it would be an ordeal and a half to do it by hand with my skill and tools. So I had bought planed timber but in large planks.

So I reached out to another member on the forum, @Fidget, whom I had met before, to see if he'd be willing to guide me and help me mill the timber. He graciously agreed.

Then all I had to do was do a full cut list for everything I needed, which took a few days.

It took two days of over 5 hours each to rip the planks, plane them and thickness them and then cut to length. But it was a massive learning experience for me and it was good banter and a lot of fun spending time with another woodworker who is so experienced. Had I had the tools and gone at it on my own, I'd have cocked up royally or lost a finger!

Planks outside the workshop.

The man himself!

Filled up 3 and a half of these dust bags in total!

And finally,

Mischief Managed!

P.S: Yes, it is overkill and it is not needed to be this beefy. I generally value function over form but this is different. Just want to clarify, what started as a necessary tool has turned into a vanity project. But it's mine 🤣


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29 May 2017
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South Oxfordshire
I thought I had more hair than that :(

Now that you have finally started the WIP, you will have to get on with it. Looking for to some progress ;)


All the gear...
12 Mar 2013
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I promise you won’t be the slowest build! My workbench post started May 2017, just got back on it after a four year break. I’ve also jus finished milling up all the timber for a very similar build. Chris S inspired but with a split top rather than one piece.

I’ll not hijack your thread with my pictures as they are over on my thread but I’ve made 3 full 250l wheelie bins of shavings over the last two weeks, that’s 3/4 of a cubic meter or 27ft3. Starting with very rough sawn stock!

Looking forwards to watching and racing with you.



Expert at Jibber-Jabber
20 Aug 2019
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Chapter 2: The Upgrade (not strictly about the workbench, so you can skip this one if you just want the build porn)
Some may have seen my posts and opinions on my Axi AC216 table saw on here. I don't particularly like it, but I have used other site saws as well and the axi is much smoother to operate than those. Plus the fact that I made the mistake of seeing how much use a planer thicknesser is after visiting @Fidget 's workshop, I decided to get one along with a bandsaw. This meant I had to get rid of something to make space. Out goes my Kreg router table.
Sure, I liked using it, but it took up a lot of real estate.
If I were to work on the workbench, I need my table saw and router table to have good space so I can move things around on it. Also use the space for assembly.
So decided to upgrade my table saw fence to a Biesmeyer style T square fence, increase rip capacity and also incorporate a router table in the extension.
After a lot of design crunching, finally did it.
Ordered the metal from Metals4U (back in 2020), borrowed a gasless Mig welder from a mate (mid 2021).
My welding is dung, but it will not come apart unless I take a sledge hammer to it.

Then i drilled and tapped the front side of my table saw top, added some metal spacers that were liberated from a skip at my old workplace and attached the rail.

Also created a lock for the fence. Didn't go for the conventional cam lock as I didn't have the welding prowess to bring that to life.

Then attached a 40x80 aluminium extrustion to it, taking inspiration from VerySuperCool tools fence design.

Quite pleased with my rocksolid fence now. Does not move AT ALL. Bonus is that i can adjust it on the fly for square using the grub screws.

Used an old workbench top (yet another skip find) to create the extension table after I removed the god awful sheet metal extension. Used a router plate template a friend with a cnc had made for me to routout the recess with a router and then finished the job with a jigsaw.

Created a box around it to contain the dust and provided an outlet and wired the nvr switch.

So far, increase my rip capacity by 250% and have a nice large area for routing, a SOLID fence which can be used at a pinch for the Router as well, and saved the space for a router table to accommodate the thicknesser.

All in all, quite pleased.