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Roubo Workbench Decisions

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Nelly111s

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You mentioned no tail vice due to it being complex. I’m in the “research” phase and am looking at the HNT Gordon tail vice. Easy to install, looks good, to.
 

bp122

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I pretty much did as you are planning to do. Knock down is a must unless you know you will never have to move it. The wracking resistance is in the size of the shoulders of the long stretchers. The top and bottom end rails are glued joints and the long stretchers are attached with a nut and bolt like a bed bolt arrangement. Mine is all scrounged wood so the top is pine and the legs are blue gum. Keep the top halves narrow enough to go through a thicknesser and you save a load of sweat.
View attachment 105094View attachment 105095View attachment 105096

Enjoy the build.
Regards
John
Thanks, John.
Neat idea on the long stretchers. Well done!
 

bp122

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You mentioned no tail vice due to it being complex. I’m in the “research” phase and am looking at the HNT Gordon tail vice. Easy to install, looks good, to.
Just looked at it. Looks neat, but is the vice held on by those tiny screws and the brass dowel? Wouldn't that put pressure on those small fasteners when you tighten the vice or am I missing how it is actually held?

Good thing is it is retrofittable, so I could do it at a later date when funds allow it, if I feel the need. But very very neat indeed.
 

Nelly111s

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Just looked at it. Looks neat, but is the vice held on by those tiny screws and the brass dowel? Wouldn't that put pressure on those small fasteners when you tighten the vice or am I missing how it is actually held?

Good thing is it is retrofittable, so I could do it at a later date when funds allow it, if I feel the need. But very very neat indeed.
I have a link to a video somewhere, I’ll see if I can find it.
 

bp122

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Just found it, it is in the WSH page. Cheers. It is very secure when it is in!
 

Nelly111s

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I have a link to a video somewhere, I’ll see if I can find it.
It was actually on Instagram. A guy called Ramon Valdez (ramonartful on IG).
I asked him a question about the difference between the small wheel on the HNT and the larger Benchcrafted one and this was his reply
———————

Very legit questions. Pros n cons...it’s true.

The HNT tail vise moves plenty rapidly ...and one can place the dog centers close to have optimal adjustability. I think mine are on about 3.5” centers. The knob rolls easily from the tip of your pointer finger all the way to the tip of your thumb in one swoop. It’s a pleasure to use.

Now, I do think that my Benchcrafted tail vise is a bit more maneuverable. Maybe a bit more robust, with a taller “working dog”.

They are uniquely different benches. They both have excellent workholding power.

The funny thing is that I haven’t really been able to use the HNT much. I planned on taking it to the IWF show in Atlanta last August, but of course it was cancelled. And now Pantorouter wants to have it (and me😬) at the Vegas show next July. So, I’m trying not to beat it up too badly 😆
 

CaptainBarnacles

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I built my monster Roubo almost ten years ago and it is still all the workbench I'll ever need (and more!). Mine is over 9ft long and is fully glued up, it weighs in at over 200kg thanks mostly to the 4" thick beech top and the 6"x6" oak legs. I have a standard face vice with a wooden screw and a Veritas inset tail vice which I find to be really useful, it was also a doddle to fit. At some point I'd like to fit the Benchcrafted vice kit but I'm in no hurry.

When we moved a couple of years ago and I was more than happy to let the removals guys do what they do best. I watched, expecting them to grunt and huff and puff as they lifted it on to the lorry. None of it! They were all rugby players and lifted it without breaking a sweat.

I rarely need to move the bench now but there was an idea I saw a while back and thought would be good, that was to use a couple of flip-down wheels at one end of the bench which means that I can lift the other end and wheel it around relatively easily.
 

PaulArthur

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Couple of questions:
1. When you say the top is bolted, did you elongate the holes on the bearers to account for wood movement?
2. The bench bolts to hold the long stretchers, would you be able to share a picture of that as to where it is?

Please.
:)
I didn’t widen the wholes in the bearers, but I did use a drill bit 1.5mm wider than the diameter of the threaded rod, just in case. I have had no movement at all as far as I can tell and that was plenty. I did just check and noticed that three of my four nuts had come loose over the last 18 months without me noticing any movement at all in the bench. Perhaps a bit of loctite or nylon nuts would be a good idea to make sure they never work loose though? But as I say, it hasn’t made my bench wobble at all.

As for the bolts holding the stretchers in - there are mortise and tenon joints holding the stretchers in place and providing the vertical weight bearing strength for the shelf, and I dominoed and glued the shelf support to the stretchers, and attached the bolts within that shelf support, and that holds the legs together at the bottom.

My tenons at the tops of my legs are 6x2” and go in to the top by about 2.5” of the 3” top.
46CAB698-D390-4747-91E2-24D040115773.jpeg
D1DC10AC-21D0-4FD2-A566-204AA1DC9695.jpeg
 

samhay

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Leg vice - metal screw and a wooden guide. Takes a little longer to wind in/out than a wooden screw, but had the advantage of being bombproof, relatively cheap and easy to source.
e.g. Veritas Tail Vice Screw
 

bp122

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Leg vice - metal screw and a wooden guide. Takes a little longer to wind in/out than a wooden screw, but had the advantage of being bombproof, relatively cheap and easy to source.
e.g. Veritas Tail Vice Screw
Glad you brought it up. I was looking at it last night. At 28mm DIA, I thought it was pretty decent.

Wooden screws, I have heard, are a joy to use, but the ones on sale cost more than an the timber on my bench design!
 

samhay

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I have that screw. It's a beast.
Not nearly as refined an option as the benchcrafted offering, but no mortgage required to fund it either.
 

bp122

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I have that screw. It's a beast.
Not nearly as refined an option as the benchcrafted offering, but no mortgage required to fund it either.
I'm assuming you are using a peg board underneath?
 

Spectric

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Hi

I have never heard of a Roubo workbench but looks substantial and looking at it I can see it was designed before power tools came on the scene and for when carpenters had muscles like blacksmiths. I would say these days strength and rigidity is better achieved through design rather than mass especially if you want portability. Have you looked at this bench design, very portable and adaptable.



 

bp122

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I had seen similar workbench designs on YouTube and Pinterest.
I agree, they are great for power tool work and site work. It has places to put the tools like he says. But these kind of benches, especially the ones I have seen online, are seldom used for hand tool work. The trusses look like they can take lot of load, but loads generated while hand planing or chopping mortices are quite harsh and dynamic. That is why I went with Roubo in the end.

The old style massive workbenches also offer a lot of shock absorption with impact loads.
 

Spectric

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Hi

Yes if you are a traditional woodworker using handtools and real wood then I can see the advantage, nothing beats mass for absorbing impact, whether you are using a chisel or working with machinery.
 

bp122

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Of late, I have been using more and more hand tools. I only wheel out my table saw of I need to.

Plus, the Roubo (or even the Nicholson) offer great versatility for a very narrow footprint, in which is crucial for my match box size garage!

I get so jealous when I see yanks on YouTube doing their "shop tours" and it is bigger than the place I had my wedding reception in!
 

Phil Pascoe

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The old style massive workbenches also offer a lot of shock absorption with impact loads.
Yes. But you don't need it. They were designed for the days when huge baulks of timber were worked exclusively by hand. Anything over about 100mm square for legs and 75mm thick for a top is really nothing more than extravagance. Mine is rock solid and not up to those dimensions.
It's rather contradictory to say you'll make it massive for rigidity then knock down for convenience - make the frame lighter and solid, one piece.
 
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