Our December 2014 Workbench of the Month comes to us from Susan from Vancouver, British Columbia – Canada. Susan has built a great Roubo workbench with a leg vise. This is sure to provide her with many years of active use and enjoyment. Fantastic job Susan.
Dear Lake Erie Toolworks,
Here are some photos and the story, of my workbench:
When I started woodworking, I needed a surface to work upon and so bought a 1 1/2″ x 6′ x 2′ oak butcher block countertop. Then I read Christopher Schwarz’s The Workbench Design Book and decided to build a roubo style bench.
I laminated a hard maple top to match the size of the oak butcherblock and glued (and screwed temporarily) the two together. As Christopher Schwarz admits, the result is not beautiful, so I added 1″ x 3″ maple sides for looks.
The base has 4 3/4″ x 3 3/4″ legs and 5″ x 2″ stretchers. The short stretcher tenons are drawbored to the legs, the long stretchers have tenons secured into their mortises with bed bolts, allowing disassembly.
The 2″ tenons on top of the legs are not glued into the mortises. The shelf is built of 1” ship-lapped maple and the external garter is made of Honduran mahogany.
The first thing visitors notice is the Lake Erie wood screw! Then I must reluctantly admit that I did not make the screw but ordered it from Lake Erie Toolworks.
The wood screw is great – it provides both the ease and power of the leg vice. Skateboard wheels above and below the parallel guide assist by taking the weight of the vice and smoothing the operation.
The top and bottom curves of the leg vise led to the matching curve on the wood nut.
Work holding devices for my bench, besides the powerful leg vice, include a surface vice and a holdfast (both Veritas), a bench hook, a sliding deadman and oak bench dogs with bullet catches.
The contest is a good idea; it is helpful to see other versions when planning. There were many difficult moments building the bench; but I’m so glad now, to have it.
Susan L. – Vancouver, B.C. – Canada