Many of you no doubt remember the famous words “Where’s the Beef”? Well in this instance, the beef refers to one of the most massive Roubo workbenches that I’ve seen in a very long time. It also happens to be our March 2019 Workbench Idea submitted to us by Jerry (Chip) E. who lives in Wadsworth, Ohio.
Chip built one of the largest Roubo workbenches there is (a.k.a. “the beef”) and then fit it with a great leg vise powered by one of our premium wooden vise screw kits. We know you’ll enjoy our latest customer provided Workbench Idea so here you go.
(Note: For those of you who may not be aware of our “Workbench Ideas” feature – previously known as “Workbench of the Month”, this feature is also alive, well and living on our Lake Erie Toolworks website under the “Workbench” main menu option. We also have almost 90 workbenches for you to take a look out as well if you are looking for inspiration to craft your masterpiece.)
I built my Roubo using 8 ft long 6 X 6 timbers (untreated) for the top, and the legs, that I bought at Home Depot. The bench is 8 ft long, 27 1/2 inches wide, and 34 1/2 inches tall.
I glued the timbers together using wood glue and 1/2-inch dowel rods. I used a router sled to level out the top. The timbers were fairly straight, so at most I removed 1/8th of an inch-high spot.
I cut the large dovetails mostly by hand, using Japanese pull saws, finishing them off with power tools. They came out pretty good, however I did have to use some wedges to tighten everything up. As I said, the timbers were pretty straight, however the ends were rough.
On the left side of the bench, I removed 3/4 of an inch from the top, about 6 inches in and added a piece of Padauk. I also added a piece of 3/4 inch plywood on the end, under the Padauk, to cover up the roughness.
Similarly, on the right side, I removed 3/4 inch from the top, and also added 3/4 plywood on the top and a piece of 1 X 6 pine on the outside. this side is where I added the first vise. The first vise is an Eclipse 10 1/2-inch woodworkers’ vise. I mortised under the bench about 1 1/4 inch deep. I wanted the top of the vise closer to the top of the workbench. This vise is about 1/4 of an inch from the top of the bench. I used 3/4-inch plywood for the cheeks. I also used thru bolts and nuts. It is rock solid.
The second vise is a Leg Vise. This vise is made from a 1-inch piece of curly maple, glued to a 2 X 10. It is 8 inches across, 32 1/2 inches tall, and 2 3/8 inches thick. I used the Premium Wood Screw kit from Lake Erie Toolworks, in conjunction with a Benchcrafted criss-cross.
The wood nut, was mortised about an inch into the back of the leg. I added leather to the insides to protect the work pieces. The sliding deadman is made the same way, 1-inch curly maple, glued to a 2 x 10. It is 7 1/2 inches wide, 17 1/2 inches tall, and 2 3/8 inches thick. The stringers are 2 X 6s, I mortised 3/4 of an inch in the bench leg, and in the stringer, used wood glue and 2 3/4 wood screws to attach them. I then added 2 X 2s on the inside of the stringers, and added tongue and groove as the bottom platform. I used a router to cut a 3/4 wide by 3/8 deep channel for T-Track. I went all the way across the top in both directions. I’m using Rockler T-track, and accessories. I also added a self-sticking tape measure across the front left of the bench.
As for the finish, the Leg Vise, Sliding Deadman, and top of the Bench, I used 3 coats of Amber Shellac, one coat of Danish oil, and the 3 coats of lacquer. I wanted a hard surface for the top of my workbench. The rest of the bench has one coat of pre-stain conditioner, one coat of Golden Oak stain, and 3 coats of lacquer.
Jerry (Chip) L. E. – Wadsworth, Ohio – USA