Lake Erie Toolworks – Split Top Roubo Workbench Idea

Our latest Workbench Idea comes from Ed D. from the Big Easy, New Orleans, Louisiana, who has built a fantastic Split Top Roubo Bench featuring a leg and wagon vise. Enjoy.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Split Top Roubo, Wood Vise, Workbench Idea
Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Split Top Roubo, Wood Vise, Workbench Idea
Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Split Top Roubo, Wood Vise, Workbench Idea
Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Split Top Roubo, Wood Vise, Workbench Idea
Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Split Top Roubo, Wood Vise, Workbench Idea
Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Split Top Roubo, Wood Vise, Workbench Idea

Hey Jeff!
I started this bench over a year ago but haven’t had time to finish it until now, since the pandemic closed me down for a few months. It’s made from 8/4 cherry and maple. I indulged myself and fancied it up a tiny bit with the laminated legs and ebony plugs.

Both vises work great. The wagon vise is an amazing help for planing as I’ve tried to make the transition to hand tools for everything except for initial milling.

Next on the agenda is a cherry tool chest that will fit into the base. Going to wooden screws is really a game-changer in my opinion when efficiency is a goal. Thanks again!

Ed D.
New Orleans, LA

Announcing our January 2017 Workbench Idea

We have another great workbench idea for a Split-Top Roubo workbench from Kim B. from Indian River, Michigan.  Kim just started getting into woodworking this past year and has built a tremendous workbench to help realize the many projects to come.  Fantastic job for a relatively new woodcrafter – keep up the great work.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Split-Top Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wagon Vise, Wooden Vise

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Thanks for the great vises, I purchased the Bench Builder’s Bundle and am really happy with how they look and perform.

I am semi-retired and have just started getting into woodworking this past year. I have been particularly interested in learning how to use hand planes. As I was studying woodworking, workbenches, and hand plane use I came across Chris Schwarz’s book on Workbenches and was inspired by the Roubo he had outlined in his book.  I wanted to build that workbench but then I came across a split-top style that someone had online.  I really liked the utility of having a split-top then I found Benchcrafted sells drawings that are Roubo with a split-top.

Using their drawings I was able to easily incorporate your vises (Their drawings utilize their vises, obviously).

This my first project with rough lumber.  The bench is hard maple with the
Deadman,  Gap Stop, and Wagon Vise Dog Block made out of walnut.  I am very pleased with how the workbench came out considering my level of skill.  I made some errors along the way but nothing too drastic.  My bench is not as refined as all the other benches you have on display but I’m happy with how it looks and how great those vises work.  Now that the workbench is done I have some cabinets I need to build which will be much easier with the new workbench and vises.

The dimensions are 87″L x 24″W x 35″H at about 350# with one coat of BLO and Lacquer Thinner.  Two coats of wax on the threads polished.

Thanks again, Kim B. – Indian River, Michigan

Announcing our April 2013 Workbench of the Month

Adding our April 2013 Workbench of the Month from Robert P. of Bear, Delaware to our Lake Erie Toolworks Blog for ease of access and historical awareness.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Split Top Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wagon Vise, Wood Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Split Top Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wagon Vise, Wood Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Split Top Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wagon Vise, Wood Vise

Here are pictures for your workbench contest. This is my left-handed split top with two Lake Erie wooden screws for the leg vise and wagon vise. 34 inches high, 24 wide, 88 long, hard maple base and 4 inch top. Tiger maple for leg vise, deadman, and handles. Wenge handle caps. Danish oil finish.

The bench journey: I have been a hobbyist woodworker for 30 years. Years ago I purchased a very old leg vise with two 3 foot wooden jaws, metal screw-handle-and angle iron metal jaw caps. While it was a metal working vise, I used it my shop and loved the leg vise concept.

In about 2001, I inherited from my father a pre-1900 German workbench that was weak, with rotten parts, a 2 inch warped knotty slab for a top, and two wooden screws for the face vise and tail vise. I faced a dilemma to keep the antique bench historical but not really functional or totally refurbish it piece by piece. The restored bench turned out great, but I still wanted to build a new bench. I read all the books, and analyzed all the styles and functions of benches, and all the new vises on the market. From the antique bench I learned I didn’t want a pedestal base, a tool tray, a 2 inch top, a small face vise or a tail vise, but I did want two wooden screws and a leg vise (but no metal vise screws).

I purchased the split top bench plans of a metal vise manufacturer, but purchased the Lake Erie wooden screw for the leg vise. I completed the entire base with the leg vise and deadman, and the back half of the top, but my new bench project stalled for over a year as I was not satisfied with the options for an end vise and not able to figure out how to use a Lake Erie large wooden screw for a wagon vise. Finally I contacted Nick at Lake Erie Toolworks who advised he was designing a wooden screw for a wagon vise. I waited, and after the availability of the Lake Erie wagon vise in the fall of 2012, I finally finished my bench. I am super pleased with both vises as they work very smoothly.

Robert P. – Bear, Delaware

Announcing our May 2012 Workbench of the Month

Adding our May 2012 Workbench of the Month from Harold S. of Louisville, Kentucky to our Lake Erie Toolworks Blog for ease of access and historical awareness.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Split top Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise Wood Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Split top Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise Wood Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Split top Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise Wood Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Split top Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise Wood Vise

Here are some photos of my bench utilizing your vise screw kit.

It is based on the design by Bob Lang in Popular Woodworking, but I decided to install a leg vise and a sliding deadman. It is made entirely of white ash (except the guide bar is quartersawn white oak) and has the reversible tool trays like the original design. I added the “wings” to the leg behind the vise chop to distribute the clamping pressure across the leg cross section. Finish is a 3 coat wipe-on oil/varnish mixture. The vise screw kit is a great complement to any workbench. The quality of the manufacturing of this kit was just exceptional.

Regards,
Harold S. – Louisville, Kentucky