Project:Roubo Workbench

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Simple "Roubo" Style Workbench

Roubo workbench 1-24.JPG
Status: nearly done (already usable)
Release Date: Dec 2017
Initiator: Lukas
Materials Used: wood (spruce planks), threaded rods,
lock nuts, wood glue
Tools Used: 10 mm spade drill bit, 20 mm Forstner bit,
19 mm auger bit, clamps, planes, chisels, Ryoba
Approx. Cost: approx. 50 € for the (very cheap) wood;
several hours of work

A "Roubo" workbench is a traditional French woodworking bench (Hobelbank) as described by André Roubo in the 18th century. It has many nice features and work holding options so we began building one.

While the following build is largely inspired by the old sketches, many features and construction techniques were chosen based on what was desired and possible at the time.

First Attempt

Progress: nearly done

  • legs: need to be cut to the desired height left rather long so we have an alternative to the much lower Hobelbank
  • top: needs even edges and perhaps additional planing
    • poor leg joints and cracks have been partially filled with a glue and sawdust mix - could be continued
    • holes for holdfasts will be added as needed, the first one was already drilled when the tenons on the legs needed to be cut
  • vise: installed, matching dog holes and wooden jaws to be added soon


  • final plate size: 1800 × 800 × 60 mm
    • made of ten 2000 × 80 × 60 mm spruce planks
    • 10 mm holes for the rods, outmost planks counterbored with 20 mm Forstner bit to receive nuts
      • counterbore should have been the first hole to drill...
  • legs (800 × 100 × 80 mm spruce planks) will be connected to each other by a frame at the bottom, perhaps with a storage floor
    • the bench may still have to be bolted to the wall for maximum stability, we'll see!


At the time of the build, our wood workshop was pretty rudimentary and the ideal solution was rarely an option...

Room for Improvements

  • harder wood
  • nicer joinery (after some more practice)
  • ...let me know what else!


Hover over a photo for more information: