The start of a new workbench

This morning I started work on a new workbench. I know it’s only been a few months since I built my first one but since then I’ve done a lot of work on it and a lot of reading about workbenches and can see where I went wrong. I basically built a very sturdy table, with overhang on all sides and almost no way to properly mount a face vice, put dog holes in or clamp properly.

I’ve been working out what I wanted to build and it’s a Roubo style bench. This is a french style with a thick top and no stretchers, and the top is flush with the front legs. You have overhand on the two ends to mount a vice (or can build a leg vice, but that’s in the too-hard basket right now). I’ve got a bunch of 90 x 35mm pine glued up into the centre slab of the top, and two legs built so far. I’m about to go and get more glue and the rest of the wood I’ll need to finish it off.

The legs are all laminations of 70 x 35 pine, with the centre piece long so I can put it through the benchtop, screw and glue it and then fill around it so it’s basically a big through tenon.

I’m considering dovetailing the tenon but I’m not sure yet. The hardest part looks like it’s going to be flattening the top and I think I’ll need to build a router sled for that part, it’s got 3mm different on certain pieces that I would have knocked out before gluing up except for the pieces being too long for my current bench!


2 thoughts on “The start of a new workbench

  1. This looks like it is going to be a very solid bench. As for smoothing the top, 3mm is handled fairly easily by a jack plane, and then can be finished with a smoother. Wouldn’t take very long in pine, and you can get yourself a workout while you are at it. It will be good to see this bench take shape.

    1. Thanks for the kind words Tom. I’m thinking that I will need to wait until it’s assembled to flatten the top, as that way I don’t need to try and secure it elsewhere to plane it.

      I’m considering dovetailing the legs into the top rather than a straight tenon, do you think it would be worth doing?

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