Roubo-style Workbench

I finished up my Roubo-style workbench based on Christopher Schwarz plans this month. I build early stringed instruments (harpsichords, violas da gamba, etc.) and this bench was just what the doctor ordered.

I cut the 4×6 leg mortises into the top by hand using back saws and used my Laguna 14" SUV band saw with a custom-built jig for the tenons. The legs and stretchers were assembled using drawbore pins and a little glue. The top is not glued and was purchased from Cool Craigslist Guy for $180. The quick-release vise on the end (down by the walnut) was a birthday gift from my wife, purchased at an antique store, and all of the other parts – handwheel, crisscross, etc. – were purchased from and MSC Industrial Supply.


Height: 32"
Width: 22"
Length: 101", including tail vise
Top thickness: 4"
Legs: 4″ × 6″
Leg vise chop width: 7 1/2" at the top

The finish is a couple of coats of natural Watco Danish Oil and I purchased the 3/4" holdfasts from Black Bear Forge at a Lie-Nielsen show here in Portland, Oregon. I’m making my own dogs using door catch roller balls and 3/4" oak (or ash if I can find it) dowels. A Moxon vise add-on is currently in the works.

The four-month (part-time) build process is detailed on my blog at

Finally, I had help and guidance from Roger Green, a veteran woodworker, and Darrel Wallen, a journeyman machinist. Thanks again, Roger and Darrel!

Woods: fir lam beam fir red oak alder pine

Tools: back saws chisels router face float drawbore pins band saw drill press table saw planer jointer hand planes

Tags: roubo workbench holdfasts leg vise dogs quick release vise

Darin R. Molnar


4 0
Share Tweet Pin it Embed


Darin ...

Oops…my bad.

a1jim ...

Very cool bench,great job.

Wheaties - Bruce A Wheatcroft ( BAW Woodworking) ...

Very nice work bench .

Darin ...

Thank you, fellas. It was a long time coming – just like a harpsichord!

More Creations Darin

Roubo-style Workbench