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roubo workbench

Last week a reader posted a nice SketchUp drawing of a Roubo workbench that you can download (for free) from Google’s 3D Warehouse.

The drawing features the Benchcrafted Wagon Vise and a dovetailed end cap that holds the vise in place. I’ve had several readers ask me what this construction should look like. Now you can download the plan, take this bench apart and see one good solution.

The leg vise on this plan is a little shorter than the one I built , it looks more like the one Jameel Abraham from Benchcrafted built for his bench , minus the wheels than make the vise float in and out.

All in all, it’s a nice drawing that features some sensible modifications , I especially like the way the author modified the sliding deadman to make the assembly more robust. I haven’t had any problems with mine, but overbuilt is always better.

Check out the drawing here.

– Christopher Schwarz

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Showing 11 comments
  • ocd


  • David Ragan


  • Caleb Dunn

    I’ll try to explain my cross-cut situation.
    Last week I made a bow saw, and had to rip three narrow strips that were about 1.5"wide and 16" long to make the frame. I simply put the 6" wide piece of wood in my face vise on the edge of my bench and ripped the narrow pieces in one long cut. If my future Rubo has a crochet on it I would not be able to do that. So, I was considering building a Rubo where the leg vise was on the end of the bench-top so that I could do similar cuts.
    Would you consider this a wise modification?
    Thanks, Caleb

  • Cosmo

    Thanks for the clarification everyone.

    So, I can see the benefits of this configuration: wheel closer to the front of the bench, no dog hole in the leg. How about the dog holes being further away from the front apron? How much of a difference in HOLDING and FEEL do you think it makes? I imagine not much. But, I would be interested to get your opinion.

  • Christopher Schwarz


    I’m not following you. Do you actually mean for doing long crosscuts? I can’t envision how the bench would get in the way of a long rip.

    For crosscutting long pieces, it depends on the width of material. For narrow pieces, I do it on the bench with two bench hooks. For wide pieces, I do it on sawbenches with a crosscut handsaw.

    If I’m missing something here, let me know.


  • Caleb Dunn

    I have been dreaming about building a Rubo since I found this web-site. One question I have is weather or not it would be a good idea to have the edge of the leg vise meet the edge of the bench. I find that in my current setup I use my vise to hold pieces for ripping and this allows me to cut without the saw hitting the bench (I don’t have any power tools). Or, do you have a better suggestion of holding a piece firmly for ripping long cuts?

  • Jameel Abraham

    Nice drawing Chris N.

    Cosmo, Josh, Chris and Chris are right about mounting a lefty at the right end of a bench. There’s also a PDF on the BC website detailing Chris’ (Schwarz) installation.

  • Christopher Schwarz


    My bars are 15" long – Jameel cut them down for me.


  • Chris Norman

    Thanks for posting this Chris.

    I put the drawing out in the Sketchup 3D Warehouse so I could get feedback especially on the changes from your design.

    Chris, one question I had: How long are the slider bars on your benchcrafted vise? I ended up needing to extend my benchtop about 1.5in longer than the plan in your book to accommodate the slider and screw length to avoid the Right Front leg of the bench. In the pictures I have seen of your bench, it looks like your slides may be a little shorter than the standard bars.

    Cosmo, I am using a lefthand Benchcrafted vise in the right hand position. I wanted to avoid having a benchdog hole in the middle of my leg like Jameel did, so I pushed the vise behind the leg and used a left hand model to bring the wheel closer to the front of the bench

  • Josh

    Ooh, even a benchcrafted vise! This Saturday is set aside to install mine. Jameel sold me on one in Cincy.

    Cosmo, I believe you can mount left or right handed version either way. According to info on BC’s website, mounting the left hand version in a right hand configuration moves the wheel closer to the front of the bench. I believe that is what Chris did so I am sure he can comment.


  • Cosmo

    Looks to me like the design has the bench-crafted tail vise installed in either the wrong configuration – or the designer has used the left handed vise in the right hand spot – because the cavity seems to be hollowed out in a mirror-reflection of what Benchcrafted recommends. I wonder if Jameel can comment? Other than that confusion, it looks like a well made model. Thanks!

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