'Petite Roubo' Not So Petite After All - Popular Woodworking Magazine

‘Petite Roubo’ Not So Petite After All

 In Shop Blog, Woodworking Blogs

In our eMail newsletter, I wrote that I was finally taking home my pine “petite Roubo” (which is basically the same bench featured on Christopher Schwarz’s video “Build an 18th-century Workbench“). I thought, because it’s white pine, and only 6′ long, 28″ high and 18” deep, that it wouldn’t be too much trouble to get it up the staircase to my second-floor study (and soon to be also my hand-tool workshop). After all, my dinky little bench was the lightest one in our shop by far.

But moving a bench around on a flat, concrete floor and lifting it 4′ in the air to clear the newel post and bannister, and making two turns at the landings, well…I owe a couple strong neighbors a thank you gift. I was no help whatsoever. (I did work up a sheen moving a bookcase and its contents to the third-floor guest room to make room for the bench. I’m not completely useless.)

I’ve got the leg vise back in place, and sitting on top is my new Benchcrafted Moxon vise (about which I’ve written a review for our November issue Tool Test, but in short, I love it). I still need to install the old Sheldon quick-release vise I bought on the right end and bring home my bench dogs and holdfasts. And my tools.

I think my first project best be some tool storage. While I have plenty of shelves on the other side of the room, they’re packed with critical theory books and compendiums of early modern drama…oh right…maybe I’d best put that little dissertation project atop my “to do” list. Nah. A tool chest seems like a lot more fun – and a lot less work.

– Megan Fitzpatrick

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Showing 16 comments
  • 7-Thumbs

    The bench looks great. However, I have another observation. Why can’t women acknowledge that they sweat? You noted that you worked up a “sheen”, my daughter claims she doesn’t sweat, she “glistens”. Come on, admit it, you sweat, it’s a good thing.

  • Joe Cunningham

    Looks like a good spot for some woodworking. I have a potential place with a skylight, but I have to figure out how to protect the baseboards from plane shavings. Oh and I need to make a bench too. No worries about stairs or newel posts though, as it would be a single step and a straight shot from the sidewalk.

    Is the moxon vise leather lined yet? 🙂

  • David Cockey

    Finish the dissertation.

  • Knowles

    Well done Megan, just needs a few chisels, planes etc thrown on it to look the part. I think the curtain will need some regular washing.



  • yelkereb

    No joke, at 28 feet tall that is not petite in the least! You’re also clearly much taller then you seem. (Sorry, I’d say I hate to be that guy but I’d be lying.)

    • Megan Fitzpatrick
      Megan Fitzpatrick

      oops! Thanks – fixed. (I’d also need cathedral ceilings.)

      • miathet

        You could have put it outside the window and saved everybody the trouble of lifting it upstairs. I would also hope you don’t have a homeowners association……

  • xMike

    Cool, Megan.
    Paulkray suggests that you may want to move the bench to under the window. Oh yeah.
    You guys did an short piece of adding wheels for ease of movement and hinged lock blocks to keep it “locked” in place after each move. A future addition to the bench, yes? no?
    I find that there is no “perfect” location for my bench in my shop, so wheels definitely ease the wear and tear to me and to the floor. (put the tool chest on wheels, too)
    Plus I definitely am envious of your Benchcrafted Moxton vise.

    • Megan Fitzpatrick
      Megan Fitzpatrick

      Probably not going to add the wheels – and I hope I won’t be moving the bench around a lot. If I find I need to, I’ll have to get a couple of those rubber mats that I used to see under office desk chairs. I don’t want to mess up the floor because If I ever move, I need that room to look like a study — I don’t think a second-floor workshop is going to have mass buyer appeal 😉

      • xMike

        I get the keep the floor pristine thing.

        Something that some remodelers do to protect a floor about to be exposed to prolonged hard traffic is to put down a layer of resin paper (cheap, comes in rolls, absorbs stuff, protects against dust and abrasion) under a layer of (also cheap) 1/8″ – 4’x8′ brown hardboard sheets, put down like a floor (cut to fit), but without adhesives, nails, or screws – weight holds it in place.

        The combination actually looks nice for a workroom if you fit the hardboard together to the room, and, most important it provides long term protection for the floor against almost any indignity.

  • gounthar

    Plutôt mignon ce petit Roubo.
    André-Jacob serait sans doute content de le voir s’il le pouvait. 😉

    • Megan Fitzpatrick
      Megan Fitzpatrick

      Merci – J’aime le Roubo beaucoup. Mais maintenant, j’ai besoin de mon outils.

  • Jonas Jensen

    Hi Megan

    Nice looking bench.

    If you are going to build the Anarchists tool chest, then please observe that it is not exactly lightweight either. So If you build it in your study / workshop, you might not be able to move it down the stairs, on the other hand, if you build it at work, then you need somebody to help you lift it up.

    • Megan Fitzpatrick
      Megan Fitzpatrick

      Yeah – I’m dithering as to what type of tool storage – I’ll likely go with something along the lines of Chris’s ATC – maybe a smidge smaller. I helped him lift his when it was empty into a car, and it’s doable. Better yet, I’ll just call my neighbors again 😉

      But I expect my saws will go on a peg rail above the bench (one reason not to put it in front of the windows — there’s no place to hang anything!)

  • paulkray

    I am really jealous that you have a study in which to put your workbench. I had to settle for my master bedroom. I hope you enjoy it. And by the way think about putting in a shelf. You may find yourself wanting to shift the bench around to take advantage of the window light.

  • paulkray

    I am really jealous that you have a study in which to put your workbench. I had to settle for my master bedroom. I hope you enjoy it.

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