Chris Schwarz's Blog

Take a Look: A Roubo for 2010

Here’s the nearly completed shot of the handmade Roubo workbench that will be on the cover of the August 2010 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. The only thing missing is me showing off a bit more sun-deprived flesh and a non-Botox pout — look for that post tomorrow.

Plans for this bench will be featured in that issue of the magazine, plus in a soon-to-be released DVD on building this bench (Senior Editor Glen D. Huey has videotaped the entire process). And it will be featured in greatly expanded form (with some “enhancements” to the design) in the forthcoming book “The Workbench Design Book” — also due out this year from us. It’s the sequel to our successful book “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use” (now in its third printing).

And if that’s not enough for you, please attend our Woodworking in America conference Oct. 1-3 in Cincinnati and you can see, examine and even work on this bench during our three-day glutton-fest of woodworking. (And if you really want to go all-Roubo, we have another Roubo event planned for the weekend.)

All in all, I think it’s time to declare 2010 as the year of the “Roubo Renaissance,” as others have recognized the genius of his work and designs and have spread the word (or at least the silhouetted image).

To everyone out there I say: Bravo. And that you have only scratched the surface when it comes to recognizing the amazing output of this French cabinetmaker and writer. But to get an early peek of that, you’ll have to come to the Queen City this fall.

– Christopher Schwarz

Other Workbench Resources I Recommend

– “The Workbench Book” (Taunton) by Scott Landis

“The Best of Shops & Workbenches” (Popular Woodworking) on CD

Woodworking Magazine Issue 4, which features the plans for my first Roubo-style workbench

23 thoughts on “Take a Look: A Roubo for 2010

  1. Bruce Jackson

    Crochet idea I came up with while designing my bench in Sketchup:

    Drill 3/4-inch holes about 3/4-inch deep in the chop (hole is stopped roughly 1/2 way through) and an inch or so deep in the edge of the bench top so they line up with each other. Then use a 3/4-inch dowel about 2 to 3 inches long. You could have a set of dowels at different lengths to accomodate boards of different thicknesses. By inserting the dowel into the holes before you tighten your vise on the board to be planed, you have something that could work like your missing crochet.

    But that is one honey of a bench. Congratulations!

  2. Brian

    I just noticed there’s no crochet? Are you going to put one on or leave it as is?


    I’d use it. 🙂 Whatta beauty!

    I wouldn’t leave that plane on there in front of the window all weekend, especially if you aren’t done taking pictures. Tan lines are unsightly.

  4. david brown

    Nice job on the bench. That top is gorgeous.

    What’s the angle on that frog? It’s definitely higher than 45.

  5. AAAndrew

    I love how the ogee on the parallel guide points like a finger at that spectacular knot in the back leg. Very nice and witty design element. And as for the deadman, I find I don’t need one, at least not yet, in this short of a bench.

    Gorgeous job. I love my Roubo and it’s thanks to you. With the way I work this is the best design for bench, and the most aesthetically pleasing to me as well.

    Thanks in great part to your efforts, Mr. Roubo lives on.


  6. Doug

    Great bench, I noticed the chisel covers in your open tool cabinet. I have those on a set of chisels I picked up at an auction and would like some more for the ever propagating chisels. Any idea where those came from?

    Looking forward to all your books coming out.



  7. Jonas Jensen

    It almost looks too nice to use. You could put it in your living room or in the hall.
    Have fun using it.

  8. David Chidester

    Wow Chris! It looks amazing! I want to make one for my shop! Is it possible to build one exactly like this, except with a shoulder vise? Maybe you can show how in your new book?
    Keep up the phenomenal work Chris! I can’t wait for the article, DVD, and book!

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