Knockdown Roubo Bench

This small Roubo style work bench was built several years ago for use at woodworking events away from the home shop.  Primarily it is the show bench used to display and demonstrate the Red Rose Reproductions line of tools.  With a top size of 60″ x 18″, it is small enough to be portable, yet big enough for serious work.  It will easily break down into five pieces:  The top, two leg assemblies, and the two long stretchers.  While perfectly adequate for shows, I decided to do some upgrading.  Pictured here is the bench as originally made in front of the larger permanent bench that stays in the shop.

Knock down Roubo bench as originally built.

The first design improvement was to add a wood screw from Acer-Ferrous, a product we sell here on our web site.  This makes it easy for interested parties to actually try out these beautiful screws, and see how well they operate.  The one installed has a walnut hub to match the walnut chop.  Also, the Benchcrafted criss-cross  was added to keep the vice jaw parallel, and make the screw operate more smoothly.  The criss-cross supports the weight of the chop, so there is no binding on the screw.  Because of this addition, a new thicker chop had to be made to accommodate the deep mortise that the criss-cross retracts into.  Fortunately the leg of the bench was big enough for both the criss-cross and the large hole needed to accommodate the screw.  The Acer-Ferrous brass garter was also added to the face of the chop mounted at a 45 degree angle.  The garters function is to attach the chop to the screw so they move in tandem when opening the vice.

New leg vice with Benchcrafted criss-cross and Acer-Ferrous wood screw.

Also added was a shelf, which will be much appreciated during shows to store tools for quick retrieval.  It will help keep the bench top from becoming cluttered during demonstrations.  It was constructed from a single piece of walnut, and simply lays in place atop the cleats on the ends of the long stretchers.  Very quick to set in place.

Shelf set in place.

Another detail was the toothed planing stop from Black Bear Forge.  This will add a traditional work holding technique from the past, and will be welcome during woodworking demonstrations and woodworking classes.  It is a quick and simple way to secure a work piece for hand planing.  The vice jaws were lined with a product from Benchcrafted called crubber.    It is a gasket material made from natural rubber and cork, and looks to be a good method of adding grip and a measure of protection to the work piece being held in the vice.

Planing stop from Black Bear Forge, and jaws lined with crubber from Benchcrafted.

All in all, this looks to be a positive improvement to our show bench.  Be sure to check it out when seeing us at woodworking shows!

Finished bench.

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