FINISHED! The Split Top Hybrid Roubo

As the year comes to an end, so does my biggest woodworking accomplishment to date. It’s been seven months in the making (well five if you don’t include the two months I was gone) but I can finally say that my bench is done!  Split Top Hybrid Roubo At this point in time, I’ve decided not to use a finish on the bench. I’ve read many discussions and articles on the topic and to my own conclusion I’m leaving her al naturale. As you can see, I did decided to add the chisel holder on the side where I mis-measured.

IMG_5733It almost seems like it was all intended. Making it was quite easy. There was the set up.


The layout.

IMG_5720And then cutting the dados.

IMG_5726Yes, the magnet is a bit of an overkill for just a ruler but since I had it on hand I figured I might as well use it. I attached it with two wood screws and basically fixed my mistake.

The center piece worked out better than I hoped.

IMG_5725The space between the two tops was 2-3/8″ so just shy of using three laminated pieces of 3/4″ stock. I used S4S pine from the big box store to knock this out. Only the center pieces were milled to get a snug fit. In order to get the flush fit on top I needed to notch out the space where frame was.

IMG_5721Again some simple dados.


Once these two projects were knocked out it was time to attach the top to the base. For this I took off the top and measured 6″ from the sides and centered on the base and drilled through with 3/8″ auger bit. I put back on the top, marked where the hole was on the bottom of the top, removed the top, drilled that hole in the top, and reattached the top. I would have liked to sink the lag screws into the frame but I didn’t plan ahead so there was not enough clearance to drill from the bottom. They are attached with 1/2″ x 3-1/2″ lag screws but I’m gonna extend those to 4-1/2″ at a later time.

With everything done, it was time to flatten it all. Overall it wasn’t too bad but my left side was sitting a little low. IMG_5713About 20 min worth of planing produced a flat top.

IMG_5736And here’s a shot with the center piece flipped.

IMG_5737It extends 3/8″ above the surface and works great. I actually used it to finish up the chisel holder.


This bench was built entirely with hand tools. Not a single  power tool was used. Plans were modified by me from Fine Woodworking’s Hybrid Roubo Bench. Other than a couple of S4S pieces of pine, all the wood used is construction grade 2×6 from a big box store. Vise hardware for the wagon and leg vises are from Lie-Nielsen. I wish I would have documented actual build time but it took five months of weekend and after kids go to bed shop time. Thanks for looking.

9 thoughts on “FINISHED! The Split Top Hybrid Roubo

  1. The bench looks great, but I have a suggestion if you don’t mind. I can understand not putting a finish on the top but I would recommend something on the base/legs. I used construction lumber for my bench and the base, believe it or not, took a pretty big beating. I regret not sealing it with something.

    1. Thanks for the advice. I’ll definitely take it under consideration. I was initially gonna use a blend of BLO and varnish thinned with mineral spirits and as I read more I thought of just BLO but then I realized I had been using half the top for about a month just fine. I understand what you mean about sealing the bottom but for aesthetic reasons, that would DRIVE ME CRAZY! If I do finish it, it would most likely be all of it. Damn, now you have me contemplating just going out and getting a new can of BLO! LOL.

  2. I’ve seen 3″x3″x3ft Ash stock sold at a reasonable price. I figure I can make an entire workbench base out of Ash for under $400. The top would be a different story. That might be my next workbench move.
    I think if you don’t move your bench you might not have to worry about the base, I’ve moved my bench away from the wall quite a few times and it always seems to get dinged up pretty good. But, as I said, it looks great!

  3. Nice job! If you haven’t put a finish on it, here is my two cents. BLO and turpentine, possibly add bees wax if you like. Thats what I used on mine, but I’ll use any excuse to break out the turpentine. Just smells so good!

  4. Nice bench. Been thinking about making one, so decided to just go ahead. Can you repair the link for the Sketchup file? That would be a big help.

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