Friday, 27 November 2015

Roubo Bench with BenchCrafted Glide Vice

At the Handworks show in Iowa this year Mark Hicks kindly lent me a bench with a BenchCrafted glide vice with criss cross. I was so impressed I brought one back with me (the vice not the bench!) All I needed to do was to build a bench. This one is as simple as it gets with 4" square legs and frame and a 4" thick beech top. The top was laminated from stock from an old bench as well as new material. Above is half the top being glued up, the laminations were done one board at a time to ensure no glue lines.

Here are the parts for the criss cross with the main waste being excavated on the drill press.
Below you can see evidence of the salvaged parts complete with dogs holes and cut off dominoes. Most of these will be hidden underneath or inside the top.

With the two halves lined up I'm checking for flatness to eliminate too much flattening afterwards.

they lined up well but the there was a gap in the middle which was too big to clamp up. After a fair bit of hand planing and checking the gap was small enough to clamp up

I only need to clamp in the middle as the ends were pulled tight on their own.
Note the two clamps on the end to keep the parts level.

Back to the Criss Cross mortises which were finished off with a 1/2" router and up spiral bit.

The frame was built from 4" square beech and pine and the only thing needed to hold the top firmly in place was a couple of dominoes. They were dry fitted on one end and fitted to the end grain of the front legs to keep the top flush with the frame. The weight of the top does the rest.

Unfortunately I couldn't avoid some of the salvaged wood showing some dominoes on the topside. I was going to leave this but just couldn't bring myself to, so it was patches to the rescue!

I cut 3 mm (1/8") thick diamonds from some off cuts. I used the disc sander to put a 3 degree bevel on each of the edges which meant that after knifing the patch and removing the waste it could be hammered home to a really tight fit.

The patches worked well although some were a better colour match than others.

And here's the finished bench, simple robust and a joy to use. The Glide Vice with the Criss Cross was actually much easier and quicker to fit than the mark one version with the peg board that I installed a few years ago. All it needs are a few dog holes and it's ready to go to work.


  1. I have to say, I prefer this one to your other new one :)

    1. Hi Patrick, they both have their strengths, but I think this one will see more action. All the best, David.

  2. Looks great, David. May I ask the length and width of the top?

    1. Sorry I missed that bit. The top is 60" long x 24" deep and is 37" high and my back can still feel it! All the best, David.

  3. Wow David, two benches in one month, you're gonna need a bigger workshop !!! Always like the bench crafted "ships wheel" vice.

    1. I've been following for a year now, and I believe this is the third new bench!

    2. Hi James, I love making work benches, not sure why, as the rest of furniture is definitely on the small side! All the best, David.

    3. I love reading about your benches. There's always a very thoughtful spin on them somewhere!

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you, I'm looking forward to using it. All the best, David.

  5. Hi David,
    Looks a great bench and more suitable to your style of making. I must admit I was surprised when you purchased the other one.
    Jim Beach

    1. Hi Jim, The Karlsson bench is traditional and maybe a bit old fashioned but it works very well and is superbly hand made. One for the heart. The new bench is a peach with that vice. All the best, David.

  6. Looks great, I prefer this one . I 'M FROM SAUDI arabia and I work in furniture .i'm very happy to find you

    my arabic site :

  7. Looks great..i like ths benches...

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