Hello Everyone and welcome to this blog Entry.
Since I frequently get asked the question on dimensions and how I build this bench I thought it would be nice to add this to my blog .
This will be a quick overview of the Mini Roubo I build for my kids, so that you the reader may get inspired or if already inspired have a glimpse at how I made this Tiny Bench. And perhaps make one for your kids or grandkids etc.
Its pretty simple, and the construction is just a smaller version of the Petite Roubo bench build in Lost art press Book on Workbenches .
The Picture Below was the finished bench after it was oiled . I had to hide the bench for 4 months until Christmas Morning hence the blanket in the back . ( Hiding it for so long was a hard task)
Dimensions: The top is 2″ thick by 3′ long by 15″ wide . Legs are 18″ long and 3×3″ square ( The leg joinery starts 6 ” in from both ends. Stretchers are 1 1/2″ by 3″ and start 1 3/4″ from the bottom of the legs.( note: stretchers are flush with the outside of the legs)
Material: Top is Douglas fir, Undercarriage is Pine, and vise chop is Maple. The vise Screw I bought form lee valley. I believe they call that a tail vise screw on their website but I could be slightly wrong.
I will not go into exact measurements because if your planning on building this bench this should hopefully all make sense given the dimensions and /or you could make up your own. My kids have used this bench for a while now and I do However recommend making this bench taller by 4 to 6 inches.( kids grow like weeds). I will have to add some 3×3″ pine to the bottom of my legs to add to the height of my kids bench. Then again my younger daughters are the perfect height for this Bench.
So lets get started :
Before I started I was contemplating on what wood to use for the top. I chose Douglas Fir for the reason that this bench build would be an intro and a smaller version of the bench that I wanted to build for myself. ( I made my Bench 2 years later in 2020 out of a slab of Douglas Fir). It really doesn’t matter what wood to use.
I Bought a rough sawn 8″ wide by 6 1/2′ foot Board of 8\4 ( 2″ thick) Fir at my local lumber store and cut it in half to get my width and 3 foot length once laminated. Pictured below.
The legs and stretchers are out of Pine. I purchased a 3″ x 3″ x 10′ piece and cut my 4 legs and stretchers out of that.
Once the top was laminated and flattened and squared on all sides and the legs were cut to length and squared I marked out the joinery on the top of the legs. A through tenon and dovetail on the outside.
The Legs are 3″ x 3″ so I divided that into 3 to have a 1″ wide tenon and a 1″ wide dovetail on the outside.
I dry fitted the legs into the top and made sure everything sits tight and the legs are 90 degrees to the top . Making the legs first and dry fitting them into the top allowed me to get the exact measurement for in-between the legs for my stretchers.( remember if you do this to add the length of the tenons) The tenons on the stretchers are 1/2″ wide cause that’s the mortise chisel I used. I’m sure a bigger tenon could work but I wouldn’t go any smaller.
Once the Screw vise arrived I marked out the location for the hole of the vise screw. I marked this one 5 ” from the top to the center of the screw. Note, since this bench is only 15″ wide I had to drill through the back leg too, cause the screw is so long. You can see this in one of the pictures below. The rest of this build is quite straight forward. I made the Maple vise chop ( this can be any shape you make it), chopped a mortise in the front leg and into the vise chop for the leg vise parallel guide. All the hole locations of the leg vise on the leg, just have to be copied onto the leg vise chop.
Then I drawbored the mortise and tenon joints in the undercarriage. I also drawbored the parallel guide mortise and tenon joint . ( the holes size for the pegs was 3/8″, I only used one peg per mortise)
After the final dry fit looked OK I glued that sucker up and wedged the tenons from the top where there was any visible gaps. I added a shelf to the undercarriage too, which was quite simple. I nailed on some 3|4″ x 3/4″ cleats to the bottom of the inside of the stretchers and used a cheap already tongue and grooved pine board from the lumber store for the shelf. I cut 5 pieces from that board for the shelf. The shelf sits loosely but you can nail it onto the cleats . That wraps it up. If you scroll through the pictures below it should all make sense .
Thanks for reading , and if you have any questions, just ask me on Instagram or email.