The Roubo (it’s not what you think)

As a bench builder, and fanatic the name Roubo holds a special place in the heart of my shop. Heck the first bench I built was a Roubo and I loved the heck out of that thing. I use a French tool rack, and the next shop I have I’ll line the walls with them because they’re so darned handy. The eight foot English style bench I have (and love) has a crochet on it and the next upgrade for that bench is a thicker top so as to imitate the French style because holdfasts seem to work better in top that’s a minimum of 3″ thick. The one thing that seems to be overlooked is the lathe he has plans for in his plates.

The lathe drawn by Mr. Roubo.
The lathe drawn by Mr. Roubo.

In looking at this lathe my first impression is: well the man has a type. This thing looks like a beast, heavy timber framing, darn solid joinery, and built to last for a couple of generations. the top were the hubs slide is a nice simple four piece frame; most likely mortised and tenoned and pined together so as to hold up the riggers of shop life. The legs look fairly straight forward, mortise and tenon and pin the suckers. the diagonal supports look like the same but with an angled tenon. What’s most intriguing to me is the sliding tool rest in the middle, why would you add one were it looks as if both hubs can receive the tool rest support piece? this will most likely become relevant when this is built and used.

As with his benches this looks fun to build and at the end I will have another Roubo.

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