Introduction: Hybrid Workbench Roubo/Nicholson
Check out how i Built this AWESOME workbench, Inspired By the Third Coast Craftsman!
Entire bench is built from 16 2x6" and 6 4x4" that you can get at your local home center.
Add some nice hardwood for the vises if you like.
Step 1: Workbench Top
Gather The Materials for the Top of the bench. I used rough cut 2x6 material but you could use 2x6 boards from your local home center. Ensure the edges and faces are flat and square using a jointer and a thickness planer. You can do this by hand if these tools are not available or you could just take your time choosing the boards when you buy them.
Step 2: Glue Up the Two Halves of the Top
After the material is flat and square, apply liberal amounts of glue and clamp them up. Make sure to leave more length and width than your desired final size so that you can cut the halves down after the glue up. If you purchase your wood at the Home Center make sure to cut away the stock rounded edges. I made sure the width was less than the capacity of my planer so i could use it to save time cleaning up the top and bottom after the glue is cured.
Step 3: Cleanup the Benchtop Half
After glue has set over night, make sure all surfaces are even, square, and flat once again.
Step 4: Join the Two Halves of the Bench Top
Now that you have the two halves of your top, You have to join them together in some manner. I chose to use a piece of the same 4x4 material i will use for the base. I cut a length of the 4x4 that was 5 inches long, then used 8 3/8" dowels (4 in each side) to join the two halves together.
Step 5: Begin Layout for All Your Mortise and Tennon Joints for the Base Assembly
Now that the two halves of the top are one, we can turn our attention to the base construction so we have something to support this beefy top. Again, i chose to use 4x4 (rough cut) non treated pine, but those may be hard to find in a lot of areas so you could also laminate two 2x4 or 2x6 boards to make your base. Take the time to carefully layout all your joints so that when its time to start cutting, you don't have to bounce back and forth, plus all your layout tools are already set correctly.
Step 6: Cut All the Mortise and Tennon Joints
After all the joints are carefully laid out, cut them each appropriately. I use a dado blade for the tennons and a router or forstner bit for the bulk of the waste in my mortises. Leave the lines and cut to them by hand with a chisel.
Step 7: Assemble Workbench Base
No that you have cut mortise and tennon joints for about a week (lol) Its time to join all the components of the base together. Do a dry fit to ensure everything fits correctly, then glue and clamp all the joints and allow the glue to cure overnight.
Step 8: Join Workbench Top to Base
There are several ways that this can be done but i chose to use a through tennon that comes up through the entire top to the bench. I did not glue the top down, but you may want to or you could use brackets and screw the parts together.... i'm just not a fan of mechanical fasteners.
Step 9: Add All Vises and Accessories
Add all wooden accessories, and hardware that you wish to have in the final product. I chose to add two vises ( front and tail vise) , casters to make the bench mobile, a sliding deadman, and the build up on the Nicholson side to make the entire side one flush surface. This way you can get a good feel for how the bench will look and function once complete. Then remove all items that you do not wish to get finish on. And get ready for prep of final finishing processes.
Step 10: Sand All Surfaces to Prepare for Finish
Sand all surfaces to prepare for finish. I typically like to hand sand for the final stage, because electric sanders tend to leave swirls or divots. You can also use fine hand planes to prepare for this stage, if you have the proper equipment to do so. After all surfaces are to your liking and ready for finish, remove all dust from your bench.
Step 11: Apply Finish
Apply Your Favorite protective finish. I have come to utilize Danish oil quite often. It is easy to apply and maintain. If an area needs to be refinished in the future, you simply sand it down and re apply and it blends perfectly. Maker Brand Co has a product called simple finish that works quite well also, or you could always go with the traditional Boiled Linseed Oil.
Step 12: Enjoy Your New Bench!
Now enjoy all your hard work by using your new AMAZING workbench. Modify it as you see fit, add more accessories or less. Add another vise, drill some dog holes, get some Holdfasts... GO Crazy! And make this bench your own!
Step 13: Go Watch the Video on How I Built the Bench