Today I finished up the first Roman workbench, which is about 18” high x 15” wide and 7’ long. After drilling all the holes in the benchtop (more on those in a moment) I added two coats of boiled linseed oil and called it done.
The only thing left to do with this bench is complete the workholding, which will consist of two 1”-diameter oak pegs plus three or four tapered stakes that I can drive into the holes in the benchtop. This bench will have no metal hardware.
I’ve been studying a lot of vintage workbenches that don’t have vises and have a long list of ideas and theories to test with my stakes and pegs.
Probably the most startling fact about this workbench (so far) is that it took only seven or eight hours to build.
Next week I’m starting construction of a far more complex Roman bench with vises, metal bits and other oddness.
Both benches will be at Woodworking in America next month. So if you are in town – be sure to stop by and give them a try.
— Christopher Schwarz