The Hybrid Workbench

Marc Spagnuolo

The Hybrid Workbench is all about functionality and value. It has everything you'd want from a classic workbench with additional features that will make a power tool woodworker smile. The bench includes a versatile split-top, a plane-stop insert, sliding accessory track, integrated power outlet, knock-down construction, and sturdy yet inexpensive vise hardware. Whether you're a traditional woodworker, a hybrid woodworker, or a modern maker/crafter, this lifetime workbench will be your most valued asset in the shop.

Measures 66" Long, 35" High, and 24" Deep

The Workbench Cabinet shown in some of the photos is a separate project that fits this workbench perfectly. Learn more here. 

  • 17 lessons
  • 238 min
  • $79.00

Here's what we'll cover:

  1. Introduction and Lumber Selection

    A tour of the bench, choosing a wood species, and lumber-buying strategy.

  2. Leg Glue-up

    Each leg is glued up from two 8/4 pieces of stock.

  3. Side Mortises

    The side mortises are cut into the legs.

  4. Side Rails, Tenons and Side Assembly

    Tenons are added to the side rails and the side sub-assemblies come together.

  5. Long Rails, Mortises and Tenons

    Mortises are cut and the front and rear rails receive tenons.

  6. Knock-Down Hardware and Base Assembly

    We’ll doing some careful drilling in order to make ready for the knock-down hardware.

  7. Top Glueup

    The boards for the tops are milled up and glued together.

  8. Milling The Top

    The top is jointed, planed, and cut to final width at the table saw.

  9. Attaching Top to Base

    The top is secured to the base using large dowels and Spax screws.

  10. Flattening the Top

    If your top needs additional flattening, here’s a method you can employ using a router and a sled.

  11. Vise Installation

    Two inexpensive but serviceable vises are added to the workbench.

  12. Gap Stop and Accessories

    The gap-stop creates so many functional opportunities for your workbench.

  13. Bottom Shelf

    A lower shelf gives you a lot of extra storage space.

  14. Dog Holes

    Dog holes are essential for a good workbench!

  15. Workbench Extras

    Let’s add some BLING to our workbench.

  16. Finishing

    Time to apply the finish.

  17. Final Details

    Wrapping up the final details.

FAQ

What Will I Receive?

  • Detailed cut list and plans including a PDF and a SketchUp file (Metric and Imperial).
  • Hours of detailed video instruction showing every step of The Hybrid Workbench Build.
  • All videos and plans are digital and will be available for download upon purchase. 

What Will I Learn?

  • Selecting a wood for your workbench
  • Constructing and flattening a large bench top
  • Constructing large legs and rails
  • Large-scale mortise and tenon joints
  • Knock-down hardware installation
  • Constructing a gap-stop
  • Constructing various sliding accessories
  • Drilling dog holes and holdfast holes
  • Improving the holding power of holdfasts
  • Painting hardware a more awesome color
  • Face Vise Installation
  • Quick Release Vise Installation
  • Selecting a finish for your workbench
  • Finishing with Danish Oil and Polyurethane

What Will I Need?

This bench is what you make of it. I will provide links to items I used as well as some reasonable alternatives, but you should think about your options and shop accordingly.

Note that his project is up for pre-order early so the list of tools and materials may not be complete at this time.

Materials

Tools

  • Tablesaw, Jointer, Planer, Bandsaw, Miter Saw, Router with edge guide, drill press, hand drill, hand plane
  • Wood Owl Auger bit 3/4″ – Used to drill 3/4″ dog holes.
  • 1/2” Up-Cut Spiral Bit – For making mortises.
  • 9/16” Drill Bit (for drilling knock-down bolt holes)
  • 1 3/8” Forstner Bit (for counterboring for knock-down bolts)
  • 1 1/4” Forstner Bit (For locating dowels that join the top to the legs) 
  • 1″ Forstner Bit (For installing knock-down cross dowels)
  • For Vise Installation (3/16″ drill bit, 3/4″ drill bit, 1 1/8″ drill bit, 6 – 1/4″ x 2″ Lag Screws, 6 – 1/4″ x 1 1/2″ Lag Screws, 12 – 1/4″ Flat Washers)
  • Integrated Power – Rockler Grommet Template
  • Caster Plates (8 – 1/4″ x 2″ Flat Head Screws)

Workbench Accessories & Supplies

Is it still a Roubo?

Absolutely! The primary features of a Roubo include an apronless design, a thick top that negates the need for an upper rail, and a flush front surface. I just made this one a little lighter, smaller, more mobile, and knock-down.

What if I want it to be a different size?

It’s a trivial thing to adjust the dimensions to suit your needs. Want it longer? Increase the length of the overhangs. Want it taller? Add some length to the legs. If you need to make major changes to the length and width, you’ll want to adjust the length of the rails accordingly.

Can I install Andy Klein's Twin Turbo Vise?

Andy’s vises require 16″ of clearance between the end of the workbench and the legs of the base. As designed, the Hybrid Workbench gives you a 12″ overhang on the right and a 4 1/4″ overhang on the left. The easiest way to install the Twin Turbo Vise is to simply shift the top to the right. If you make it flush on the left, you’ll end up with a 16 1/4″ overhang on the right. This works, but I think you would be better served by keeping the overhang on the left as designed and simply adding an additional 4″ to the right side of the top, increasing the total top length from 66″ to 70″. Please keep in mind, Andy’s swivel mechanism add-on requires an additional 2″, for a total of 18″ of clearance.

A little history…. Back in 2011 I built the original Split-Top Roubo Workbench which features top-of-the-line Benchcrafted hardware. To this day, the Roubo is one of the top-selling projects in the Guild and hundreds of Guild members have built one. Over the course of 10 years, I’ve had a lot of feedback about the design and many folks are looking for something different: a bench that’s smaller, less expensive, mobile, knock-down, and modernized. As a self-confessed hybrid woodworker (using both hand and power tools) and being the author of Hybrid Woodworking, I too found myself longing for a bench with a few key changes that would suit my personal style of woodworking  a little better. So I set out to make a new workbench that satisfies not only my needs but also incorporates many of your requests, and I’m happy to say I think I nailed it. This bench is truly something special and I hope you enjoy building and using it.

If you’re curious about the size difference between the Split-Top Roubo and The Hybrid Workbench, check out this side by side.

Reviews:

You need a good workbench if you want to progress as a hybrid work worker. Marc’s plans, videos, and instructions makes to the process approachable and quite doable. I hadn’t done even a mortise and tenon joint until this project. Nice work, Marc. Couldn’t have done it without you. Looking forward to the next TWW Guild project!

Chris German
Guild Member

The quality and information in the videos are top notch. This project was definitely a challenge for me but the videos covered everything I needed to know. Even anticipating my potential mistakes! I’m definitely proud of my bench and hope it improves my future projects. Definitely worth the investment!

Patrick Gleason
Guild Member

First guild project, but won’t be my last. Instruction in videos are clear, plans are highly detailed (thanks for including metric), and materials list took away a lot of indecision.

Also, using the bench for a few days it is very well designed. It fits the hybrid style of woodworking that Marc has described for years. Thanks again!

Greg Batt
Guild Member
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About Your Instructor:

Marc is a podcaster, video producer, woodworking enthusiast, and author of Hybrid Woodworking and Essential Joinery. He has contributed articles and video content to FineWoodworking.com, Popular Woodworking Magazine, WOOD Magazine, and Woodcraft Magazine. He is also the host of The Wood Whisperer, an instructional woodworking video series that’s been going strong since 2006. He is also one of the hosts of the Wood Talk podcast. He has taught classes at the William Ng School, Marc Adams School, Weekend with Wood, Fine Woodworking Live, as well as at various Rockler and Woodcraft stores. He also speaks periodically at woodworking events like AWFS and IWF.