Furniture Making Course: Make a Workbench

Skill Level: Advanced  (Is this course right for me?)

Loose wedged tenon detail

The workbench is often overlooked as a tool in the workshop. This 'Make a Workbench' course guides you through ten days to make your own Moroubo Workbench, giving you an invaluable piece of equipment which will take pride of place in your workspace.

The Moroubo Workbench has been designed specifically for the handmade woodworker in mind. It is a portable yet very sturdy, stable and solid workbench. It consists of just seven main components. The workbench can be easily dismantled and fitted into a car, making the workbench ideal for any woodworkers and furniture makers who need to transport their bench (e.g. to demonstration events). For more on the specifics of the design, please visit my Moroubo Workbench blogpost.

This 10 day course is ideal for those who would like to take their furniture making hobby or career to the next level.

Make a workbench

While making your Moroubo Workbench you will cover areas such as:

  • Timber preparation (including flattening bench top)
  • Marking out joint work (tenons and dovetails)
  • Handing components
  • Mortice and tenons
  • Dovetails
  • Bridle joints
  • Planning and implementing large glue ups
  • Hardware fitting (vices)
  • Finishing

All material for the workbench (including the vice) are provided. During the course, you will gain the knowledge and skills required to complete a large project such as the Moroubo Workbench and will take home your own beautiful handmade piece of fine furniture, which will give you many years of faithful service.

Materials: usually beech, brown oak, ash

Course Duration: 10 days

Course fee: from £2,500 (please see further details below)

There are two Bench Options:

The 1550 Bench with an overall size of 150cm x 620cm x 97cm. Height decided by student. £2,500.

The 1850 Bench with an overall size of 180cm x 620cm x 97cm. Height decided by student. £2,800.

Roubo inspired split-top workbench

The above two Bench Options come with:

  • Sliding dead man
  • Storage Shelf
  • Reconditioned Face Vice, 52½ Quick Release style vice, for example, a Record.

There are additional customisation Options:

  • HNT Gordon Tail Vice, 100mm, £250
  • A Pair of Holdfast Bench Hooks, £60.
  • A Pair of Bench Dogs, £25.

If you need advice on whether this course is right for you please get in touch by emailing me at or calling 07811 262360.

This workbench making course runs from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday over two weeks. We provide tea, fresh coffee and refreshments during the course. Lunch is not provided, I recommend you bring a packed lunch, however we are only a few minutes by car from the Farnham town centre.

Accommodation is not included, but there are many excellent hotels and B&BS in the area. Click this link to see a selection offering special rates.

Book This Course

  • Next course dates: 7th October to 18th October 2024 (Mondays to Fridays).

    To register your interest for future dates, please contact us

    To purchase one of our gift vouchers, just visit our Gift Vouchers page.

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    Get in Touch!

    Have a question you want to ask about this course? Maybe you have already been on this course and would like to comment on your experience? Use the Disqus comment system below to let us know!

    1 Comment
    1. Hello Aidan
      We recently spoke via email regarding the similarities between your ‘Moruobo’ bench I recently discovered on line and the design I have developed for my own bench (now rough planed and finally dry enough to start). You mentioned that some of your students might benefit from some of the ideas we discussed.
      My bench (like yours) has splayed legs (20 deg) at both ends. I believe the advantages of splayed legs are 1) long ‘wheelbase’ against longitudinal tipping (like a wrestler setting his feet wide), 2) improved resistance to racking by removing the right angles from the leg/top joints, 3) better support of the top nearer the mid-line (for heavy mortising), plus longer overhangs at the end for case work and 4) easy integration of a skewed leg vise. My skewed leg vise will permit me to fully clamp a vertical 8″ wide piece such that it clears the vise screw to the right. It can also clamp a wide panel (like a door) horizontally without racking the vise chop. I’m not sure why more leg vises are not installed at a skew. I’ve even seen benches with skewed legs fitted with a plumb leg vise, which trikes me as a lost opportunity.
      One side of my bench is very similar to both sides of yours, albeit with a leg vise, as mentioned. However, the other side of my bench has a heavy, 12″ deep English jointer’s apron built in, for top rigidity and the ability to take holdfasts horizontally.
      My bench also differs from yours in that it will be permanently assembled (I fortunately do not need the ability to dismantle it for moving). The material is tight clear vertical grain Douglas Fir and every part of the bench is 4″ thick, including the apron. It will be 84″ long, 26″ wide, 35″ high and will weigh about 440 lbs.
      It will have a split top to allow for top seasonal movement and for clamping and accessories. There will be no tail vise for now, as I want to give notched batons a try.
      I will also be burying a 3/4″-6 Acme nut every 18″, three inches deep inside the each long edge of the top. I’ll then be able to thread Acme rods into the edges to permit twin screw vise clamping and mounting of jigs or bench appliances (e.g crochet, carving vise, etc).
      So over all, mine will be an amalgam of the massiveness of the French bench with the rigidity and support of the English bench. Time will tell which side of the bench will spend more time against the wall.

      Thanks for posting pics of your bench, Aidan…it’s a beauty.

      Best regards from Dan Robinson, Vancouver Island, Canada.

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