Exotic Roubo Leg Vise
Sure, the use of “exotic legs” in my title is bound to get me indexed by Google for something totally different than workbenches, but everyone knows what the internet is really meant for. 😉
I’ve had some left over Niangon boards (a West African species used for timber framing and boat building) from a previous project that was well suited for a few of the non-structural elements of this bench build. Plus, I didn’t have the thick/wide boards necessary for the leg vise in Maple, hence the need to go digging in my “left-overs” pile. I also have built the Benchcrafted Moxon vise from the same material, so there will be some consistency in my eclectic selection of wood for this project.
The other cool part about the Niangon is that the sapwood is similar in color to the maple primary wood. Each of the leg glide roller brackets incorporates sap/heart wood as an extra accent. This was also the result of a left-over piece I had that was 1 3/4″ thick.
Based on what I’ve seen other folks posting photos of recently, there are two schools of thought:
- The Purists who stick with one wood for the whole project. This includes mostly Maple, Douglass Fir and Ash. My friend Jeff Miller is in the middle of a few benches that use Ash as the focus wood species
- The Pimps who “trick-out” their bench with two or more species of wood. In my case Niangon, but I have seen leg vises, tail vise blocks and secondary species laminated into the top itself including cherry, walnut, and mahogany. Perhaps some of these choices are aesthetically driven, but I’m willing to bet that others choose a secondary wood out of necessity.