I am thinking about buying the back issue of FWW that has the workbench
construction article. I wasn't a subscriber then. But, since they are
offering a $14.95 1 year subscription to their website which claims to
have "1000+ searchable Fine Woodworking articles", I'm thinking that
might be a better way to go, IF they have the workbench article. I
would sincerely appreciate it if any online subscribers out there would
do a quick search to see if it there? The issue it appeared in was the
Winter 2003/2004, issue #167, the article is titled "THE ESSENTIAL
Thanks in advance.
I'm thinking about complementing my subscription with an online
subscription as well, online topical searches beats flipping through
the mags.Try Woodworking Magazine it is a neat non-bias mag, I'm
building the Roubo Workbench from this mag right now.
Yes, I was just able to locate the Lon Schleining "Essential Workbench"
article in PDF format on the website. I subscribed just a few days
ago. I gotta say it wasn't that easy to find, but I don't know all the
ins-n-outs of navigating the site yet. I found ALL the back issues'
Table Of Contents, but that was under the "Store" part, where you could
order back issues. Once I saw it was written by Scheining, I went back
to the Home page and searched on "Schleining Essential" and it (and
other articles) came up.
Yeah, at $1.25/month, I think it's definitely worth it.
Here's the best freebee bench plan I have seen online:
And Bugbear's pages has a page full of workbench links:
http://www.geocities.com/plybench/index.html (link at the bottom).
Then there is the workbench design website: http://www.workbenchdesign.net /
And there are the two books, one by Scott Landis: "The Workbench Book", and
one by Lon Schliening: "Workbenches". The Landis book has four full plans
I studied everything I could, both books and everything I cold find online to
how things add up, and came up with my own unique design that I am slowly
This is of course, ' if ' you are wanting a woodworker's bench, not just a basic
garage type of bench.
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
Sam Allen also did a workbench book worth checking out.
If you want to go through a semi-over-the-top woodworker
bench and the process of making it, with screws ups and
the way I fixed them - or made some into "features" check
out Das Bench - all 32 pages about it.
Or you can check out what is now a big assembly bench that
served as the only workbench for a couple of years - 1 1/8"
ply, 2x4s and a piece of 1/4" melamine.
Don't make it air craft carrier deck BIG - 24" wide is plenty
wide for most things and 6 feet long will probably work
for just about anything you want to do. If you intend to use
it to work with hand tools - planing, edge joining, cutting
dovetails, mortises etc. and handsawing up a storm keep it
low. Rule of thumb seems to be to stand up straight - hands
at your side, palms to the rear. Bend your wrist so your
palm is down and paralleling the floor-that's your bench \
height. Seems low but much of hand work involves using
your body weight pressing down.
GET YOUR VISE HARDWARE FIRST - THEN BUILD AROUND
If you go with long threaded rods to hold the legs to the
stretchers - get the Lee Valley "tension nuts" (see the
black "button" looking things on the end of this lathe
bench. Not that a routed dado in the back of the stretchers
for the threaded rod to sit in is easier to do than drilling
a really long hole through the length of the stretchers.
Unless you're blessed with a perfectly flat shop floor,
and if you don't care for shimming a leg, look into
leg levelers - preferably adjustable from above - with
an allen wrench.
Like the maxim - Buy Once, Cry Once - spend time
studying what a workbench can do and pick the features
that suit the type of work you do, or think you want to
do - then build ONE bench that'll serve your needs 'til
they pat you in the face with a shovel full of dirt and
the next guy gets to benefit from your bench.
A good workbench is an often overlooked but really handy
tool to have - clamps stuff, supports stuff while you work
on it, a place to pound, etc..
Thanks everyone for the info on the FWW website and the workbench
tips. I think I'll sign up for the FWW website.
As for the bench itself, I've been studying workbenches for the last
few years and finally will have the time to build my version. I have
amassed the basic materials already: hard maple in 4/4 and 8/4 (8' to
10' lengths, 8" to 12" widths), Lee Valley twin screw vise, Shop Fox 9"
front vise (Record knockoff). I also have the Acorn workbench plans and
have studied them for a while. Also got lots of great tips from this
I am still torn over gluing up the top myself or, since I've never
glued up anything that big before, just purchasing a prefab 1-3/4"
slab from Grizzly. I always thought I wanted the top to be thicker than
that though. I've toyed with getting the slab and gluing reinforcements
under the bench dog holes and around the edges.
Thanks again for all the info, and I know I'll have more questions once
I actually get started.
Don't worry about gluing a big project together at the same time. Just do
it in sections, gluing one board or section at a time. Trying to keep
multiple glue lines in the same plane at the same time is a pain. One glue
line is much more relaxing.
I have been doing serious woodworking for a long time and I still glue up
table tops in sections. It takes longer but I know that I am going to do it
that way and plan for it.
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