I guess I've been ambitious lately. Last month I updated my workbench
website after a very long spell. This month I did a lot of looking around
the net to find plans for workbenches. I came up with quite a few.
Also, I've done a redesign of sections of site to make it easier to look
at books I've recommended on building workbenches and have coordinated an
extensive list of supplies for workbench construction such as various vise
hardware, bench tops, etc. And, for those that have questions on building
benches there's an interactive forum for dedicated to workbench design and
construction issues (Please join in!)
The address for
this site is:
The site was originally created after I completed my second workbench. A
modern European style workbench. I did it to show one person's thought
process in deciding upon a design, refining the design for personal
preferrences and the building process. I also include information on my
first bench based upon Tom Caspar's "Workbench in a Weekend".
Anyway, the site is in no way commercial. It's just for fun. But, boy has
it ever gotten out of hand lately.
Anyway, drop on by for a visit and please let me know if you have links
you'd like to add.
You have done a really good job on your web site, I know it represents a lot
of hard work and many hours. I have added it to my favorites and will visit
again for sure.
That is an awesome workbench as well.
Thanks very much for the kind words.
My reason for building the site is just that I'm such a believer that a
good workbench is both literally and psychologically the foundation to
great woodworking. In my case, it was got me started and so into
woodworking. I started woodoworking in late 96 by building a bench. In 99
I built the formal bench shown on the site. And, now I'm a full time
custom furniture maker with a line of furniture. All that started with the
thrill of building a workbench.
I encourage you, and everyone to go through the ritual of building a
bench. You get a bonus, btw. Because building a bench involves the almost
complete range of needed woodworking skills, it comes with just great
rewards. Theres lots of referrence, equipment links and plans on my
website. Jump in and build one. It's fun!
To this I would like to add that you don't need a lot of tools either.
I am building mine from recycled timbers which I got in a rough state.
I don't have any powertools because I live in a flat (appartment to
those on the other side of the pond). A plane, some saws, chisels,
scrapers, sharpening stones and assorted other small tools is all you
need. A B&D WorkMate has been a lifesaver so far and I have got so used
to it that I can imagine that I will continue to use it for some tasks
even after the main bench is complete.
Doing it this way takes a long time but it has been very rewarding.
The base is finished and I am currently working on the top. Winding
sticks and that little blue No. 4 record plane are all the tools I have
had out of the closet for weeks.
...you should borrow a Stanley or Record #7 or #8 from Andy Dingly
if you don't have one... get this issue of Woodworkers Journal,
"Ultimate workbench issue" October 2004, volume 28, number 5
In which Frank Klausz and Ian Kirby describe their benches and give
their designs, but the point is Kirby on how to flatten the top with a
large plane. These are two classic woodworking benches. Klausz'
is a traditional design of old, Kirby's is his own design and quite
Tim...I have many times dipped into your site to check it out in the
past, and now to see the latest improvments, really appreciate it.
Currently I am mulling through the design of my bench while I slowly
get it built. No grand master here by any means, just a learner, and I
fully agree with you, that by getting into woodworking one should
build their own bench to begin with. Mine will be ..."different".
Hey, different is good. The only things that all good workbenches have in
common and that are essential are:
1) Solid construction.
2) A heavy duty top that is very true.
3) Something to hold wood in place so you can work on it.... A good
woodworking vise or two being the obvious first choices. (A front vise
holds wood in any position you need. An end vise holds wood so that it
doesn't slide off the bench)
Yes, I have looked at every classic woodworking bench site,
personal-professional-product and I have the Landis bench
book, going to buy the Schleining book too.
I was lucky finding the old vise, I got it for $20 at a junk shop,
7x4" jaw faces and "quick action" via handle position. The
brass 1/2 nut still in there and good, I'd like to get it copied! I
was God-blessed for that because I didn't to look for one in an
Needed a lot of cleaning and de-rusting so I have worked quite
a bit on that, what's left is the lead screw and whether or not I
should paint it. There was no actual damage from the rust, TG.
This vise is an "American Scale Co., KS MO No. 204" with a
sliding dog, just awesome to me, 28 lb. of iron. Don't know
if I'll use it now, considering the room I have and all other
possibilities. But there's no way I'll sell it! I have pics of it I
took before I worked on it, if you want to see them...? And
thanks for the reply too!
Designing workbenches can be as much fun as using them - and the
benches I've liked best have all been designed and built by their
Speaking of "different", I was playing with a joinery idea last
year and couldn't resist the temptation to incorporate it into a
design for a lightweight utility bench (think "assembly table")
with two full shelves. I thought I might put a store bought maple
top on it if/when I ever build it.
I put it on a commercial web page, but you might find it
interesting anyway... (link below)
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