Chris Schwarz's Blog

First Look: ‘Workbenches, Revised Edition’

WB_revised_cover_IMG_9600

ShopWoodworking.com is now taking pre-orders for the new revised edition of “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use” for $34.99 plus free domestic shipping. The book will be released on or about Oct. 20.

I spent several months earlier this year on the revision to the book and am quite pleased with the results. Most of the changes were in the section on workholding. Since the book was first published in 2007, there has been an explosion of new vises and accessories that were not on the market.

I also added plans for two variations of the benches in the book. For the Roubo bench, I show the strategies I’ve used for building authentic old-school version of this French bench with the through sliding dovetail and tenon. Plus thoughts on how to make this bench using a massive slab – drying is an issue, but it can be overcome.

For the English-style workbench, I added plans for a variant that knocks down with hex-head bolts and malleable-iron plates. Designing a knockdown workbench was a big deal for me because I won’t design a workbench that is unsuited for the heavy handwork that I like. This English bench is just the ticket. Most people don’t even realize it’s a knockdown bench while working on it. But it takes less than 10 minutes to set up with a single socket wrench.

WB_revised_interior_IMG_9602

When they finished laying out the 192-page book, we had a few blank pages left at the back. Rather than leave them blank as “doodle space,” we shoehorned in two more projects – a wood-screw Moxon vise and a portable “Milkman’s workbench” – a portable apartment-sized bench that can be stowed in a suitcase, yet offers a lot of functionality.

When we first announced we were revising the book, the most common questions was: Should I buy the revised edition if I have the original edition? I have honestly say: No. My ideas about bench design presented in the first book are unchanged. But many readers have told me they are going to buy the revised edition and give their original edition to a friend or budding woodworker.

At this time, “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use Revised Edition” will be available only through ShopWoodworking.com and Lee Valley Tools. The book is 8-1/2” x 11”, hardbound and produced entirely in the United States.

— Christopher Schwarz

8 thoughts on “First Look: ‘Workbenches, Revised Edition’

  1. capehandyman08204

    Current building bench on cover of November 2015. I’ll upload some pics or video when I get done. Thanks

  2. jurgen01

    I just received and have started reading the new book. Great stuff!
    Thanks for your hard work and your scholarship.
    You must live in the Land of Caffeine. When do you sleep? 🙂

  3. Sawdust

    Chris –
    How about I mail my old version back to you (at my expense) and you see it is included with a set of tool for a “budding” woodworker?

    Let me know.

    Ronald Carl Dennis
    rdennis303@aol.com

  4. Charlie Kocourek

    HI Chris,

    In a recent Popwood-Newsletter you answered four common Workbench questions. I really appreciate all the research you have done on woodworking and workbenches. As much as I respect you and your knowledge of the craft, I have to take exception to your response about Mobile and Height Adjustable benches.

    It is probably easy for younger or bigger guys to push a 300-400 pound bench around, but it is not easy for some women, or for smaller or older woodworkers like me. Sure, sometimes the wheels are small, but they work great and I am glad to have them.

    A Height Adjustable bench may not be for everyone, but there are many cases where that is just the ticket!

    A good height for my bench is about 38″, but my table saw is only 34″. My bench is located behind my table saw and when I rip long boards they hit the side of bench. The ability to easily move or adjust the bench is a godsend for me. Also, adjusting the bench height to suit my work does make it easier on my back. Sometimes people share their benches with their spouses or their kids and it is great to have a bench that fits all members of the family.

    Chris, I mean no disrespect but I sincerely believe that the best reason to build your own bench rather than buying one is to get a bench that is tailored to your own needs and circumstance. Sometimes that means adding mobility or some way to adjust the height.

    Thanks!
    Charlie

    1. Megan FitzpatrickMegan Fitzpatrick

      Charlie, that was excerpted from the book in a post I put up, not Chris. So he likely won’t see it. But speaking on behalf of average-sized women…I can move my 250 (ish) LVL bench away from the wall enough to work on all sides (if I want to). What I _can’t_ do is lift it onto the wheels we added as an experiment in 2010 or 11.

  5. Duncan

    Good day Chris,
    I have a number of you books and they all make great reading. I like both your style and your very warped sense of humour. I already have the original version and I agree with the other two comments, a “booklet” with the new info would be great.
    Now, the main reason I am here, what a choice to make, download or hardcover the same price! Are you kidding me! Other than woodworking, my main addiction is reading. I love my kindle and I love my hardcovers. I have never even heard of a download and a hardcover being the same price. Please share with me the justification in pricing both formats the same because, I just don’t get it.

  6. d_lamb@shaw.ca

    Chris,
    Boy, it would be great if you could offer the revised sections as a ‘supplement’ book…I am the proud owner (having read it many times) of your first edition, but I’m not sure I could justify buying the revised addition to ‘the boss’ (aka my wife)!

  7. captjack

    Would be nice if you would offer the supplement pages for those of us who purchased the original back in 07.

    captjack

Comments are closed.