Mexican workbench.

Workbenches, Mexi-Roman Style

Discussions about the proper height for a workbench always crack me up because they are usually myopic in the extreme. When you look at workbenches across long periods of time and across cultures, there is a lot more diversity. Roman workbenches, for example, were about knee high. And lest you think that bench went...

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Stop Your Workbench in its Tracks

While this isn’t the dumbest shop trick ever (that honor belongs to: “A coffee mug is a good place to store pencils”) it’s close. About six months ago, I became crazy annoyed about my workbench moving while under heavy planing. The bench weighs about 350 pounds, so it wasn’t a matter of mass. For...

A French bench with 8" x 8" legs and a 4"-thick top.

Can Workbench Legs be too Big?

Jacques writes: I have your workbench book, and I am currently working on my version of the French bench. I had soft maple cut down from my woods, so I had it sawn, and I am working with it for the top. For the legs, a friend of mine gave me four beams that...

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A Cousin to the ‘Milkman’s Workbench’

An eagle-eyed reader spotted this small benchtop that looks like the bigger Danish brother to the portable Milkman’s Workbench I wrote about in the June 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. This benchtop was made by LEVARD, a company in Denmark that still manufactures workbenches. I’ve seen LEVARD workbenches in Europe and even the...

The bench before I added the crochet.

New Workbench DVD Available for Pre-order

You can now order my newest DVD “Build a Sturdy Workbench in 2 Days” from Popular Woodworking for $24.99. The two-hour video show you how to build a sturdy workbench using home-center materials and a benchtop made using solid-wood kitchen countertop from IKEA. It really can be built in two days – I built...

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The Notched Batten – a Great Workbench Trick

Traversing boards without a tail vise can be tricky. For the last eight years, I’ve used a setup that requires two holdfasts and a batten between them. It works fine, but it requires a long batten and two holdfasts to work. Workbench builder Richard Maguire published a tip on his blog this summer that...

The bench before I added the crochet.

Notes on the Two-day Workbench

If I told you that shooting a woodworking DVD is hard work you’d probably laugh. It sounds like a supermodel complaining about a photo shoot for the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine. So I won’t tell you how we worked under hot lights with no air conditioning (the microphones pick up the fan noise), or...