Cheap, Simple & Portable (Yes, Another Workbench)

November15PWM

Though I find it darn-near impossible to believe, it has been more than five years since we published plans for a full-sized workbench. That was Christopher Schwarz’s “Return of Roubo,” the cherry-topped bench he built using mostly hand tools (you’ll find it in the August 2010 issue as well as on a  download, “Build an 18th-Century Workbench” that includes a bunch of additional resources).

Chris is back to bench building in our November issue, with a decidedly different style of bench: a knockdown English version that’s so sturdy you won’t believe it’s portable. Bonus: it’s cheap and simple to build. (Plus you’ll find step-by-step instruction for  mid-century modern clock, William Ng’s sharpening pond, the winners of the 2015 PWM Excellence Awards and more.)

The issue mails to subscribers on or around Sept. 30, and will be on newsstands Oct. 14.

Workbenches Revised coverAlso on the near horizon is a revised version of Chris’s book “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use.” It includes the bench shows above, as well as four additional plans.

But what’s most important about the book is not the specific benches so much as the research and real-word experience Chris shares. You’ll learn the “rules” of workbench design, and how to make the most of your workbench as well as how to make it.

It’s expected in our warehouse in early October.

And now that I have a much larger shop at home (and the “petit Roubo” I have there is only 6′ long), I’m also thinking about building another bench. (You might want to back away…this bench-building disease is highly contagious.)

— Megan Fitzpatrick

4 thoughts on “Cheap, Simple & Portable (Yes, Another Workbench)

  1. rmertens

    Here’s one question that I have: can you build this bench with a regular metal vise instead of the crochet? I’m building some benches for a school and wanted to use this design for its simplicity and sturdiness, but we need vises to hold wood for carving.

  2. Bill Lattanzio

    I love that design, one good reason being I’m not a fan of over-engineered workbenches. But the “Naked Woodworker” workbench form is pretty impressive on many levels. It makes me want to build a new bench.

    1. pmac

      If you haven’t already seen it, Google “mike siemsen workbench”. Look for the link to his YouTube video on how he uses this form of bench. ( It usually pops up as the first hit. ). I’ll bet you probably will build a new bench, I did.

  3. dzehner2

    Hey! That looks like my workbench! Whew, now I can rest easy knowing I have a “Schwarz Approved” bench apparatus!

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