One of the common questions I was asked at last weekend’s Woodworking in America conference was “where’s your bench?” My schedule was full with SketchUp and Mortise-and-Tenon classes (teaching, not taking), and I had to answer “I don’t know.” I hadn’t seen my bench since we unloaded it from the freight elevator Thursday afternoon. Eventually, I poked my head in the classroom next door to mine where Roy Underhill and Frank Klausz were teaching.
Things were quiet when I looked in, but this week I came across this photo of Roy on the Highland Woodworking blog. Saint Roy is standing atop the “21st-century Workbench” that I designed and built for the October 2008 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine.
It’s been a good bench for me, and a popular one among readers. We filmed a video as I built it, and the SketchUp model has been viewed more than 150,000 times. It’s part of the new Workbench Design book, and in a few hours I’ll be heading to Berea, Ky., to teach a week-long class on building this bench at Kelly Mehler’s School. This time next week, nine woodworkers will be loading up their own versions of this bench.
I’ll be adding blog posts about the class when I can, and it looks like a great week is ahead. Kelly’s shop is one of the best I’ve ever seen, the weather will be warm enough to let us work outside, an,d best of all, the rough milling is done. Here’s the material for nine bench tops, and a couple of very strong saw benches.