Workbenches

One of the most important tools in the shop is the workbench. And for years, Christopher Schwarz (formerly the editor and now a contributing editor to Popular Woodworking Magazine) along with all the editors, has been investigating various methords of workholding and workbench designs from around the world. In 2005, Chris built his first Roubo workbench, and since then, he’s personally built two more, and helped countless others do the same. Here, you’ll find workbench plans and workbench SketchUp models, reviews of various vises and more. In short, everything you need to make the perfect workbench for your shop.

The Case Against Tail Vises

If workbenches were like automobiles, then I’d consider the tail vise to be like the heated seats in a car. They’re an option, of course, but they are by no means standard equipment, like tires. Out of economic necessity, my first three workbenches didn’t have tail vises, and so I was thrilled when I...

3D Carving the BARN Workbench Vises

A workbench designed for hand tool woodworkers but made (partially) with a CNC. Each bench features a unique 3D carved leg vise. Here’s a video introduction into how they were made. The BARN workbench was designed for the Bainbridge Island Artisan Resource Network. BARN is a Seattle area community group that built a wonderful...

Be Seated: The Benchcrafted Swing-away Seat

Sitting at your workbench does not make you lazy. Many times it makes you smart. Chopping out the waste between dovetails requires endurance and patience – especially when building a large piece of casework with drawers. If you sit while chopping, you conserve energy and your eyes are closer to your chisel, improving accuracy....

Introduction to the BARN Workbench

A workbench designed for hand tool woodworkers but made (partially) with a CNC. It features a 3D carved leg vise and a workbench top designed to improve ergonomics. I designed the BARN workbench for the Bainbridge Island Artisan Resource Network. It’s a Seattle area community group that has built a wonderful community facility for...

The BARN Workbench

The BARN Workbench is named for a community group of woodworkers and other artisans. BARN is the Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network located on Bainbridge Island. The island is directly across and a 35 minute ferry ride away from Seattle. Started by a group of enthusiastic woodworkers, the group has grown to include artisans with...

Whipple Hook: Turn Any Board into a Bench

When traveling, there are many times when I wish for a toothed planing stop, especially when installing stuff where I rarely even have a bench. Enter the Whipple Hook from Lee Valley Tools. This early 20th-century patented $9.50 gizmo turns any wooden surface into a functional planing stop with the addition of two screws...

Ingenious Chinese Planing Stop

There isn’t enough written in English on the woodworking of the Chinese, who have a long and amazing woodworking and technological history. But today I’ve been gobbling up “China at Work” by Rudolf P. Hommel (MIT Press, 1937), which focuses on tools used for making other tools (blacksmithing), food, clothing, shelter and transportation. Unlike...

power tool bench american woodworker

Power Tool-Friendly Bench, by Richard Tendick

At least a couple of times each month, I get a query about Richard Tendick’s “Power Tool-Friendly Bench,” which was featured on the March/April 2014 cover of American Woodworker. So to cut down on those emails (and because I’m generally a nice person, evidence to the contrary notwithstanding), here’s that article, free. The intro...

Early English Manual Training Workbench

While at Bloodline Merchants we also investigated this English workbench, which is almost certainly an early manual training bench. The face vise is a Parkinsons Perfect Vise (and yes, it is spelled “vise” not “vice” on the casting). Parkinsons were made in the 1880s and this example features early metal screw threads that are...