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.

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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...

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A Close Look at H.O. Studley’s Vises

Once you are able to rip your eyes off of H.O. Studley’s magnificent tool chest, you can spend almost as much time looking at the benchtop and vises of the Massachusetts piano maker. On Monday, Don Williams, the author of a forthcoming book on Studley, and Jameel Abraham of Benchcrafted spent the morning taking...

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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Félibien and the Fantastic Goberge

  Before Joseph Moxon’s “Mechanick Exercises,” there was André Félibien. Félibien (1619-1695), was an early and important art critic and published a book in 1676 on the tools and processes used by woodworkers, sculptors, painters and architects called “Principes de L’architecture….” The book, published anonymously, is beautifully illustrated. And the plates were almost certainly...

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Getting Bit by the Toothed Planing Stop

I know there are people who use edge tools straight out of the box, but I can’t. I always sharpen them. So why should workbench accessories be any different? For many years I’ve been indifferent to metal planing stops. The aluminum ones are terrible for too many reasons to even get into here. The...

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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...

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WoodOwl Bits Eat Oak for Lunch

When building a workbench, boring the dog and holdfast holes is a drag, even with an electric drill. Last month, however, that all changed. While building a French oak Roubo workbench at an event put on by Benchcrafted (details here and the movie is here), Jameel Abraham introduced me to Japanese-made WoodOwl Nail Chipper...

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...

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Meet the ‘Two-bo’ Workbench

Getting a good workbench usually takes loads of money, time or both of those things. But what if you tried to be really clever and you used inexpensive construction and home renovation materials to build a massive traditional bench for a fraction of the cost of a commercial bench and with only two days...