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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The Mistakes of First-time Bench-builders

If you’re about to embark on building your first workbench, you might want to read this blog entry. I expect you to discard every piece of advice in it (most bench-builders do) and build the crazy contraption you’ve planned out in your head. Here, in my opinion, are the most common missteps woodworkers make...

Friday’s Tip for February 28th

No-Hassle Filter Cleaning My air filter works great and sure makes my shop a cleaner and healthier place to work. But cleaning the pleated filter was always a problem. Blowing or shaking it out just made a big mess. I tried vacuuming it but my vacuum wand would attach itself to the filter like...

Friday’s Tip for February 21st

Knot-Free Planing I use a lot of #2 pine boards, but when I plane them, the knots often nick my knives. I found a way to prevent this by cutting out the knots before I plane. Because most of my projects require only short pieces, this works fine and my knives last a lot...

Friday’s Tip for February 14th

Stable Roller Stand I bought a roller stand to support my lumber when sawing. It worked okay, but sometimes the rear leg would fold up and the stand would collapse. This was very annoying. I fixed it by adding some plastic cable ties at the top and bottom of the leg and stretching a...

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...

Friday’s Tip for February 7th

Flip-Top Sawhorses I got tired of rummaging around for a blanket or anything soft to lay my finished projects on, so I rigged up these simple carpet caps that fit on top of my sawhorses. They just flip out of the way when I'm back to rough work.  James Blandford My Take Now that's...

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...