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.

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...

Friday’s Tip for January 24th

Plane Stand Every so often I need to plane down a piece of wood that is too small for my jointer. To handle these small jobs, I devised a stand for my No. 5 Stanley jack plane. The plane rests upside down on two wood blocks that fit up between the ridges on the...

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Leg Vise with No Parallel Guide or Garter

Last summer I built a workbench that was as close to the bench shown in A.-J. Roubo’s plate 11 as I could manage. While I still have three details to add to my bench (a drawer, a tool rack and a grease pot), the rest of the bench has been up and running since...

Friday’s Tip for January 17th

  Behind the Stairs Storage In my basement shop every square inch counts! Out of necessity I found a wealth of unused space tucked right under my nose, or should I say feet. That awkward space under the basement steps can easily be turned into a set of deep shelves perfect for storing everything...

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21st-Century Workbench Leg Joints

It’s hard to separate woodworking from history. Most of the skills we need and tools we use come from earlier times when everyday items that are now mostly plastic or cardboard were made of wood. It’s easy to look back and assume that a tool or process developed for a specialty in the 18th...

Friday’s Tip for January 10th

Straight-Shooting Drill Jig You may not face this problem often, but when you need to drill a hole nice and straight but the part is too big to fit on the drill press, here's what to do: Make this nifty little jig. It's about 1-1/2" tall by 2" wide. Line up your drill bit...

Friday’s Tip for January 3rd

Double-Decker Mini Clamp Here's a great little clamp for those light-duty hobby or craft jobs. Start with two ordinary clothespins, then modify and combine them as shown above. You now have a clamp with triple the capacity of a single clothespin. Alan Dooley My Take Who thinks of this stuff? Well, obviously, Alan Dooley...

Friday’s Tip for December 27th

Workbench Joint Plans for my knock-down workbench called for the 2 x 4 stretchers to be fastened with bolts and hex nuts. I'd have to rout huge pockets, weakening the stretcher, in order to get a wrench on the nuts. Yuck! I rummaged through my jelly jars of spare hardware and came up with...