Schwarz on Workbenches

From 500 Year Old Shaving Horses to the latest modern bulletproof vises being made today, Popular Woodworking Magazine’s contributing editor Christopher Schwarz writes frequently on designing, building, and using workbenches on his woodworking blog, the Chris Schwarz Blog. Whether you’re looking for the best workbench design, workbench plans, a solid history of how benches have evolved, or want to soup up your existing workbench with smart jigs and holding devices, you’ll find it here. http://www.popularwoodworking.com/workbenches/schwarz-workbenches/new-bulletproof-vises-from-lie-nielsen

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...

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Roman Benches II

Roman workbenches have not left this world. In fact, some people might argue that they are still used today and are called shaving horses. While I don’t have a dog in that particular fight, I do have some evidence to present on how they were used up through the 20th century in their original...

A Roman bench from Pompeii. Probably 50 A.D.

The First Recorded Workbench

The first time I saw an 18th-century workbench, I thought: Wow. That will never work. But then I built some of these benches (dozens, actually), and I am a huge fan of the form’s stability, simplicity and purity. So the first time I saw a Roman workbench from 50 A.D., I thought: Hmmm. That...

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The Milkman’s Workbench in Use

The Milkman’s Workbench – a portable bench I built for the June 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine – is about 653 percent better than my first workbench. Thanks to the clever engineering in the portable bench, it can handle most handwork tasks when clamped to a dining room table or kitchen countertop. My...

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‘Milkman’s Workbench’ Without Screws

The portable “Milkman’s Workbench” from the June 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine has attracted a lot of attention, judging from the e-mail piling up in my Inbox. The No. 1 question: How can I build the bench without wooden bench screws? One answer: wedges. Reader Ilkka Sivonen of FInland built the bench without...

Hobelbank,-Zeichn.-1943

German Workbench: Artistic License or Pure Genius?

I’ve collected tons of drawings of old workbenches, during the years, and most fall into two categories: 1. A typical workbench with typical vises that looks like lots of other workbenches. 2. Workbenches that were drawn by an artist that have vises that would never work and that are put in stupid places where...