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

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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...

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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...

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Round Bench Dogs that Don’t Rotate

If there is one disadvantage to round bench dogs, it is that they can occasionally rotate as you are clamping something between two dogs or when you are planing against a single dog. It’s a minor annoyance, but it’s real. An Italian reader devised a very clever solution to this problem that is quick....

Portable Benches for Servicemen

As my dad is a Vietnam vet, I’ve always had a soft spot for the men and women in the armed forces. So when I heard from several of them that they were interested in buying one of my portable workbenches, I thought I could do better than sell them something. I enlisted the...

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Dogs for the ‘Milkman’s Workbench’

Holy cow I mucked around a lot making the dogs for the portable workbench featured in the June 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. I made spring-loaded bench dogs (more complex than necessary). Dogs using a bullet catch (the right-size hardware wasn’t readily available at the home center). And when I considered casting the...

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Richard Maguire Hardware – My First Look

One of the regulars at the Melbourne Guild of Fine Woodworking is building a workbench using Richard Maguire hardware from the United Kingdom. During my visit there, I had the chance to inspect the hardware straight from the box. I got to play with three pieces of bench hardware, all of which were very...

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Build a Bench, Help a Serviceman

One of the biggest obstacles to beginning woodworkers is carving out a space to work in, and building a bench to work on. Recently, I built a pair of portable workbenches that are closely based on a now-disappeared commercial bench from the 20th century. These small-scale benches clamp to almost any surface, from a...

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Tooth Your Benchtop in Four Songs

Years ago, I saw an interview with W. Patrick Edwards on how he dressed his benchtop with a toothing plane to improve his bench’s grip. I was intrigued by his argument, but it took a few years until I was ready to commit to it. Last year I toothed my benchtop and began working...