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Shipping begins very soon for my new book “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use” (Popular Woodworking Books). The book has arrived in our warehouse from the printer and will be shipping out soon to bookstores and specialty retailers during the next two weeks.

The book features plans for two old-school workbenches (a French and an English bench), but those aren’t the core of the book in my opinion. The central idea in this book is that there is no such thing as a perfect workbench , there are hundreds of them.

But before you can make a good workbench, you have to understand the different kinds of workholding devices , from single-point planing stops to Emmert patternmaker’s vises , and what they are useful (and not useful) for. Then you can select the vises and devices that suit the tasks that you want to accomplish.

The two workbench plans in the book are merely the simple skeletons that you can then flesh out to your satisfaction. These two benches are easy to build. And while they are far less complex than most modern benches, they are just as effective.

The book is going to be available in at many bookstores, online retailers, in the WoodWorker’s Book Club and directly from the publisher, F+W Publications Inc. (though it is not live on the site as of this posting on Oct. 31). You can even pre-order copies in advance right now from some online sellers, including Amazon and Books A Million.

In addition to those traditional sellers, you will soon be able to buy the book with a companion CD from four specialty woodworking sellers: Lee Valley Tools, Lie-Nielsen Toolworks, Tools for Working Wood and from my own site, where I sell books and DVDs (pardon the digital dust; it’s still under construction).

The companion CD includes 3D electronic models of the workbenches in the books, slideshows of the construction process and a searchable, electronic version of the book so you can print out construction drawings for the shop or find sections that interest you.  

If you want a signed edition of the book, the easiest way to get one is to buy the book from my site. I sign all the copies I ship out (unless you tell me not to!).

One final note: I’d like to thank the readers here who encouraged me to write the book, plus the staff at Popular Woodworking magazine and Woodworking Magazine that endured my bleary eyes during the writing process and my company, F+W Publications, that had faith enough to actually print the thing.

– Christopher Schwarz

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Showing 6 comments
  • Marco Colli

    Tried to order the book from your web site but can’t seem to get past the confirmation page. Get a ‘declined’ message every time. My credit card is alright 🙂 so does this have something to do with shipping to Australia – $4 seems cheap!


  • Rusty Miller

    I did order the book from Amazon. I am really interested in the CD. Please let me know what I have to do to get one.


  • Paul Morin

    Chris, My apologies if this is a stupid question, but when I go to the site, the initial page shows the price of your new book in $, however subsequent pages show £. I’m interested, but just curious what the real cost is.

    Looks like a great book.

  • Chris Schwarz

    Sorry that I’ve been tied up all day. Couple answers: Sorry that the newsletter feature of my site is buggy. We’re working on it.

    Similarly, some people are reporting issues with the security certificate at my site. The site is secure and legit. We’ll get that problem solved quickly.

    For those of you who ordered the book from Amazon, but would like the CD, drop me a line and I’ll see what we can work out.


  • Wayne Precht

    For those of us that pre-ordered on Amazon, will that edition contain the CD and if not, how can we get it?

  • Michael Rogen

    I for one would like to thank YOU publicly not only for your wonderful and enlightening look into the history of the workbench, but for all of your insight, enthusiasm, encouragement and insight into woodworking as a whole entity. Being a relative newcomer it is all too easy to get discouraged and loose sight of the reason that we first got into woodworking; the fun of it. And although most woodworking is done in a solitary fashion, I never feel alone when I’m working on a project. As you know all too often I call or email you with a question and regardless of how obvious the answer is, I have never heard you snicker at the question, at least not out loud.
    So thank you for the workbench book, but thank you too for your willingness to educate on all subjects woodworking.


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