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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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  • IronWood

    I bought the Kindle edition in 2011 and enjoyed reading and learning. However, trying to use a digital version of the pictures, photos and plans is like trying to build that eight foot Roubo bench out of match sticks; not gonna happen — in this lifetime, anyway.

    So, I bought the sequel, The Workbench Design Book, in the traditionally printed format. Now I have to wait for next month’s allowance and repurchase “Workbenches…” as a real book.

    Both are top notch. Thanks, Mr. Schwarz, for being such a knowledgable and effective communicator!

  • I agree that there is nothing to a perfect workbench….each one is designed for different uses, needs, and preferences.

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