The Workbench X-Files

During the last decade I’ve amassed hundreds of images of early workbenches as part of my research into pre-industrial woodworking. Inevitably, some of the images don’t make a lot of sense and now populate a folder named: X-Files. These workbenches are from paintings and their features might be the result of a painter who...

riving brake

Give Me a Brake (How to Make a Riving Brake)

Get some splitting leverage with this simple contraption. by Peter Follansbee Reach for a froe, and you should immediately think, “Give me a brake.” The brake can be a constructed workholding device, or just a couple of logs. Its function is to trap your workpiece in such a way that you can exert leverage...

Devilishly Clever ‘Doe’s Foot’

These notched sticks simplify your workholding at the bench. by Christopher Schwarz pages 38-39 Workbenches didn’t always have vises. In fact, for most of human history, workbenches around the world were nothing more than a stoutly made table with a few holes. The woodworker kept the work stationary with a combination of pegs, battens, holdfasts, parts of...

workbench

‘Popular Workbench Magazine’

“Popular Workbenches” is often suggested as a title revision for the magazine, given the number of workbench plans we’ve offered over the years. And it’s true that we have published a generous number of them – but every one is different! And given that a worksurface of some kind is integral to any workshop,...

Clamping a Chair is Like Hugging an Eel

One of the challenges when building a chair is clamping the dang thing down so you can work on it. I’ve seen lots of solutions that use band clamps. But I dislike band clamps (perhaps I had a bad experience at band camp). So here’s what I do. Most workholding problems can be solved...

Toothed Planing Stop from Benchcrafted

by James McConnell pg. 16 Most woodworkers have the skill to engineer a makeshift planing stop from a block of wood and a bit of old saw blade, but the precision engineering and price point of the new toothed planing stop from Benchcrafted beg the question: Why would you want to? The folks at...

Toothed Planing Stop from Benchcrafted

by James McConnell pg. 16 Most woodworkers have the skill to engineer a makeshift planing stop from a block of wood and a bit of old saw blade, but the precision engineering and price point of the new toothed planing stop from Benchcrafted beg the question: Why would you want to? The folks at...

Binding Clamps

Make your own light-duty one-handed workholding wonders. by Donald C. Williams pgs. 48-49 Like most workshops, mine is well-populated with spring clamps, the ubiquitous tool for applying localized pressure with one hand while holding the workpiece (or workpieces) with the other. But one of the most intractable problems is the need for either gentle...

On Thick, Wet Slab Tops for Workbenches

During the last seven years, I’ve slowly become a fan of using a monolithic slab for the top of a workbench. And I’ve also slowly begun to ignore all the criticisms of slab tops. I built my first slab-top workbench in 2009-2010, which was published in the August 2010 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine....