ShopWoodworking.com is now taking pre-orders for the new revised edition of “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use” for $34.99 plus free domestic shipping. The book will be released on or about Oct. 20.
I spent several months earlier this year on the revision to the book and am quite pleased with the results. Most of the changes were in the section on workholding. Since the book was first published in 2007, there has been an explosion of new vises and accessories that were not on the market.
I also added plans for two variations of the benches in the book. For the Roubo bench, I show the strategies I’ve used for building authentic old-school version of this French bench with the through sliding dovetail and tenon. Plus thoughts on how to make this bench using a massive slab – drying is an issue, but it can be overcome.
For the English-style workbench, I added plans for a variant that knocks down with hex-head bolts and malleable-iron plates. Designing a knockdown workbench was a big deal for me because I won’t design a workbench that is unsuited for the heavy handwork that I like. This English bench is just the ticket. Most people don’t even realize it’s a knockdown bench while working on it. But it takes less than 10 minutes to set up with a single socket wrench.
When they finished laying out the 192-page book, we had a few blank pages left at the back. Rather than leave them blank as “doodle space,” we shoehorned in two more projects – a wood-screw Moxon vise and a portable “Milkman’s workbench” – a portable apartment-sized bench that can be stowed in a suitcase, yet offers a lot of functionality.
When we first announced we were revising the book, the most common questions was: Should I buy the revised edition if I have the original edition? I have honestly say: No. My ideas about bench design presented in the first book are unchanged. But many readers have told me they are going to buy the revised edition and give their original edition to a friend or budding woodworker.
At this time, “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use Revised Edition” will be available only through ShopWoodworking.com and Lee Valley Tools. The book is 8-1/2” x 11”, hardbound and produced entirely in the United States.
— Christopher Schwarz