Pre-order 'Build an 18th-century Workbench' DVD and Save | Popular Woodworking Magazine
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My latest DVD, “Build an 18th-century Workbench” is now available for pre-order in our store at a 15-percent discount until June 30 , $21.24 plus shipping.

As I was building the workbench that will be featured on the cover of the August 2010 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, Glen Huey and Drew DePenning spent hours in the shop filming the construction process during the three months I was working on the bench. (Note: I’m not slow. I just have a day job.)

Since I finished the bench, Drew has been condensing the footage into a short but information-packed video that shows the entire construction process from working the raw slabs of wood to mixing and applying the finish that I like to use on workbenches.

After considerable effort, we condensed the video down to about 38 minutes of running time. That might not seem like a lot of video for your dollar. Here’s the deal: I hate “talking head” style videos , they are usually an inefficient method of transmitting information. So we took most of the steps involved in the construction process and I narrated over them to tell you what is going on. That way you can focus a lot more on the task I’m showing instead of focusing on my strange tendency to look like I’m giving myself an erotic chest massage as I’m talking.

In addition to the video, we’ve included extra digital material on the DVD that I think you’ll find helpful. There’s a slidehow of 86 high-resolution still photos of the construction process for you to study (it’s almost like a silent film-version of the DVD). There is the complete article from the August 2010 issue, including an additional page of drawings of the leg joint, the cutting list and standard construction drawings.

And there are several SketchUp files, including a detailed one of the bench, plus alternative versions that feature a curvy lower stretcher.

All in all, I’m quite pleased with the way the DVD came out.

The DVD should be in-house by June 30, and that is when this 15-percent discount will end and the price will be $24.95.

One last thing (a personal favor to me): If you are going to purchase it, if you could use the following link to get to our store, you’ll be doing the digital equivalent of buying me a beer. Our company is running an internal contest right now, and I might win some beer money as a result.

– Christopher Schwarz

Other Workbench Resources You Should Use

– “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use” , The book that launched my exploration into ancient workbenches and workholding.

– “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis. , I should add this to my blogroll.

– “Workbenches” DVD , An excellent companion DVD that shows you how to modify your existing bench or design a new one from scratch.

– “The Best of Shops & Workbenches” CD , This CD contains lots of alternative plans for workbenches – and gives you sound advice on how to set up your workshop as well.

– “The Arts & Mysteries of Hand Tools” CD , For those who want to tune up their hand-tool skills before tacking this project, “Adam Cherubini’s Arts & Mysteries of Hand Tools” is a great place to start.

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Showing 13 comments
  • Christopher Schwarz


    Lefties need only reverse the position of the end vise and the face vise.

    As to the second part of your question, that really is a hard question that I’ve devoted one book to (and am working on a second). The work you do dictates your workholding. The design of the bench itself is open-ended, as long as it meets certain criteria (heavy, stiff, able to be used as a clamping surface in three dimension etc).

    A good place to start is:

    And then:


  • ted

    Chris, you have showed us many types of benches. Would you elaborate about which bench is best for what applications? I thought I wanted to build a Holtzapffel and now I am considering this Roubo. Also, do you have any suggestions for lefty’s. Should the design just be inverted?

  • Gary

    Just read the printed version of PW. As to your Roubo bench, when you removed the waste between the double tenons, why didn’t you use an auger, as you did with the mortise. Seems easier then ‘whacking’ it out.

    By the way, I constructed your English style bench for my shop, and I love it. Especially the leg vice

  • Jonathan Crone

    thanks for taking the time to comment, and to email.

    As my kids would say: you folks so completely "rock" 🙂

    (ok, i’m getting old…)

  • Megan

    I’ve asked our publisher to look into the shipping charges to Canada, in hopes we might be able to make some changes.

  • dale

    Could you give a rough cost of materials in making
    the "Build an 18th-century Workbench"?

    Thank you

  • Jonathan Crone

    I’m just disappointed, having ordered from the woodworkers bookshop in the past and getting very badly ‘abused’ by the shipping rates, I won’t be ordering this DVD or anything else in the future.
    (although I -really- want it)

    As a Canadian, I’ve ordered from several vendors in the USA that use the US postal service "international small parcel" that lets a company ship books and DVD’s for about $15 or so. instead, woodworkers bookshop charges a blanket $9.00 per item in shipping for international shipments.

    (vs $0.99 cents per item )

    I know that there is a difference in shipping between countries, but shipping in the same continent does not justify a 9X difference in shipping costs…

  • Jon Spencer


    I’ve been enjoying your articles on this bench. I would like to have a little better idea of your tool holder on the back of the bench. Do you have a drawing or some dimensions?



  • Christopher Schwarz


    Both joints work great. I don’t prefer one over the other.

    The DVD is aimed at people who learn better by watching rather than reading. If you have a firm grasp of the skills already, you don’t need the DVD.


  • I am in the process of building a Roubo out of American Ash. I plan to join the legs to the top with a M&T as per your book, and not with the dovetailed joint. Is this OK? Will the DVD then still be relevant?

    Paul Moldovanos
    South Africa

  • Christopher Schwarz

    But you — ahem — won’t get to see a chest massage there.


  • Megan

    Or, you could go to our Facebook page and order from there…and I could win wine money 😉


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