Because of my
unholy obsession with interest in workbenches, people send me photos of the beautiful benches they’ve built. They’re like baby photos, and I keep them all.
Sometimes, these kind souls also send me photos of what they were working on before they built their dream bench. I’ve seen hollow-core doors on plastic sawhorses. A changing table converted to a workbench. A sorrowful stack of cinderblocks.
There have to be some even more pathetic workbenches out there, and we decided to hold a contest to find the photo of the lamest woodworking bench ever. The “winner” of our contest will receive all the resources he or she needs to design a first-class workbench, including:
1. A copy of our new “The Best of Shops & Workbenches” CD that contains plans for 10 workbenches, plus 11 of our best articles from the last 10 years on setting up shop and plans for 37 jigs and toolboxes. This CD, which arrived in our warehouse last week, is just $15 and contains our best writing on workshop issues. The CD is fully searchable and printable.
2. An autographed copy of my 2007 book “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use.” This book walks you through the design process for any workbench and helps you pick the workholding you need and discard the features you’ll never use. Plus, it includes plans for two nearly vanished workbenches, including my French Roubo-style bench. It’s a $30 value.
3. An autographed copy of Robert W. Lang’s “Build the 21st Century Workbench” DVD. This hour-long video shows you how Lang designed and built the bench that he now uses in the shop at Woodworking Magazine. The DVD also contains a digital SketchUp model of the bench, slideshows of its construction and additional printable drawings. It’s a $20 value.
Here’s what you have to do to win. Take a photo of your workbench. It has to obviously be a working bench , don’t try to fool us by taking pictures of a card table. E-mail it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “My Pathetic Workbench” before midnight on Monday, March 23, 2009.
The editors will review all the entries and pick the one that we think is the saddest, most pathetic workbench. We’ll announce the “winner” in our March 25 e-mail newsletter (and here on the blog).
We’ll also publish a rogues’ gallery of the winner and the runners-up (don’t worry, no names will be used) plus the judges’ comments on your entry.
This could be just the excuse you need to get off your duff and design your dream bench. So fire up the camera and good luck!
– Christopher Schwarz
P.S. That “workbench” at the top of this entry? That’s Managing Editor Megan Fitzpatrick’s bench at home. It’s the kitchen table from her house as a child. Megan, however qualified, is not eligible to win this contest.