Christmas Gift Ideas

Of course our wooden vise kits make an excellent Christmas gift, but if you are in the market for something a little different, we’ve compiled a list of general tools that we use and highly recommend. We are part of Amazon’s affiliate program and earn a small commission if you click through the links and make a purchase. Just click on the pictures to check them out.

Aerokroil Penetrating Lubricant: Far and away the best kind that we’ve used. If you have any bolts that have developed a ‘vintage patina’, this is the stuff to use. It’s more expensive than the other stuff but it will save you hours of frustration and prevent you from scaring your neighbors and small woodland creatures away while working on your vehicle. If it can’t get a bolt loose, it’s time to break out the torch.

Maximum Impact Bolt & Nut Remover Set: I (Nick) have a ’95 Land Cruiser project vehicle, more project than vehicle unfortunately, and these have been very helpful in removing 25 year old rusty bolts and nuts. When combined with the Aerokroil above and an impact wrench, there are few bolts that I can’t get loose. At $29.95, these are a crazy good value if you do any kind of wrenching on cars.

Bondhus Allen Wrench set: We really like this set because they are top quality and the Metric wrenches are gold and the Imperial are silver. We have several of these around the shop and the color difference helps us keep things organized. Bondhus makes excellent T-handle wrenches as well as torx and other style drivers. Made in the USA as well.

Trusco Tool Boxes: These are quality Japanese made steel toolboxes. I have a couple of the smaller ones and the one in the link above is great to keep a small basic toolkit for around the house tasks or in your trunk. It’s also my go-to as a kids first toolbox; small enough for them to handle yet something that will last into adulthood. They also make smaller box style ones and larger toolboxes with cantilever lids.

PB Swiss Screwdrivers: The king of screwdrivers. They are made in Switzerland, the steel is excellent, the tips are precisely ground and the rubber grip is formulated so that it is still grippy even if you’re hands have some dirt or oil on them. Great for automotive or maintenance work. Two thumbs way up.

Grace Screwdrivers: Well made wood handled screwdrivers. These are a great option f you aren’t planning on using these with oily hands. Good steel, comfortable grips, properly shaped tips, good value and made in the good ole’ U S of A. They also make all kinds of specialty and gunsmith screwdrivers.

Unscrew-Ums: I was driving a screw into the hard maple face frame of a kitchen cabinet base that I had already installed and the head snapped off just below the surface. What to do? I didn’t wan’t to drill a big hole around the screw so I took to the interwebs to find a solution. I was skeptical but I bought the individual size that I needed for the #8 screw and it actually worked. You chuck it in your drill, run it in reverse and it begins to cut away the threads leaving the screw shaft intact. The slit in the side allows it to expand a bit and the spring action combined with the saw teeth at the tip grip into the top 1/8″ of the broken off screw and back it out, leaving a mostly intact hole ready for the replacement screw to be installed at a lower clutch setting.

If you are looking for good ideas for books, here is a link to our list of recommended books on woodworking and machining: https://www.lakeerietoolworks.com/pages/recommended-resources

You built that workbench? It’s simply amazing!

Our good friends at the Woodsmith Shop have now recorded a television episode in which they have built an English style workbench (A New Old Workbench) that is either available via your local PBS channel or is also for purchase online from their Woodsmithshop.com website.

Since a sturdy workbench should be among the first tools in your woodworking toolkit, this specific workbench video and plan set will provide you with the core information needed to make this bench a reality in your workshop.

Just remember, there’s nothing quite like crafting your own workbench, and when a friend or family member asks if “You built that workbench”? Followed up with “It’s simply amazing”! There’s nothing quite like that pride of accomplishment that you will surely feel.

Happy Woodworking from Lake Erie Toolworks

Lake Erie Toolworks – Modified Nicholson English Workbench Idea

Our latest Workbench Idea comes from Tom M. from The Woodlands, Texas who has built a modified Nicholson English Workbench with a leg vise.  This juggernaut weighs in at around 300 pounds and is solid as a rock.  Tom also shows us the various major steps of construction that he used to build this monster bench from planing & joinery of the various wood components through glue-up and final assembly.  Enjoy!

Lake Erie Toolworks, English Workbench, Nicholson Workbench, Leg Vise, Wood Vise,

Lake Erie Toolworks, English Workbench, Nicholson Workbench, Leg Vise, Wood Vise,

Lake Erie Toolworks, English Workbench, Nicholson Workbench, Leg Vise, Wood Vise,

Lake Erie Toolworks, English Workbench, Nicholson Workbench, Leg Vise, Wood Vise,

Lake Erie Toolworks, English Workbench, Nicholson Workbench, Leg Vise, Wood Vise,

Lake Erie Toolworks, English Workbench, Nicholson Workbench, Leg Vise, Wood Vise,

Lake Erie Toolworks, English Workbench, Nicholson Workbench, Leg Vise, Wood Vise,

Lake Erie Toolworks, English Workbench, Nicholson Workbench, Leg Vise, Wood Vise,

Lake Erie Toolworks, English Workbench, Nicholson Workbench, Leg Vise, Wood Vise,

Lake Erie Toolworks, English Workbench, Nicholson Workbench, Leg Vise, Wood Vise,

This design was inspired by Paul Sellers on YouTube.  My version is a bit bigger.  I built is using hand tools only – just to see if I could.

The wood materials are Southern Yellow pine construction lumber purchased from Lowes.

The bench is sealed with boiled linseed oil, weighs about 300 pounds and is as solid as a rock.  I think it will last.

Regards,

Tom M. – The Woodlands, Texas

Lake Erie Toolworks – Split Top Roubo Workbench Idea

Our latest Workbench Idea comes from Ed D. from the Big Easy, New Orleans, Louisiana, who has built a fantastic Split Top Roubo Bench featuring a leg and wagon vise. Enjoy.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Split Top Roubo, Wood Vise, Workbench Idea
Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Split Top Roubo, Wood Vise, Workbench Idea
Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Split Top Roubo, Wood Vise, Workbench Idea
Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Split Top Roubo, Wood Vise, Workbench Idea
Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Split Top Roubo, Wood Vise, Workbench Idea
Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Split Top Roubo, Wood Vise, Workbench Idea

Hey Jeff!
I started this bench over a year ago but haven’t had time to finish it until now, since the pandemic closed me down for a few months. It’s made from 8/4 cherry and maple. I indulged myself and fancied it up a tiny bit with the laminated legs and ebony plugs.

Both vises work great. The wagon vise is an amazing help for planing as I’ve tried to make the transition to hand tools for everything except for initial milling.

Next on the agenda is a cherry tool chest that will fit into the base. Going to wooden screws is really a game-changer in my opinion when efficiency is a goal. Thanks again!

Ed D.
New Orleans, LA

Announcing: Lake Erie Toolworks “ForeverBench”

Lake Erie Toolworks is proud to announce the launch of our new “ForeverBench” custom and personalized workbench product line.  Constructed with features found only on fine furniture, these benches are built to last and will fit your every hobbyist need. They will also be right at home in your workshop, rec-room, basement, garage or even as your kitchen island.

Whether you are a woodworker, maker, fly-tier, gunsmith, reloading enthusiast, gardener, jeweler, modeler, guitar builder, homemaker, chef, culinary artist, or any hobbyist, a solid hard maple, custom bench, built right here in the USA will serve you very well.

Features include:

  • Solid hard maple construction
  • Hard Maple Wood Welded Benchtop by Bally Block Co.
  • Uncompromising drawbored mortise and tenon joinery
  • Steel tension rod assembly
  • Durable finish
  • Personalize your bench with included V-Carved text

Options include:

  • 2-1/4” thick benchtop, about twice as stiff as the standard 1-3/4” thick top
  • Adjustable leveling feet, hard maple foot pads are standard
  • Custom bench height (most popular height being around 34-35″)
  • Full length benchtop strips (butcher block / end finger joined blocks are standard)
  • Hard maple ship lapped shelf
  • Standard Vise and Premium Quick Release Vise
  • Moxon Vise and Moxon Lite Vise add-ons
  • Custom image routing beyond V-Carved text quoted on a case-by-case basis

For more details or to order your ForeverBench, just check out our website at www.LakeErieToolworks.com.

Lake Erie Toolworks, ForverBench, Workbench, American Made Workbench, Made in USA, Custom Workbench, Bench

Lake Erie Toolworks, ForverBench, Workbench, American Made Workbench, Made in USA, Custom Workbench, Bench

Lake Erie Toolworks, ForverBench, Workbench, American Made Workbench, Made in USA, Custom Workbench, Bench

Lake Erie Toolworks, ForverBench, Workbench, American Made Workbench, Made in USA, Custom Workbench, Bench

Lake Erie Toolworks, ForverBench, Workbench, American Made Workbench, Made in USA, Custom Workbench, Bench

Woodcraft Magazine”Great Gear” Review of Lake Erie Toolworks Moxon Vises

Heads up that Lake Erie Toolworks Moxon Vises are in the latest issue of Woodcraft Magazine (Feb/Mar 2020).  You can check out the update in their “Great Gear” section via the following link.

Woodcraft also happens to be one of the premier distributors of Lake Erie Toolworks products and can be accessed online via their Woodcraft.com website.

Woodcraft Magazine, Lake Erie Toolworks, Moxon Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks Moxon Vise

Here’s Our January 2020 – Lake Erie Toolworks Workbench Idea!

Our latest Workbench Idea comes from Quentin W. who has built a tremendous English Style “Nicholson” Workbench featuring a face vise. The entire bench is also made out of cherry and she’s a beauty!.  Enjoy.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Nicholson Workbench, Wood Vise, Face Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Nicholson Workbench, Wood Vise, Face Vise

Primary construction of my modified Nicholson “English” bench is complete.  I still need to add holes in top and skirt.  I am waiting for arrival of holdfasts from blacksmith before drilling to assure proper fit.

The bench is constructed entirely from 8/4 cherry, glued up into 16/4 stock for legs and vise.  The top is flush with skirt in front, overhanging in the rear so that I have option of clamping a work light for detail work.

The vise jaw is a massive 4x12x24 inches, with a 3×3 walnut glide parallel to the screw to avoid racking.  Even with this weight, the Lake Erie vise is smooth acting.

The cherry had a number of imperfections that made it is less than ideal for a serious furniture project, but with a butterfly inlay securing a split on the rear skirt and a couple of dutchmen laid into the top, it is flat, solid, and good to go.

I am not sure of weight, but it definitely does not move no matter how hard I push.  For an 18th-century inspired bench designed for hand work, there is something very special about a wooden screw.

The heft and precision threads of the Lake Erie screw were an ideal match to this period style bench.

Quentin W. – Greenwich, NJ

Workbench Idea Is Actually a Book Press

Although our Lake Erie Toolworks wooden vise screw kits are typically used for workbench vises, on occasion we have customers that use them for non-workbench type applications such as book presses, printing presses and wine presses.

This said, for our latest Workbench Idea, we have a unique Book Press for your review that was designed by Larry Seeman from Carmel, California and built by Tony Andrews from Santa Cruz, California. Here you go.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Wood Vise Screw, Book Press

Lake Erie Toolworks, Wood Vise Screw, Book Press

Hi Nick, I thought you might like to see how I used your 2X Vice Screw in my new Standing Book Press. Came out nice, see 2 pics. The press is mostly hard maple, same as your Vice Screw and the platen that is raised and lowered to press the books is teak.  Vice Screw is attached to block that lifts the Teak platen via a 1” stainless steel threaded rod that is epoxied into the end of the Vice Screw and attaches to the lifting block that has a 1” flange bearing mounted on the bottom of the lifting block. I am the designer and Tony Andrews of Santa Cruz is the woodworker who executed it.

Larry Seeman – Carmel, CA

Web Shavings – Product Watch Update

If you pick up a copy of the latest issue of Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement Magazine (April/May 2019), check out the “Web Shavings” Product watch section that highlights our very own Lake Erie Toolworks ClampGAUGE Tool.

This very innovative product that literally takes the guesswork out of panel glue-ups is really picking up steam as more woodworkers around the globe discover what an amazing tool this really is.

Also, when you use the simple and free online or smartphone based application that accompanies this tool, it will tell you the specifics of clamp placement to ensure the most efficient and effective glue-up possible to achieve the glue manufacturers recommended clamp up pressure.  Further, why use a ton of clamps when you may only need a few.

You can also check out this phenomenal tool on our website link provided here.  If you thought the only answer was to through more clamps at a glue-up and then tighten as much as possible – think again!

Lake Erie Toolworks, ClampGAUGE, Clamp, Glue-up