Workbenches – Which Path Do I Follow?

When a woodworker makes that fateful decision to build their own workbench, the next logical step is – what style of workbench do I build?  Roubo, Nicholson, Moravian, Scandinavian, etc.

Then there’s the many other factors such as: what type of wood should I use, what type of finish do I need, how tall or wide should it be, should it be a solid permanent workbench or a knock-down transportable type, how much should it weigh, what kind of vises should I use, and the list goes on.

It also might be heresy for me to say, but a fully wooden vise screw & nut isn’t always the proper choice for every woodworker given their own personal situation. There are times & circumstances when a metal vise screw is the best way to go.

The short answer to what type of Workbench you should pursue is, IT DEPENDS.

It depends on many factors such as:

  • Hand tool work or Power tool work (or a mix)
  • How much are you looking to spend (a lot or a little)
  • Will it be stationary or do you need to transport it frequently
  • Are you building small bird houses & gifts or large ornate furniture
  • Planning to do lots of joinery (dovetails, tenons, etc.) or not much at all
  • Are you working in a small apartment or a sprawling workshop
  • etc, etc, etc.

By giving all of this a lot of honest thought and after a bunch of research using the many fine workbench building resources that are out there (Books, DVDs, Websites), you will eventually land on a workbench path that you must follow.  The key is that everyone should chart their own personal path to their own workbench nirvana.

Until then, I’d like to point you to some additional resources that you can find on our “Links/Info” section of our Lake Erie Toolworks website.  First off, we have a section called “Workbench Ideas” that has a huge number of workbench styles for you to peruse & consider on your path to personal discovery.

We also have several links for you to follow to check out Will Myer’s workbench builds for his Roubo, Nicholson and Moravian Style Workbenches.  There’s also a link to a Workbench video series from Paul Sellers that I think many of you will find very informative.

We’ll keep adding more informative detail on our “Links/Info” page of our website in the future to help you in your quest, but until then, keep on driving until you find the right exit ramp to your own ultimate Workbench destination,

Best regards,

Jeff Dombrowski – Lake Erie Toolworks

 

Woodworking saved my life and now it’s my duty and honor to pay it forward

We’ve been working with Shawn Mancera to gain a better perspective and understanding of the very real impact that our veterans face upon returning home from combat duty overseas trying to re-adjust to a normal life.  

With this in mind, Shawn has embraced woodworking as a way to make a difference not only in his life, but also in helping many other veterans truly find their way back home. We encourage all of our woodworking audience to read the following and to help out as you may deem appropriate.  Let’s help both Shawn and all of our returning veterans make a positive difference in their lives.

My name is Shawn Mancera.  I’m a Marine Corps combat veteran (2 tours in Afghanistan). After serving my country proudly for 8 years I came home… well at least physically. On the inside I was a wreck.  I had flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety living with TBI (traumatic brain injury) due to an IED (Improvised Explosive Device).

To top it off my mother (my hero who raised me without my father) suddenly and unexpectedly passed away.  Suicide seemed to be the only way out of this hell on earth… that is until a VA counselor introduced me to woodworking.  I instantly fell in love with it.  I became totally immersed in the task before me, forgetting everything else, including the unwanted memories.

Woodworking saved my life and now it’s my duty and honor to pay it forward and save the lives of other veterans living with PTSD.  With the little money I had I invested in a small workshop, composed mostly of salvaged and restored tools, and opened it up to veterans.  Learning to use hand tools to create a piece of furniture is a small part of what my workshop does for veterans suffering from myriad wounds inflicted during combat.

The time spent in my shop provides an opportunity for these veterans to develop new memories in a non-war context and a place that helps them ease back into their civilian community.  I understand first handed the positive attributes physical creativity has on the unseen scars of war. They can concentrate on something other than the battlefield. It gets them out of the house, offers validation, makes them feel accepted and lets them band together with others who know what they’re going through.

I recruit veterans by posting ads around the West L.A. Veterans Affairs Hospital, local veterans’ centers, and within the veteran’s housing community in which I live.  If you would like to help me help Veterans by donating any tools (new or used, dented, rusty it doesn’t matter) it would help tremendously. I would be forever grateful.  We cannot accept monetary donations, but we welcome gift cards to stores which carry woodworking tools/supplies.

The workshop address is:

2309 blue butterfly way

San Pedro CA 90732

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at shawnmichaelmancera@gmail.com

 

 

 

La Forge Royale Miter Jack Screw and Nut Kit Pre-Order – One More Chance To Jump Onboard

For everyone that wished they sprung for the pieces & parts to complete the amazing Benchcrafted La Forge Royale Miter Jack Vise which was powered by a Lake Erie Toolworks built wooden vise screw and nut, you have one more chance to catch the train before it leaves the station.

Lake Erie Toolworks is doing a limited production run of Miter Jack hard maple vise screws & threaded nut blocks to accommodate the Benchcrafted “La Forge Royale Miter Jack”.

The wooden vise screw and threaded nut block can be ordered through Lake Erie Toolworks directly via this link. Once it says “Out of Stock”, that means we have sold out of the pre-order.  We may have some extras but can only guarantee a Miter Jack Kit to those who pre-order.

The remaining metal vise parts will have to be purchased from Benchcrafted BEFORE ordering your vise screw and nut block from Lake Erie Toolworks to make sure that you have what you need in order to complete the Miter Jack Vise.

Domestic USA shipping is included in the price of the Vise Screw & Nut pre-order, while international shipping will be calculated individually and billed separately.

Note that this is a pre-order for these wooden vise kit components which are expected to be completed and ready for shipment from Lake Erie Toolworks by early June 2017.

Don’t miss the train this time so we encourage you to jump onboard before we leave the station, quite possibly for the last time on this particular vise.

Best regards,
Jeff Dombrowski – Lake Erie Toolworks

(All photos courtesy of Benchcrafted Blog and website.)

Lake Erie Toolworks, Wooden Vise Screw, La Forge Royale Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Wooden Vise Screw, La Forge Royale Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Wooden Vise Screw, La Forge Royale Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks Announces New ClampGAUGE System

Glue manufacturers have recommended clamping pressures for panel glue-ups which ensure the strongest and longest lasting glue joint. To date, only large woodworking businesses & furniture manufacturers could afford to invest in industrial clamping machines which ensure that proper board glue-up pressures were achieved. Now, with the new Lake Erie Toolworks ClampGAUGE System, all woodworkers can benefit from stronger and longer lasting panel and tabletop glue-ups.

This tool works as a flexible clamping caul,engineered so that when it bottoms out on panel glue-ups, the proper clamping pressure is achieved.  It’s rare when a totally new type of woodworking tool comes along and the ClampGAUGE System certainly hits this mark.

  • This patent pending Made in the USA tool is precision CNC machined of 6061-T6 aluminum barstock, hard coat anodized for durability, laser etched and comes with a lifetime warranty
  • ClampGAUGEs come in three different sizes for the most effective board clamping possible and they work in pairs, one on each side of the boards to be glued up and are inserted between the clamp jaws and the wood.  Each kit also includes a chart which tells the user which ClampGAUGE size combinations to use and where along the board to space them.
  • As you tighten the clamp, the ClampGAUGE flattens out and as soon as the middle of the tool bottoms out on the wood, you have achieved the proper clamping pressure to ensure the best glue joint possible. This tool also self adjusts to accommodate all wood species ranging from softwoods to hardwoods

Using this tool couldn’t be easier and they truly ‘Take the Guesswork Out of Glue-ups’.

You can also click here to see the ClampGAUGE System in use with our awareness and training videos.

Our existing customers already know about the extreme quality of our wooden vise products and the new ClampGAUGE System is no exception. So now’s your chance to take the guesswork out of your glue-ups and ensure the strongest and longest lasting glue joint possible on your woodworking masterpiece.

Best regards,
Jeff Dombrowski – Lake Erie Toolworks

Lake Erie Toolworks, ClampGAUGE System

Fine Woodworking Positive Review of Lake Erie Toolworks Moxon Vise

This just in, Fine Woodworking’s positive Tool Review in their June 2017 magazine issue on our Lake Erie Toolworks Moxon Vise.  Thank you to Matt Kenney – Fine Woodworking’s Special Projects Editor & Co-Host of their Podcast – Shop Talk Live.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Fine Woodworking, Moxon Vise, Tool Review