Lake Erie Demo Workbench With a European Flavor

Whenever we attend a trade show or woodworking event we normally haul around our small Lake Erie Toolworks Demo Workbench to demonstrate the feel and functionality of our wooden vises (shown below here with the amazing Frank Klausz in action).  We usually hear phrases like “smooth like buttah”, “fast as lightening” and “holds tighter than two coats of paint” when someone gives the vises a test drive.  The challenge has always been, how best to replicate this very tactile vise experience so that people could try it out.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Leg Vise, Wagon Vise, Shoulder Vise, Workbench, Vise, Vice

Our distributor in Germany, “Dictum” decided to provide this experience to their customers by commissioning a fully functional replica of our demo bench for use in one of their showroom floors in Germany.  The bench was built by Jarek Ostaszewski who also happens to run a successful DIY construction and tool review YouTube Channel called “Domidrewno” in Poland.

Here’s the fantastic end product for your review.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Wooden Vise, Wood Vise, Wood Vice, Leg Vise, Wagon Vise, Shoulder Vise, Domidrewno

Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Wooden Vise, Wood Vise, Wood Vice, Leg Vise, Wagon Vise, Shoulder Vise, Domidrewno

Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Wooden Vise, Wood Vise, Wood Vice, Leg Vise, Wagon Vise, Shoulder Vise, Domidrewno

Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Wooden Vise, Wood Vise, Wood Vice, Leg Vise, Wagon Vise, Shoulder Vise, Domidrewno

Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Wooden Vise, Wood Vise, Wood Vice, Leg Vise, Wagon Vise, Shoulder Vise, Domidrewno

The workbench is made out of solid beech along with Hard Maple for the vise components and is extremely sturdy and heavy.  It also makes the perfect workbench for people who have limited space in their workshop, garage, basement or apartment but still want a fully functional and robust workbench.

For those of you who have further interest in this type of workbench, here is the link to access a series of nine (9) YouTube videos from Jarek on Domidrewno that will show you how he constructed the bench.  If you don’t speak Polish, you will still be well served in watching the videos to see how he made this great workbench.

If you have any other comments on this workbench that you’d like to share with us, just drop us an email or give us a call.

Best regards,

Jeff Dombrowski – Lake Erie Toolworks

Follow the Second Roman Workbench Build

Quick note that Christopher Schwarz is now building his Second Roman Workbench which can be found on the Lost Art Press Blog.  Here’s the link for your convenience.  He’s just getting underway with the build now, but it’s already shaping up to be quite the bench. We’re also anxious to see how the Wagon vise fueled by a Lake Erie Toolworks wooden screw & nut will turn out as well.  Enjoy!

Announcing Our April 2016 Workbench Idea

Our April 2016 Workbench Idea is a special one featuring our new Moxon wood vise.  This comes to us from Daniel C. an accomplished chair builder from Naples, Maine who sums it up best by saying: “Your Moxon vise is tougher than a Maine boiled owl!!! Nice work.”

What more can we say, so all you chair builders out there, take a look!

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moxon Vise, Wooden Screw Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moxon Vise, Wooden Screw Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moxon Vise, Wooden Screw Vise

Started chair building 20 years ago. Taught by Mike Dunbar. Have a fully equipped chair workshop on the shore of Brandy pond , Maine.

Couldn’t be happier with the vise. Allows me to shape at any angle the wide chair seats with draw knife and spoke shave. Easy to change grain angles.

Can knife and shave with some force to shape all sides of the Windsor sack back chair seat. I pulled and tugged the chair seat sides with the drawknife – no problem.

Your Moxon vise is tougher than a Maine boiled owl!!! Nice work.

Daniel C. – Naples, Maine


Announcing our February 2016 Workbench Idea

As we roll into February 2016, we have a great workbench idea brought to us by Hakan L. from Umea, Sweden.  This workbench features a 5″ thick hard maple top along with birch legs and also a leg and wagon vise for good measure.  We know you’ll enjoy this Scandinavian beauty.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wagon ViseWB-Feb2016-2WebWB-Feb2016-3WebWB-Feb2016-4WebWB-Feb2016-5Web


After reading all the books about workbenches I could find and looking through a few plans, I finally built this bench in 2014.

24″ deep, 96″ long and 36″ high. Weight 450 lb.

The top is 5″ hard maple (imported from the US. Hard to come by here in Sweden). Base is birch which is readily available locally.

I have access to some great machines through my work as a cabinet maker. 36″ band saw, 20″ jointer, 24″ planer, 52″wide belt sander, and a big CNC machine to mention a few.

I’m a big advocate for hand tools and was going to cut the mortises and tenons by hand but succumbed to laziness and let the CNC do it for me.

The vise screws are from your basic kits and they are flawless. The leg vise garter is made out of 7 layers of jacaranda veneer, and I used a chain vise kit from Ancora yacht service to keep the vise parallel to the leg. There’s a linear bearing in the leg to guide the leg vise. This works great, but the shaft (being a standard cold rolled bar) is to soft and the balls in the bearing wear grooves in it.

Should have used a hardened shaft instead. The shelf is 3/4″ shiplapped birch. Each one has a dowel in the middle for steering so they are always at the same distance from each other.

Finish is 2 coats of linseed oil.


Hakan L.  – Umea, Sweden

New Lake Erie Toolworks Distributor – Highland Woodworking

We are extremely excited and happy to announce that Highland Woodworking is now a stocking distributor for Lake Erie Toolworks.

Highland will specifically stock our Wood Vise Screw Premium Kit which can be used for Leg, Tail, Face and Twin Screw vise installations as well as our Wood Wagon Vise Screw Premium kit with extended wooden nut to ensure a simplified wagon vise installation.

We would encourage you all to check Highland out for not only our Lake Erie vise kits, but also for the many other fine woodworking tools and products that they offer for sale.  Plus, they are just a great group of people to deal with. Enjoy!

Lake Erie Toolworks, Highland Woodworking, Leg Vise, Wagon Vise, Wood Vise Screw


Thread Measuring Gauge

Thread Gauge

Thread Gauge

Thread Gauge closeup

Thread Gauge closeup

Here are some pictures of a wooden thread diameter gauge that I built several years ago.  I have a couple of these for different thread pitches.  Vises don’t go out the door until they are checked with these.  It is based on the “three wire method” that machinists use to verify their threads are within tolerance, except it uses stainless steel rods and they are held in place with machined brass attachments.  The foundation of this tool is a Mitutoyo 6″ digital caliper, IP67 protected (keeps dust or liquid from getting at the internal electronics).  I often see the non IP67 calipers being used by woodworkers but I think it’s worth the premium due to the dusty nature of the woodshop.  I’m of the opinion that a finer digital caliper isn’t being made.  There is often a slight variation in thread dia. within a batch, no more than a few thousandth of an inch from our own standard fit; the looser fit vises go to more humid climates and the tighter fit go to dryer climates.  We also vary the fit based on our shops humidity, tighter in the summer and slightly looser in the winter.  Our vises are made to machinist’s standards and we think that’s important, as we want the fit between the visescrew and nut to be as tight as possible without binding.   You’ll notice the numbers written on the brass pieces, -1.9680.  These represent what the readout should say when the calipers are fully closed.  Just in case the batteries die and the zero point is lost, we can reset them with the known distance from the closed position.

-Nick Dombrowski

Thread Gauge in use

Thread Gauge in use

Announcing Moxon Vise Kit – Pre-Order Special

We are excited to announce that we are accepting pre-orders for our new Lake Erie Toolworks Moxon Vise kit.  Named after the 17th century author Joseph Moxon, the Moxon vise is a portable twin screw vise that can be fixed to the front edge of your workbench.  It is perfect for cutting dovetails and tenons as it holds a board or wide panel securely and raises your work up above your benchtop; this allows for a more comfortable sawing position.

We have been prototyping and testing this vise for quite some time now and the final design is ready for production.  We have a new machine being built (more on that to come) and we will start production as soon as the machine arrives.  These vises will be available for shipping in September and are currently available at a pre-order special price.

Click here to place your order now!

Moxon Vise, Lake Erie Toolworks

Moxon Vise, Lake Erie Toolworks

Moxon Vise, Lake Erie Toolworks

La Forge Royale Miter Jack Wood Screw and Nut

Benchcrafted may have sold out of their La Forge Royale Miter Jack kits, but the good news is that they still have the metal bits portion of the kit available for sale for $38 on their website. (Link here to Benchrafted’s Blog on this topic).

The other good news here is that Nick at Lake Erie Toolworks also has a few wooden vise screws and tapped nuts for this kit ready to go for those that may have interest here.  The price is $150 for a wood screw & nut combination which also includes domestic shipping.  If you have interest here, drop Nick an email quickly as their sure to go fast. La Forge Royale Miter Vise, Lake Erie Toolworks. Wooden Vise Screw