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


Lake Erie Toolworks Whitepaper Update

Heads up that we’ve just released our latest Lake Erie Toolworks Whitepaper that provides in detail the reasons behind the design decisions of our vises and components along with the construction and machining methodologies that we use.

You can find the whitepaper available on our website in both the “Install” section as well as the “FAQ” section of our website.

We hope you enjoy.

Jeff Dombrowski – Lake Erie Toolworks



Leg Vise With No Parallel Guide Or Garter – Rebroadcast

Last summer 2013, Christopher Schwarz along with many other tremendous woodworkers gathered in Georgia to build some of the finest Roubo workbenches possible via the French Oak Roubo Project.  Lake Erie Toolworks was also the proud builder of the massive wooden vise screws and threaded legs that made up the leg vises on the benches that were constructed at this event.

With this as a backdrop, Chris had recently posted an update on his Popular Woodworking Blog that spoke about a “magic tapered stick” that he used essentially as a replacement for the parallel guide and stop on the bottom of his leg vise.  We liked this post so much that we are re-broadcasting this to our audience that may not have caught this update.  Therefore, you can click on the attached link to see the writeup as well as a quick video that gives you the low-down.

Leg Vise With No Parallel Guide Or Garter – Blog Post

We hope you enjoy.