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

Where’s the Beef? It’s alive, well and living in Wadsworth, Ohio

Many of you no doubt remember the famous words “Where’s the Beef”?   Well in this instance, the beef refers to one of the most massive Roubo workbenches that I’ve seen in a very long time.  It also happens to be our March 2019 Workbench Idea submitted to us by Jerry (Chip) E. who lives in Wadsworth, Ohio.

Chip built one of the largest Roubo workbenches there is (a.k.a. “the beef”) and then fit it with a great leg vise powered by one of our premium wooden vise screw kits.  We know you’ll enjoy our latest customer provided Workbench Idea so here you go.

(Note: For those of you who may not be aware of our “Workbench Ideas” feature – previously known as “Workbench of the Month”, this feature is also alive, well and living on our Lake Erie Toolworks website under the “Workbench” main menu option.  We also have almost 90 workbenches for you to take a look out as well if you are looking for inspiration to craft your masterpiece.)

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Vise, Vice

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Vise, Vice

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Vise, Vice

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Vise, Vice

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Vise, Vice

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Vise, Vice

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Vise, Vice

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Vise, Vice

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Vise, Vice

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Vise, Vice

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Vise, Vice

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Vise, Vice

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Vise, Vice

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Vise, Vice

I built my Roubo using 8 ft long 6 X 6 timbers (untreated) for the top, and the legs, that I bought at Home Depot. The bench is 8 ft long, 27 1/2 inches wide, and 34 1/2 inches tall.

I glued the timbers together using wood glue and 1/2-inch dowel rods. I used a router sled to level out the top. The timbers were fairly straight, so at most I removed 1/8th of an inch-high spot.

I cut the large dovetails mostly by hand, using Japanese pull saws, finishing them off with power tools.  They came out pretty good, however I did have to use some wedges to tighten everything up. As I said, the timbers were pretty straight, however the ends were rough.

On the left side of the bench, I removed 3/4 of an inch from the top, about 6 inches in and added a piece of Padauk. I also added a piece of 3/4 inch plywood on the end, under the Padauk, to cover up the roughness.

Similarly, on the right side, I removed 3/4 inch from the top, and also added 3/4 plywood on the top and a piece of 1 X 6 pine on the outside. this side is where I added the first vise. The first vise is an Eclipse 10 1/2-inch woodworkers’ vise.  I mortised under the bench about 1 1/4 inch deep. I wanted the top of the vise closer to the top of the workbench.  This vise is about 1/4 of an inch from the top of the bench. I used 3/4-inch plywood for the cheeks.  I also used thru bolts and nuts. It is rock solid.

The second vise is a Leg Vise. This vise is made from a 1-inch piece of curly maple, glued to a 2 X 10.  It is 8 inches across, 32 1/2 inches tall, and 2 3/8 inches thick.  I used the Premium Wood Screw kit from Lake Erie Toolworks, in conjunction with a Benchcrafted criss-cross.

The wood nut, was mortised about an inch into the back of the leg. I added leather to the insides to protect the work pieces.  The sliding deadman is made the same way, 1-inch curly maple, glued to a 2 x 10. It is 7 1/2 inches wide, 17 1/2 inches tall, and 2 3/8 inches thick.  The stringers are 2 X 6s, I mortised 3/4 of an inch in the bench leg, and in the stringer, used wood glue and 2 3/4 wood screws to attach them.  I then added 2 X 2s on the inside of the stringers, and added tongue and groove as the bottom platform.  I used a router to cut a 3/4 wide by 3/8 deep channel for T-Track. I went all the way across the top in both directions. I’m using Rockler T-track, and accessories. I also added a self-sticking tape measure across the front left of the bench.

As for the finish, the Leg Vise, Sliding Deadman, and top of the Bench, I used 3 coats of Amber Shellac, one coat of Danish oil, and the 3 coats of lacquer.  I wanted a hard surface for the top of my workbench.  The rest of the bench has one coat of pre-stain conditioner, one coat of Golden Oak stain, and 3 coats of lacquer.

Jerry (Chip) L. E. – Wadsworth, Ohio – USA

Enjoy this Moravian Workbench Rocky Mountain Beauty – July 2018

Will Myers has clearly helped pave the way to assist many woodworkers around the globe who have interest in the Moravian Workbench style to achieve their vision.  Our latest Lake Erie Toolworks Workbench Idea for July 2018 exemplifies this fact spot on.

Thank you to Gerry F. from Boulder, Colorado who built this Rocky Mountain Workbench Beauty from a Douglas Fir tree that came down during a Spring blizzard last year.  For a self-professed amateur woodworker, he did quite the amazing job.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moravian Workbench, Wood Vise, Wooden Vise, Leg Vise, Leg Vice, Wood Vice, Wooden Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moravian Workbench, Wood Vise, Wooden Vise, Leg Vise, Leg Vice, Wood Vice, Wooden Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moravian Workbench, Wood Vise, Wooden Vise, Leg Vise, Leg Vice, Wood Vice, Wooden Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moravian Workbench, Wood Vise, Wooden Vise, Leg Vise, Leg Vice, Wood Vice, Wooden Vise

The DougFir tree came down last May during a Spring blizzard. It was too big for me to haul to the mill and would have been wasteful to buck up for firewood. So while browsing for project ideas I came across your site highlighting Will Myers reproduction of the Moravian Workbench and knew that I’d found the perfect match for the log.

I milled the log with a chainsaw mill to the dimensions from Will’s PDF cut list and set it in the barn to dry. The tool chest was something I added to complement the gorgeous vise screw crafted by Nick at Lake Erie Toolworks.

I am an amateur and was happy to learn and apply a few new tricks along the way. It is one of the reasons why I love woodworking. The project took me a month to complete and am pleased with the final result.

Gerry F. – Boulder, Colorado – USA

Here’s an “English Workbench” Idea – June 2018

Here’s another Workbench Idea from Lake Erie Toolworks for you to consider and possibly build.  This English Style Workbench comes to us from Alex W. from West Kilbride in the United Kingdom.

Alex got his design ideas from a mixture of famed Workbench builders Richard Maguire and from Christopher Schwarz.  From these legendary influences, Alex crafted a phenomenal English style Workbench that will provide him with countless years of functional enjoyment.  We trust that you’ll all enjoy this latest workbench idea.

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

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“English” Workbench

I built this workbench using the design from Richard Maguire’s English Workbench videos and plans as the starting point (www.theenglishwoodworker.com).  Christopher Schwarz has a similar design in The Workbench Design Book but with angled legs and I liked the look of that in giving added solidity so I adapted Richard’s design and changing his face vice to a leg vice.

The leg vice components are clearly from Lake Erie and very impressive pieces of kit they are!  I had some problems with the first screw/nut as the humidity in Scotland caused uneven swelling so that the screw was binding irretrievably.  Nick generously made me a new nut with wider tolerances and that works like a dream.

(Lake Erie Toolworks Comment:  To date, we’ve had approximately 1/3 of 1% of our many wooden vise screws that have gone out to customers have some form of humidity related binding challenge. Rest assured that in the very rare instance you might encounter a binding screw, just let us know about it and we’ll make it right – Just like with Alex featured here.)

The bench top, aprons and leg vice are rock maple the top is 65mm thick and the aprons are 50mm.  The leg trestles are agba.  In retrospect, the bench would have been heavy and robust enough in agba and it would have been significantly easier to work.  The comparison is that planing agba is like taking a hot knife to butter and planning the maple is like attacking concrete with a paint scraper.

Everything is held together with tapered wooden nails and they worked really well once I’d got the idea of allowing the drill to cool down every 5 or so holes.  The bench is finished with Danish Oil – this hasn’t changed the colour much but should protect the wood from some of the bumps and scrapes.

The bench is 2.25 m long, 0.79 m wide and 0.88 m tall.  To give an idea of scale, the plane on the bench is a Stanley 5½. I like the slightly taller bench and intend to add a Moxon vice using the offcuts and spare wood from the bench components.  I’ve no idea what the weight is but it’s very substantial – this bench isn’t going to move!

Alex W. – West Kilbride – United Kingdom

Here’s Another Great Workbench Idea – May 2018

Our latest Lake Erie Toolworks Worbench Idea comes to us from Michael H. who hails from the town of Westford in the Green Mountain State of Vermont.  Michael has built a multi-functional dream of a workbench that serves as a workbench, router table, saw out-feed table, layout, assembly and edge joining table. Now try saying that again three times real fast.  She’s a beauty and we know you’ll all appreciate this latest Workbench Idea.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Leg Vice, Wood Vise, Wood Vice, Vise, Vice

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Leg Vice, Wood Vise, Wood Vice, Vise, Vice

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Leg Vice, Wood Vise, Wood Vice, Vise, Vice

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Leg Vice, Wood Vise, Wood Vice, Vise, Vice

Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Leg Vice, Wood Vise, Wood Vice, Vise, Vice

This project started with the purchase of a new SawStop Table saw and when I discovered my very old outfeed table was the wrong height and the miter guides were the wrong width.  I wanted something much sturdier than my old table; I wanted to make better use of the space beneath the table (cabinet to follow), and I wanted a leg vice to compliment the shoulder and end vice on my 35+ year old (and also needing to be replaced) workbench.

A lot of my work is frame and panel so I am often ripping rails & stiles and wanting to re-joint between passes on the table saw.  I reasoned that I could throw a board into a leg vice and run a jack plane over it faster than I could go to the dust collector, open and close blast gates, go to the jointer, run the piece and then retrace my steps.

So, I thought, while I’m at it why not build in a new, more versatile, better dust collecting router set up.  So now I have this bench – an outfeed table, an assembly table, and edge jointing table, and super-duper router set-up. The design started with the Benchcraftted Classic bench design.  I made it 4” wider, spread the legs to accommodate the router and eventual storage cabinet.  Then I added a bridge piece between the bench and the saw to span across the bottom dust collection hose and give myself 48” behind the saw blade.

The bench is made almost entirely from 8/4 poplar.  After I got the top together I discovered I had managed to turn the thing around and had framed in the router opening on the wrong end (mistake #1), so I ripped it apart and re-glued it, but in my haste lost control of the process and had no way to flatten it (mistake #2) so I ripped it apart and re-glued it, again.  Three times a charm, except then it wasn’t as wide as I wanted and I was out of poplar.  I found a piece of cherry that had been living in my shop for a long, long time and it became eye candy trim.  The bench plans called for cutting the mortises in the top and then fitting the base to it.   This required getting all 12 mortise & tenon joints in three dimensions all to come together at once.  I was amazed when it happened!  In a do over I’d build the base and then transfer markings to the top.  I also took the directions to make the holes in the leg & chop 2 9/16″ too literally.  This left only 1/32” of clearance on the radius and made the installation quite demanding.  In a do over I’d go to 2 3/4.  I haven’t yet figured out where I want the holes in the deadman, so haven’t drilled them.

Unlike a “real” work bench I wanted this to be slippery, so I finished it with three coats of good tung oil and then waxed it.  I only leather lined the chop, not the leg.  The casters are from Woodcraft and settle onto a firm base. They provide leveling and easily screw up to a wheel when movement is necessary.

Thanks for reading.  Michael H. – Westford, VT

 

Announcing Our January 2018 Workbench Idea

Here’s a great way to start out the new year with a workbench idea featuring a retrofit Shoulder Vise added to a 24 year old workbench by Jesse H. from Kingsport, Tennessee.  Jesse also built an amazing chest using the shoulder vise.  As he says below, the proof is in the pudding. Enjoy!

Shoulder Vise, Lake Erie Toolworks, Wooden Vise, Vise, Vice

Shoulder Vise, Lake Erie Toolworks, Wooden Vise, Vise, Vice

Shoulder Vise, Lake Erie Toolworks, Wooden Vise, Vise, Vice

Shoulder Vise, Lake Erie Toolworks, Wooden Vise, Vise, Vice

Shoulder Vise, Lake Erie Toolworks, Wooden Vise, Vise, Vice

Shoulder Vise, Lake Erie Toolworks, Wooden Vise, Vise, Vice

Shoulder Vise, Lake Erie Toolworks, Wooden Vise, Vise, Vice

This past summer I had purchased a shoulder vise screw from you guys and using your detailed instructions (I did dovetail the nut to the arm instead of using lag bolts, but I am sure the lag bolts would have worked just as well), I retrofitted a shoulder vise on my existing bench, which has been through several metamorphoses through its 24 year life!

I had always just dealt with my front vise racking and slipping.  I had kept blocks on my bench to keep the vise from racking and there was always a bunch of fiddling. Lots of times I was trying to saw and hold the work with the other hand so the stock wouldn’t slide around in the vise.

Not so with my shoulder vise! The screw is smooth as silk, and the slightest turn will release or grab the stock. My bench is not much to look at….I believe in building furniture, not a shop.  But the “proof is in the pudding”…in this case in the using.  I built the chest of drawers in the pictures using the shoulder vise for all the joinery. Cutting dovetails and tenons was a joy!  Great work guys! ….and for me, money well spent!

Here are some pictures of my old bench, retrofitted with the Lake Erie shoulder vise…and as you see in the pictures, no leg under the shoulder vise.  So far, no problems from the absence of the leg.  Now, it may seem like a little thing, but even though I didn’t replace my rigged-up wagon vise when I installed the shoulder vise, I did order an extra handle….love the  handles!

Jesse H. – Kingsport, TN

Announcing our March 2017 Workbench Idea

We have a truly unique and amazing Workbench Idea for you that comes from Gerald L. who hails from Carlin, Nevada.  Carlin is near the Carlin Trend which happens to be one of the most productive gold mining areas in the United States.  Clearly, more than one type of gold can be mined in Nevada as Gerald truly hit the mother lode when he created this phenomenal workbench.
Lake Erie Toolworks, Leg Vise, Wooden Leg Vise, Tail Vise, Roubo Workbench,

Lake Erie Toolworks, Leg Vise, Wooden Leg Vise, Tail Vise, Roubo Workbench,

Lake Erie Toolworks, Leg Vise, Wooden Leg Vise, Tail Vise, Roubo Workbench,

WB-March2017-4-Web

WB-March2017-5-Web

Built this bench in 2015 inspired by all the beautiful benches @ work bench of the month (on Lake Erie Toolworks Website, now known as “Workbench Ideas”).  I don’t consider it a certain style, just the size for area I had to put it, w/accommodation for items I wanted it to store.

It’s white oak w/pine drawer boxes. leg vice w/Lake Erie maple screw which I sleeved w/oak to match bench and scissor for alignment control. Shoulder vice w/Lie Nielsen slide hardware, one row of 3/4″ dog holes continuous of top. Thin drawers for chisels, top narrow drawers for dogs and misc. Bottom drawer is for my routers along w/shelf just under bench top which is approximately 3-3/4 thick w/ dovetailed corners.

It’s not my main bench, it’s my nice bench (don’t beat stuff up on this one) but I do use it. Finished w/2/3 linseed oil and 1/3 varnish mix. Love the wood screw, smooth quick action. I’m 67 and now build about whatever I want to. Learned the trade from my dad who was a self-employed builder/woodworker for over 50 years. I have a very nice shop of my own and love this work bench.

Thank you for ideas and inspiration to build this one.

Gerald L. – Carlin, Nevada