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,

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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

Announcing our January 2017 Workbench Idea

We have another great workbench idea for a Split-Top Roubo workbench from Kim B. from Indian River, Michigan.  Kim just started getting into woodworking this past year and has built a tremendous workbench to help realize the many projects to come.  Fantastic job for a relatively new woodcrafter – keep up the great work.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Split-Top Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wagon Vise, Wooden Vise

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Thanks for the great vises, I purchased the Bench Builder’s Bundle and am really happy with how they look and perform.

I am semi-retired and have just started getting into woodworking this past year. I have been particularly interested in learning how to use hand planes. As I was studying woodworking, workbenches, and hand plane use I came across Chris Schwarz’s book on Workbenches and was inspired by the Roubo he had outlined in his book.  I wanted to build that workbench but then I came across a split-top style that someone had online.  I really liked the utility of having a split-top then I found Benchcrafted sells drawings that are Roubo with a split-top.

Using their drawings I was able to easily incorporate your vises (Their drawings utilize their vises, obviously).

This my first project with rough lumber.  The bench is hard maple with the
Deadman,  Gap Stop, and Wagon Vise Dog Block made out of walnut.  I am very pleased with how the workbench came out considering my level of skill.  I made some errors along the way but nothing too drastic.  My bench is not as refined as all the other benches you have on display but I’m happy with how it looks and how great those vises work.  Now that the workbench is done I have some cabinets I need to build which will be much easier with the new workbench and vises.

The dimensions are 87″L x 24″W x 35″H at about 350# with one coat of BLO and Lacquer Thinner.  Two coats of wax on the threads polished.

Thanks again, Kim B. – Indian River, Michigan

Announcing Our December 2016 Workbench Idea

Our latest Workbench Idea comes to us from James P. from Hurricane, West Virginia. James built a great English style workbench as well as a Moravian style workbench that he constructed at the Woodwright’s School in North Carolina.  We think you’ll agree that he did a great job on both workbenches.  So here’s your year end 2016 two-fer workbench idea!

Lake Erie Toolworks Workbench Idea, English Style Workbench, Moravian Style Workbench, Wooden Vise, Face Vise, Leg Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks Workbench Idea, English Style Workbench, Moravian Style Workbench, Wooden Vise, Face Vise, Leg Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks Workbench Idea, English Style Workbench, Moravian Style Workbench, Wooden Vise, Face Vise, Leg Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks Workbench Idea, English Style Workbench, Moravian Style Workbench, Wooden Vise, Face Vise, Leg Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks Workbench Idea, Moravian Style Workbench, Wooden Vise, Leg Vise

Hi Nick,

I wanted to thank you for the technical assistance and information on the face vise build for my English style work bench.  The screw is working great and I love this vise.  I wanted to share some pictures of my new bench and my Moravian style work bench that I built at the Woodwright  School a couple of years ago.  Both have Lake Erie vise screws and both are fantastic.

Thank you,

James P. – Hurricane West Virginia

Another Great Workbench Idea – October 2016

This Workbench Idea is from Christopher Schwarz who is the Editor of Lost Art Press and is also a principal at Crucible which is a new woodworking tool company.

Chris had been blogging about this new “Roman Workbench” that he constructed prior to the Woodworking In America 2016 Show held in Covington, Kentucky in mid September.

Since we were exhibiting in the booth directly across from Lost Art Press & Crucible, it was a perfect opportunity to see the workbench first hand as well as to test out how smooth and amazing the unique wooden vise worked that was installed on this bench.

I’m also going to provide a link directly to the Lost Art Press Blog where you can see some additional detail on this very unique workbench and how it was constructed bringing us an exceptional workbench idea from over 500 years ago

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Best regards,

Jeff Dombrowski

Announcing our June 2016 Workbench Idea

Our June 2016 Workbench Idea is an amazing Shaker Style Workbench that comes to us from Al B. from Poultney, Vermont.  Al’s combination of a wooden leg and wagon vise really makes this workbench pop.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Shaker Style Workbench, Wooden Vise, Leg Vise, Wagon Vise

Hi Nick,

My bench is nearing completion and I thought I would let you see where you vises ended up.

The bench cabinet was designed by Ron Briese and I purchased the plans for it from Benchcrafted. However since I am not to far from the Hancock Shaker Village and have looked at their bench many times I wanted wooden vise screws on mine.

Boy they work nice. Very pleased.

Thank you

Al B.

Announcing Our May 2016 Workbench Idea

Our May 2016 Workbench Idea comes to us from Dave P. from the United States.  Dave has provided us with a literal step by step approach to the construction of his tremendous Roubo Workbench.  We know that you will all enjoy this month’s workbench idea from Dave.

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

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My new bench has been about two years in the thinking and wishing. In January I started its’ construction. A 24 inch by 8 foot top 4 inches thick was sourced from Baird Brothers Hardwood Lumber in Canfield, OH as well as the ash and poplar for the base.

The design is mostly from Chris Schwartz’s books on benches. I wanted to build it with hand tools and all the mortise and tenon joints were done by hand with saws and chisels and a mallet. The laminated maple top was a real challenge. All joints in the base were glued and every joint was pegged with oak dowels.

The Lake Erie screw and thread block were coated with 4 coats of Watco oil and then waxed. I worked about four hours per day for most of six weeks all upside down. Turning the bench over was done with an engine hoist and some slings. The bench came out just as I had hoped it would and the Lake Erie leg vise works like a charm. I’ve got a backed up list of projects to put it to good use.

A lifetime bench made all the better with the help of Lake Erie Toolworks.

Dave P. – USA