Lake Erie Toolworks Workbench Idea – Split Top Roubo

Special thanks to Geoff Bertin from Big Lake, Minnesota who sent in this latest content for our Lake Erie ToolworksWorkbench Idea” forum.  Geoff built this tremendous rustic looking split top Roubo workbench with a very unique wooden screw powered leg vise. Pretty slick!

Lake Erie Toolworks, Split Top Roubo Workbench, Leg Vise, Wood Vise, Wood Leg Vise

“I finished my bench a few weeks back and have some pics to share. The bench is 7’ long and was build using plans from the Wood Whisperer, with a few tweaks. The chop is walnut and curly maple as are some of the other accents. The bench is soft maple. Geoff Bertin – Big Lake, Minnesota”

21st Century Workbench Idea

Thanks to Bill Leonhardt from East Patchogue, New York for sending in this detail regarding his version of the 21st Century Workbench that features a Lake Erie Toolworks wooden vise screw instead of the original metal twin screw design. This is truly one amazing workbench.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Wood Vise, 21st Century Workbench
Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Wood Vise, 21st Century Workbench
Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Wood Vise, 21st Century Workbench
Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Wood Vise, 21st Century Workbench
Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Wood Vise, 21st Century Workbench
Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Wood Vise, 21st Century Workbench
Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Wooden Vise, Wood Vise, 21st Century Workbench

I was attracted, at first sight, to the 21st Century Workbench built by Robert Lang and featured in a Popular Woodworking magazine in 2008.  I finally got an opportunity to build this bench in the beginning of 2020 and, fortunately, procured all the materials just before the Covid pandemic hit.  It took me 4 to 5 months to complete and the final dimensions are 75” long (not counting end vise) x 30” wide x 34.5” high.  The top is 3” thick and the final weight is about 312 lbs.  The bench material is ash, and a nice feature is the fact that the top is in two halves and each half is narrow enough to fit through a normal 13-inch planer.  

One of the reasons I am attracted to this bench is the fact that the base uses both upper and lower stretchers, which means it does not use the top for support or to stiffen it.  That is important to me, because my use of the top is an evolving philosophy.  With an “independent” base, I can reconfigure the top in the future if I choose to and still maintain the stiffness and rigidity the base offers.

I deviated somewhat form the original bench design to better accommodate my space limitations and to incorporate a leg vise in place of the original twin screw. I also changed the method of connecting the long stretchers to the legs so that the bench could be broken down and transported more easily.  I opted for a leg vise with wood screw in place of the double screw vise and I used a quick release vise I had on hand for the end vise.

In building the leg vise, I used a precision shaft and linear bearing in place of the traditional multi-hole plate at the bottom of a typical leg vise which eliminates the need to shift the spacing pin for different material thicknesses.  I chose a Lake Erie wood screw because it has a much coarser thread (than a metal screw) which means less turns for the vise travel.  The combination of the precision shaft and wood screw makes for an exceptionally smooth operating vise.

In applying finish to the bench, I wanted to protect the wood, but, at the same time, I wanted to not have a slippery surface for working.  In the end, I chose to use two wiped-on coats of the following mixture:  1/3 mineral spirits + 1/3 polyurethane + 1/3 boiled linseed oil.  I am pleased with the way this turned out as I got the desired surface.

Note that the tool trays can be reversed to make one continuous top or removed to make clamping on one of the top halves easier.  Additionally, I can saw wood that is held in the end vise “right-handed”. Never had this before since a typical face vise is at the left end of the bench. At this point, I am very happy with the current configuration and I anticipate no changes.  I do however, like the fact that I can easily reconfigure the top in the future if I change my mind.

You built that workbench? It’s simply amazing!

Our good friends at the Woodsmith Shop have now recorded a television episode in which they have built an English style workbench (A New Old Workbench) that is either available via your local PBS channel or is also for purchase online from their Woodsmithshop.com website.

Since a sturdy workbench should be among the first tools in your woodworking toolkit, this specific workbench video and plan set will provide you with the core information needed to make this bench a reality in your workshop.

Just remember, there’s nothing quite like crafting your own workbench, and when a friend or family member asks if “You built that workbench”? Followed up with “It’s simply amazing”! There’s nothing quite like that pride of accomplishment that you will surely feel.

Happy Woodworking from Lake Erie Toolworks

Lake Erie Toolworks – Modified Nicholson English Workbench Idea

Our latest Workbench Idea comes from Tom M. from The Woodlands, Texas who has built a modified Nicholson English Workbench with a leg vise.  This juggernaut weighs in at around 300 pounds and is solid as a rock.  Tom also shows us the various major steps of construction that he used to build this monster bench from planing & joinery of the various wood components through glue-up and final assembly.  Enjoy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This design was inspired by Paul Sellers on YouTube.  My version is a bit bigger.  I built is using hand tools only – just to see if I could.

The wood materials are Southern Yellow pine construction lumber purchased from Lowes.

The bench is sealed with boiled linseed oil, weighs about 300 pounds and is as solid as a rock.  I think it will last.

Regards,

Tom M. – The Woodlands, Texas

Lake Erie Toolworks – Split Top Roubo Workbench Idea

Our latest Workbench Idea comes from Ed D. from the Big Easy, New Orleans, Louisiana, who has built a fantastic Split Top Roubo Bench featuring a leg and wagon vise. Enjoy.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Split Top Roubo, Wood Vise, Workbench Idea
Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Split Top Roubo, Wood Vise, Workbench Idea
Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Split Top Roubo, Wood Vise, Workbench Idea
Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Split Top Roubo, Wood Vise, Workbench Idea
Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Split Top Roubo, Wood Vise, Workbench Idea
Lake Erie Toolworks, Workbench, Leg Vise, Split Top Roubo, Wood Vise, Workbench Idea

Hey Jeff!
I started this bench over a year ago but haven’t had time to finish it until now, since the pandemic closed me down for a few months. It’s made from 8/4 cherry and maple. I indulged myself and fancied it up a tiny bit with the laminated legs and ebony plugs.

Both vises work great. The wagon vise is an amazing help for planing as I’ve tried to make the transition to hand tools for everything except for initial milling.

Next on the agenda is a cherry tool chest that will fit into the base. Going to wooden screws is really a game-changer in my opinion when efficiency is a goal. Thanks again!

Ed D.
New Orleans, LA

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

Wooden Vise Highlights Video, Check It Out!

Just posted a quick Lake Erie Toolworks Wooden Vise Highlights video on our website home page.  If you have a minute to spare take a look / see.  I suspect you might even like the ‘bluesy’ music the video is cut with.  Enjoy!

Lake Erie Toolworks, Wooden Vise, Wood Vise, Vise, Vice, Moxon Vise, Leg Vise, Wagon Vise, Shoulder Vise

2X Vise Equals Fast Moravian Workbench

Quick heads up that Will Myers, the driver of the modern Moravian Workbench style has a new blog site where he has recently posted about his experiences with using our new Lake Erie Toolworks 2X wooden vise on his latest Moravian Workbench build.

Thinking about building a Moravian bench with a 2X Wood Vise, take a look/see at his recent two blog posts that will give you the low down on this front.

https://eclecticmechanicals.com/2018/10/30/its-a-big-one/

https://eclecticmechanicals.com/2018/11/11/its-a-big-one-part-2/

Will Myers, Moravian Workbench, Leg Vise, 2X Vise, Wood Vise, Wooden Vise

Announcing the Lake Erie Toolworks – 2X Wood Vise – Fastest Threaded Workbench Vise On the Planet!

If you’ve been pondering the idea of building your dream workbench but just haven’t been able to settle on the proper vise to use, we have your answer.  Announcing the new Lake Erie Toolworks – 2X Wood Vise – Which happens to be not only the largest wooden production vise on the market, but is also the fastest threaded workbench vise on the planet – be it metal or wooden.

This brand new vise is powered by a massive 3″ diameter screw that has a 1 TPI (1 Turn per Inch) double start thread.  The vise action can also best be described as “smooth as butter”.  This makes for a simply amazing and game-changing workbench vise to help you craft your woodworking projects in record time.

We’ve been building and testing out prototypes of the 2X Wood Vise for quite some time but we’ve always had a challenge in finding a lumber supplier that could provide a stable supply of the huge billets of hard maple.  It must be all that clean living we do, but we’ve finally lined up a reliable source.

Lake Erie Toolworks is now announcing a pre-order special via our website on the 2X Wood Vise if you place your order by July 31, 2018 at 12 PM EDT.

So if you’ve been dreaming of the perfect vise – now’s your chance to jump in, because the water is FINE!

Lake Erie Toolworks, 2X Wood Vise, Wooden Vise, Leg Vise

 

 

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