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

 

Announcing our April 2015 Workbench of the Month

We have a very unique workbench of the month for April 2015 which comes to us from David F. from Wichita, Kansas.  David built a 1/3 scale model workbench for a local historical museum in Wichita that was having a Christmas toy show.  This workbench features both a functional face and tail vise that has wooden vise screws and internal garters.  This workbench is simply amazing.    As you look at the extended grouping of pictures, don’t forget to look at the can of Coke Zero in the foreground of several of the pictures which will help to put the workbench scale into perspective for you.  Once again, simply amazing!

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Dear Lake Erie Toolworks,

I built this 1/3 scale model for our local Historical Museum’s Christmas toy show. I modeled the bench after a late 1800s bench that I have in my shop. The screws are held in place with internal garters. The screws are made from lignum vitae that I had in the shop (super nice to machine). The bench is maple and with walnut for the base stretchers and tail vise parts. This was a great project will be enjoyed for a long time to come.

Thanks. David F.