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 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

Announcing our August 2015 Workbench of the Month

Our August 2015 Workbench of the Month comes to us from Ron G. from Wellington, Florida.  Ron has built a great Moravian Workbench with a leg vise that is patterned off of our good friend Will Myers’ Moravian classic and we think you’ll agree that the workbench turned out fantastic.

Moravian Workbench, Leg vise, Lake Erie Toolworks

Moravian Workbench, Leg vise, Lake Erie Toolworks

Moravian Workbench, Leg vise, Lake Erie Toolworks

It is the first workbench I have built and one of the larger projects I have completed. It is built completely‎ from southern yellow pine (except the tusk tenons which are scrap oak). The only local source I could find was a large lumber yard that would not let me pick through the pile, so I had to take what I got. There were inconvenient knots and edge runout. I was able to work around or sandwich most of the defects.  Given the space available, I settled on a size of about five feet long and two feet deep. I bought 2 x 10 10’s. I planed then down to a uniform thickness, removing most of the rounding of the corners in the process. For the top, I ripped them to 3 1/2″ inches and glued up the two top sections which I then used my thickness planer to make a uniform thickness. The legs were also glued up ‎from the 3 1/2″ pieces. Other parts were ripped and cut to size.

The bench  is based on Will Myers’ Moravian Workbench:
http://www.wkfinetools.com/contrib/wMyers/moravianBench/moravianBench-01.asp

Design notes:

  • I chose to use a split top with no tool tray… I wanted the additional work surface and knew a tray would just collect junk. Splitting the top with a gap accomplished three things: it made the top sections light enough to be movable by one person‎; it gave me a place to put chisels where they wouldn’t roll to the floor; and it meant I did not have to make the facing sides perfectly mated.
  • I rabbetted‎  the inside edge of the long stretchers to allow me add a (removable) shelf.
  • My end vise is an old Wilton that was salvaged‎ from the workshop of a friend’s dead father.
  • The front vice is a slanted leg vice. I did not want to obstruct the shelf with the additional structure needed to support a vertical vice. I did have to widen the left, front leg to make sure there was enough support for the screw.  The screw hardware is yours (Lake Erie‎ Toolworks). For the parallel guide, I tried something different. I got a 1 1/8″ oak dowel and drilled a larger hole through the leg.  I then flush mounted a deck mount for steel pipe that was slightly larger than the dowel. I am hoping that the thread will catch on the dowel and keep things parallel. Time will tell (though I expect I’ll need to fiddle with it).
  • I got a pair of the Gramercy holdfasts and am very happy with them.
  • The base is finished in milk paint – I was concerned that it would rub off the leg onto work, but I emailed Megan Fitzpatrick to ask about her experience with her painted bench and she told me not to worry.
  • The top and vise‎ chops are finished with three or four coats of a homemade mixture of boiled linseed oil, varnish,  and mineral spirits (1:1:1).

Build notes:

  • Most bench builds I’ve‎ seen seem to take place on an already constructed bench. This was not an option for me. I used a pair of rickety saw horses, at Black and Decker Workmate, and the floor of the garage (the only thing I had that was sturdy enough on which to chop mortises). Working on the garage floor was interesting – it reminded me of those old prints of Japanese woodworkers. On the other hand, the wood chips and other debris left marks in all the wood.   Oh, well.
  • My hand cut partial thickness dovetails look like crap. This was true of most of my joints – no matter how carefully I laid them out and cut them, they looked sloppy when glued up. More importantly, however, they were solid.
  • I screwed up when making the saddle joints for the short stretchers across the top of the legs. I chose to make the long dimension parallel with the face of the bench to try to increase stability. Unfortunately, this made the glue joints in the legs parallel‎ with the‎ short stretchers. When I inserted the short stretcher to glue it, despite having test fitted the joint, it split the leg’s glue joint.
  • I used small jig (sort of visible on top  of the sheet of paper on the shelf) to keep my bench dog holes lined up. The drill bit was a 3/4″ Irwin Speedbor. It has a lead screw and three flutes. It’s incredibly aggressive (almost scarily so) and just tore threw the benchtop.

I’m really happy with the finished bench. It is solid and heavy enough to not move when in use. It holds‎ work well. The fit and finish could (should?) be better, but it’s incredibly functional – and that’s what really matters.

Ron G.

Moravian Workbench DVD Build With Will Myers

Heads up that our good friend Will Myers has completed a new DVD entitled “Building the Portable Moravian Workbench with Will Myers” that will be available this Spring 2015.

Here’s a YouTube Link to get an advance quick look at this video effort.  Also, here’s a DVD Notification Web Link so that you can get notified when the DVD is ready for sale later this Spring by Popular Woodworking.

Great Job Will Myers!

Will Myers, Moravian Workbench, Wooden Leg Vise

 

Plate 11 Workbench + Lake Erie Toolworks Leg Vise = One Amazing Roubo

What happens when you sync up a Plate 11 Workbench Kit with a Lake Erie Toolworks wooden vise kit? You end up with one amazing Roubo Workbench that will help you build some tremendous things in your home workshop.

This said, if you happen to be attending the upcoming Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event in Round Rock (Austin), Texas coming up on November 21-22, 2014, you will get to see and ‘kick the tires” on this great Roubo for yourself.

Our good friend Mark Hicks from Plate 11 Bench Company will be attending this event held at Techshop to demonstrate the great features of his workbench kits, but he will also be offering a special price on a fully built and ready to go Roubo Workbench that comes equipped with a wooden leg vise from Lake Erie, a Criss-Cross from Benchcrafted and an iron planing stop from Peter Ross all for just $3200. Simply too good to pass up.

Wooden Leg Vise, Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo, Plate 11 Workbench Company

Wooden Leg Vise, Lake Erie Toolworks, Roubo, Plate 11 Workbench Company

For some additional background on Mark Hicks and the Plate 11 Workbench Company, here’s a link to a Highland Woodworking Video Blog post from the recent Woodworking in America 2014 event held in North Carolina. We hope you enjoy this.

Take care, Nick Dombrowski

Announcing our September 2012 Workbench of the Month

Adding our September 2012 Workbench of the Month from Robert F. L. of Columbia, South Carolina to our Lake Erie Toolworks Blog for ease of access and historical awareness.

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

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

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

My bench style is a modified Andre J. Roubo. As an artist who works in wood, I have sized the various parts to best suit my needs. The entire bench is made from hard maple finished with a typical boiled linseed oil and varnish blend. The top is 90 inches long, 26 inches wide, and 4.25 inches thick. The working height is 35 inches as I often am using power tools. The entire bench weighs in at 430 lbs. You can see some of my work at www.robertflyon.com.

I can’t say enough about the quality of my Lake Erie vise screw. The workmanship is top notch as is the service. Please keep up the good work, as it’s hard to find quality at a fair price. I have been recommending you to all my friends.

Robert – Columbia, South Carolina

Announcing our July 2012 Workbench of the Month

Adding our July 2012 Workbench of the Month from Kari H. of Lemoyne, Pennsylvania to our Lake Erie Toolworks Blog for ease of access and historical awareness.

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

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

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

Good morning,

I’d like to enter my workbench in your monthly contest. I’m extremely pleased with the workmanship of your vise and screw assembly. The holding power is impressive and it’s an absolute joy to work with.

Bench / Vise Construction Blog:   http:villagecarpenter.blogspot.com

Details regarding my bench: Cherry and Soft Maple / Oil/varnish mixture

Comments:  My workbench is based on the Roubo style, however it’s built to break down for travel. The top is in two pieces—each half slides off the through-tenon/dovetail joints of the legs; the long stretchers are attached to the end assemblies with tusk tenons; the sliding deadman can be removed by lifting up the front half of the workbench top about 1/2″; and the shelf is comprised of individual rabbeted boards that rest on cleats. The end assemblies are made up of two short stretchers and two legs that are mortise & tenoned and glued. The bench weighs 200 pounds when assembled. The heaviest piece when disassembled weighs almost 50 pounds—the maximum weight I can carry!

All the best,
Kari – Lemoyne, Pennsylvania