Announcing Our November 2017 Lake Erie Toolworks Workbench Idea

Our latest Lake Erie Toolworks Workbench Idea for November 2017 comes to us from Marcel K. from Auckland, New Zealand.  Marcel has built a tremendous Moravian Style Workbench using the Will Myers Moravian build DVD as his inspiration and guide.  Kudos to Marcel, as well as to Will Myers and Joshua Farnsworth for helping to make this reality happen.

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moravian Workbench, Wooden Vise Screw, Leg Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moravian Workbench, Wooden Vise Screw, Leg Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moravian Workbench, Wooden Vise Screw, Leg Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moravian Workbench, Wooden Vise Screw, Leg Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Moravian Workbench, Wooden Vise Screw, Leg Vise

Hi Nick,

I can’t believe it took me this long to build it but I finally finished my workbench.

Not sure whether it meets the standard of the other awesome workbenches in your blog but I thought I’d fire some pictures and text (below) through to at least show that the vise has eventually been put to use.

And of course let you know my appreciation of your vise screws.

Kind regards,

Marcel K. – Auckland, New Zealand


When I first saw Will Myer’s WKFineTools article on the portable Moravian design I knew it was a perfect choice for the tight confines of my garage. Basically I wanted something that was solid/heavy yet not too big and could still be relatively easily moved when needed.

The only thing I wanted to change was the tool tray as I preferred having extra bench space so to SketchUp I went and started working on modifying the design to incorporate the Roubo split top idea. After a year of pondering (while building my tool chest) an article appeared on the Lake Erie blog about a great compact version of a “Split Top Moravian” from Ron G in Florida which confirmed my ideas.

While finishing my tool chest I bought Will Myer’s fantastic DVD (“Building the Portable Moravian Workbench”) and watched it repeatedly while acquiring the lumber and letting it dry a bit. After purchasing the Lake Erie Toolworks vise screw I set to work in December last year.

Yes it took me about 10 months of working off and on to complete!

I did nearly all of it by hand (rough-sawn stock dimensioning, joinery etc) and only submitted to power at the end to cut the back slab to final width using a circular saw. By then I thought I’d had enough hand sawing practice!

The bench is all white ash apart from the maple Lake Erie vise screw. Even the various dowels were formed from scrap Ash used during the build (hardwood dowel is hard to come by in New Zealand). I went with a Veritas inset vise for the end vise due to its compactness since the design doesn’t have much space at the bench ends to add a vise.

The inset vise works but during the bench build process I frequently used the notched batten method (“Doe’s foot”) to hold boards while planing on a make shift bench and it worked so well I’ve since been wondering whether I even need an end vise. The things you learn…

The overall length and width of the bench matches Will’s plans (76″ x 24”). The top slabs are asymmetrical with the front one about 12.75” wide and the back about 9.5” separated by a 1.75” slotted gap stop. This means that I have the option of building a tool tray like the original plans if I want in the future. It also means that with the gap stop in the raised position I can comfortably hand plane a 12” or so wide board against the stop.

The thickness of the top is 4.25” which is thicker than the original plans (3.5”) and the legs and stretchers are also a bit thicker than the plans so the bench is certainly heavy when assembled. I haven’t weighed it but the front slab alone is at least 40kgs (about 90lbs) so while the bench is technically portable you wouldn’t want to move the front slab too far by yourself!

The bench and vise are finished with Organoil’s Danish oil which is one of my favourite finishes. A straight oil finish that’s easy to apply and doesn’t leave a varnish/film finish and smells pine fresh which is a bonus :-). The top still has a bit of friction which is great when working on it.

There are still a few details to finish off including boring some more hold-fast holes, adding some cork or leather to the leg vise jaw and adding a loose tongue and groove lower shelf but the bench is up and running and the leg vise works awesome. I was expecting a fair bit of initial “squeakiness” before wearing it in but the Danish oil and paste wax on the screw threads have it running smoothly already.

Apologies for the quality of the pictures but they give you an idea of how small my workspace is. Basically the workbench and my tool chest sit on some rubber mats about 8’x8′ in size and that’s my entire workspace. Also shown in the pictures is the gap stop in the raised position and the vise screw. If a project I’m working on needs more space I can temporarily move the car out of the garage, partially disassemble the bench tops, rotate it 90º and reassemble to give me extra room on both sides of the bench.

This project was a fun challenge and while there’s a few mistakes, it was a great learning exercise for a novice like me. Perhaps the biggest lesson learned though is that next time I should consider buying a portable thicknesser! Jointing 20+ large lengths of timber by hand is enjoyable, thicknessing them not so much 🙂

Big thanks to Lake Erie for making such wonderful vise screws. When it arrived I wasn’t sure whether to use it or put it on the shelf as a work of art it looked so amazing.

Big thanks as well to Will Myers (and Joshua Farnsworth) for creating the workbench DVD which I highly recommend and also to Will for taking time to answer some queries I had on the design.

Red Oak Roubo Workbench Kits – That’s the Ticket

As you decide which workbench style is right for you and if a Roubo is where you are headed, we suggest you take a look at our good friends from Re-Co Bklyn to consider their green Red Oak Roubo Workbench Kits.

These green (partially air dried) Red Oak workbench kits feature a slab bench top, legs, stretchers and chop, custom sized by you and can be shipped anywhere in the U.S. This lumber has also been harvested from reclaimed trees from the metro New York City Area.  Great for the environment and great for you.

Roubo Workbench Kit


We also know that Christopher Schwarz is a fan of Slab workbench construction, and has had great success building this type of workbench, so it must be good.  Plus it will save you the time and effort of having to glue up a workbench top – which is no small amount of work.

Frankly, the only other choice you’ll have to make here if you decide to pursue this bench kit is for which type of vise to marry up with your red oak chop to power this workbench.  If your choice happens to be a fully wooden vise screw kit, we know some people that can hook you up there.

Best regards,

Lake Erie Toolworks

La Forge Royale Miter Jack Screw and Nut Kit Pre-Order – One More Chance To Jump Onboard

For everyone that wished they sprung for the pieces & parts to complete the amazing Benchcrafted La Forge Royale Miter Jack Vise which was powered by a Lake Erie Toolworks built wooden vise screw and nut, you have one more chance to catch the train before it leaves the station.

Lake Erie Toolworks is doing a limited production run of Miter Jack hard maple vise screws & threaded nut blocks to accommodate the Benchcrafted “La Forge Royale Miter Jack”.

The wooden vise screw and threaded nut block can be ordered through Lake Erie Toolworks directly via this link. Once it says “Out of Stock”, that means we have sold out of the pre-order.  We may have some extras but can only guarantee a Miter Jack Kit to those who pre-order.

The remaining metal vise parts will have to be purchased from Benchcrafted BEFORE ordering your vise screw and nut block from Lake Erie Toolworks to make sure that you have what you need in order to complete the Miter Jack Vise.

Domestic USA shipping is included in the price of the Vise Screw & Nut pre-order, while international shipping will be calculated individually and billed separately.

Note that this is a pre-order for these wooden vise kit components which are expected to be completed and ready for shipment from Lake Erie Toolworks by early June 2017.

Don’t miss the train this time so we encourage you to jump onboard before we leave the station, quite possibly for the last time on this particular vise.

Best regards,
Jeff Dombrowski – Lake Erie Toolworks

(All photos courtesy of Benchcrafted Blog and website.)

Lake Erie Toolworks, Wooden Vise Screw, La Forge Royale Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Wooden Vise Screw, La Forge Royale Vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Wooden Vise Screw, La Forge Royale Vise

New Lake Erie Toolworks Website

Heads up that our new Lake Erie Toolworks Website is now up and running at

The new website features the following:

  • Simple and clean design that is very easy to navigate
  • Enhanced web shop that makes secure online buying a snap
  • Quick access to all of our wooden vise products
  • New Workbench Ideas feature to easily find over 60 customer workbench designs
  • Direct website viewing of wooden vise installation and usage videos
  • Plus much more

We hope you enjoy as we continue to work to improve our online customer user experience.

Best regards,
Jeff Dombrowski – Lake Erie Toolworks

Lake Erie Toolworks

Announcing our June 2015 Workbench of the Month

We have a very unique and special June 2015 offering for our Workbench of the Month feature.  This amazing table (yep, no workbench this time) comes to us from Chuck H. from Chagrin Falls, Ohio.  The details on this special feature are listed below, but it just goes to show that a wooden vise screw can be used for great mechanical and artistic wonders outside of the workbench zone.  We think you are all going to like and very much appreciate this special feature,  Enjoy.

Wooden Vise Screw, Lake Erie Toolworks

Wooden Vise Screw, Lake Erie Toolworks

Wooden Vise Screw, Lake Erie Toolworks

Wooden Vise Screw, Lake Erie Toolworks

Wooden Vise Screw, Lake Erie Toolworks

June2015-ScrewPicture6 Rack-and-Pinion-TablePic

My daughter and her husband have a metal table with a table top that can be raised and lowered with a rack and pinion gear set up (picture is enclosed). She wanted a console table for the room that would match the theme and period of the rack and pinion table. Accordingly, I made them a hard maple console table that incorporates a Lake Erie Screw Vise that operates (opens and closes) the two drawers.

The table is made from solid hard maple except for the 1⁄4” plywood used for the drawer bottoms. It measures 34” high, 34” wide and 13” deep. The screw vise hub and handle are stained with two coats of Jacobean stain and four coats of satin urethane to match the handle on the rack and pinion table. The external brass garter and screws were nickel plated in order to match the other décor in the room. The table top, side and back aprons and the legs are painted with a black satin enamel paint. The aprons are joined to the legs with dowel joinery. Two drawers are attached to a single drawer front and the garter and screw are attached to the center of the drawer front. The screw vise nut is built into the front table dividers and the partitions. Blocks are attached to the bottom of the drawers that allow the drawers to open fully but prevent the drawers from coming out of the table.

Nick of Lake Erie Toolworks was extremely helpful in answering questions when I was in the planning phase of the table. I really love the product that they make.

Chuck H.

Announcing our February 2014 Workbench of the Month

We have a very unique Workbench of the Month for February 2014 as this one comes to us from Marco T. who is a woodworker and Model-maker who hails from Oakland, Michigan.  Marco actually built a fully functional model workbench in 1:4 scale that has a replica of a Lake Erie Toolworks wooden leg vise on it.  We received the pictures from Marco and we were blown away by the amazing quality of what he made here and we simply had to make this our February Workbench of the Month. – Nick D.

roubo workbench, Lake Erie Toolworks, leg vise

roubo workbench, Lake Erie Toolworks, leg vise

roubo workbench, Lake Erie Toolworks, leg vise

roubo workbench, Lake Erie Toolworks, leg vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, leg vise

Lake Erie Toolworks, Wooden Vise Screw

Hello, my name is Marco T. and I am a 23 year old craftsman from Michigan. In my free time I make miniature tools. These are pictures of a wood vise screw that I modeled after yours in 1:4 scale. The screw was lathe turned, And the brass trim machined from bar.

My Roubo bench is made in 1:4 scale. I used Christopher Schwarz general dimensions. Hickory and walnut was used, and the vise screw is maple. The vise dimensions were found on your website. Every part, aside from the brass screws on the vise trim plate was made from scratch. The bench took over 3 weeks to make, working on it only late at night. I plan on making the tail vise, dogs, and holdfasts as soon as I get the time. In one of the pictures those are 1:4 scale saw benches I am making to go with the bench. The dimensions of the bench are 18″ long 8.5″high 5″wide.

Thanks for looking.
Marco T. – Oakland, Michigan

Bad Axe Tool Works – Leg Vise

Check out the latest facebook post from our good friend Mark Harrell from Bad Axe Tool Works regarding the Leg Vise that we made for his demonstration bench that features a tapped leg for the wooden vise screw.  We also wanted to mention that Mark makes a fantastic product and his custom made saws are without equal.

facebook link to Bad Axe Tool Works posting

Wood Vise Screw, Leg Vise, Lake Erie Toolworks