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!
For those of you who may have been contemplating a Moxon Vise in your woodworking tool future, you may want to take a look at this before you make your final choice.
Courtesy of Brian McCauley and Brandon Marshall from “Workshop Review” they’ve put our Lake Erie Toolworks Moxon and Moxon Lite Vises through the proverbial squeeze. We encourage you to take a look to see how we made out. Enjoy!
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.
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
Our latest Lake Erie Toolworks Worbench Idea comes to us from Michael H. who hails from the town of Westford in the Green Mountain State of Vermont. Michael has built a multi-functional dream of a workbench that serves as a workbench, router table, saw out-feed table, layout, assembly and edge joining table. Now try saying that again three times real fast. She’s a beauty and we know you’ll all appreciate this latest Workbench Idea.
This project started with the purchase of a new SawStop Table saw and when I discovered my very old outfeed table was the wrong height and the miter guides were the wrong width. I wanted something much sturdier than my old table; I wanted to make better use of the space beneath the table (cabinet to follow), and I wanted a leg vice to compliment the shoulder and end vice on my 35+ year old (and also needing to be replaced) workbench.
A lot of my work is frame and panel so I am often ripping rails & stiles and wanting to re-joint between passes on the table saw. I reasoned that I could throw a board into a leg vice and run a jack plane over it faster than I could go to the dust collector, open and close blast gates, go to the jointer, run the piece and then retrace my steps.
So, I thought, while I’m at it why not build in a new, more versatile, better dust collecting router set up. So now I have this bench – an outfeed table, an assembly table, and edge jointing table, and super-duper router set-up. The design started with the Benchcraftted Classic bench design. I made it 4” wider, spread the legs to accommodate the router and eventual storage cabinet. Then I added a bridge piece between the bench and the saw to span across the bottom dust collection hose and give myself 48” behind the saw blade.
The bench is made almost entirely from 8/4 poplar. After I got the top together I discovered I had managed to turn the thing around and had framed in the router opening on the wrong end (mistake #1), so I ripped it apart and re-glued it, but in my haste lost control of the process and had no way to flatten it (mistake #2) so I ripped it apart and re-glued it, again. Three times a charm, except then it wasn’t as wide as I wanted and I was out of poplar. I found a piece of cherry that had been living in my shop for a long, long time and it became eye candy trim. The bench plans called for cutting the mortises in the top and then fitting the base to it. This required getting all 12 mortise & tenon joints in three dimensions all to come together at once. I was amazed when it happened! In a do over I’d build the base and then transfer markings to the top. I also took the directions to make the holes in the leg & chop 2 9/16″ too literally. This left only 1/32” of clearance on the radius and made the installation quite demanding. In a do over I’d go to 2 3/4. I haven’t yet figured out where I want the holes in the deadman, so haven’t drilled them.
Unlike a “real” work bench I wanted this to be slippery, so I finished it with three coats of good tung oil and then waxed it. I only leather lined the chop, not the leg. The casters are from Woodcraft and settle onto a firm base. They provide leveling and easily screw up to a wheel when movement is necessary.
Thanks for reading. Michael H. – Westford, VT
Whenever we attend a trade show or woodworking event we normally haul around our small Lake Erie Toolworks Demo Workbench to demonstrate the feel and functionality of our wooden vises (shown below here with the amazing Frank Klausz in action). We usually hear phrases like “smooth like buttah”, “fast as lightening” and “holds tighter than two coats of paint” when someone gives the vises a test drive. The challenge has always been, how best to replicate this very tactile vise experience so that people could try it out.
Our distributor in Germany, “Dictum” decided to provide this experience to their customers by commissioning a fully functional replica of our demo bench for use in one of their showroom floors in Germany. The bench was built by Jarek Ostaszewski who also happens to run a successful DIY construction and tool review YouTube Channel called “Domidrewno” in Poland.
Here’s the fantastic end product for your review.
The workbench is made out of solid beech along with Hard Maple for the vise components and is extremely sturdy and heavy. It also makes the perfect workbench for people who have limited space in their workshop, garage, basement or apartment but still want a fully functional and robust workbench.
For those of you who have further interest in this type of workbench, here is the link to access a series of nine (9) YouTube videos from Jarek on Domidrewno that will show you how he constructed the bench. If you don’t speak Polish, you will still be well served in watching the videos to see how he made this great workbench.
If you have any other comments on this workbench that you’d like to share with us, just drop us an email or give us a call.
Jeff Dombrowski – Lake Erie Toolworks
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!
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