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Stop Your Workbench in its Tracks

Stop Your Workbench in its Tracks

While this isn’t the dumbest shop trick ever (that honor belongs to: “A coffee mug is a good place to store pencils”) it’s close. About six months ago, I became crazy annoyed about my workbench moving while under heavy planing. The bench weighs about 350 pounds, so it wasn’t a matter of mass. For some reason I picked up the wooden wedge jammed under one of the legs that keeps […]

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Can Workbench Legs be too Big?

Can Workbench Legs be too Big?

Jacques writes: I have your workbench book, and I am currently working on my version of the French bench. I had soft maple cut down from my woods, so I had it sawn, and I am working with it for the top. For the legs, a friend of mine gave me four beams that are about 9″ x 9″, out of some resinous wood. They are cracked and dry (must […]

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Leg Vise with No Parallel Guide or Garter

Leg Vise with No Parallel Guide or Garter

Last summer I built a workbench that was as close to the bench shown in A.-J. Roubo’s plate 11 as I could manage. While I still have three details to add to my bench (a drawer, a tool rack and a grease pot), the rest of the bench has been up and running since August 2013. The leg vise is perhaps the most unusual feature of this circa 1768 workbench. […]

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Meet the ‘Two-bo’ Workbench

Meet the ‘Two-bo’ Workbench

Getting a good workbench usually takes loads of money, time or both of those things. But what if you tried to be really clever and you used inexpensive construction and home renovation materials to build a massive traditional bench for a fraction of the cost of a commercial bench and with only two days of … Read more »

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The Milkman’s Workbench in Use

The Milkman's Workbench in Use

The Milkman’s Workbench – a portable bench I built for the June 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine – is about 653 percent better than my first workbench. Thanks to the clever engineering in the portable bench, it can handle most handwork tasks when clamped to a dining room table or kitchen countertop. My first … Read more »

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Round Bench Dogs that Don’t Rotate

Round Bench Dogs that Don't Rotate

If there is one disadvantage to round bench dogs, it is that they can occasionally rotate as you are clamping something between two dogs or when you are planing against a single dog. It’s a minor annoyance, but it’s real. An Italian reader devised a very clever solution to this problem that is quick. I … Read more »

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Dogs for the ‘Milkman’s Workbench’

Dogs for the ‘Milkman’s Workbench’

Holy cow I mucked around a lot making the dogs for the portable workbench featured in the June 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. I made spring-loaded bench dogs (more complex than necessary). Dogs using a bullet catch (the right-size hardware wasn’t readily available at the home center). And when I considered casting the dogs, … Read more »

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Richard Maguire Hardware – My First Look

Richard Maguire Hardware – My First Look

One of the regulars at the Melbourne Guild of Fine Woodworking is building a workbench using Richard Maguire hardware from the United Kingdom. During my visit there, I had the chance to inspect the hardware straight from the box. I got to play with three pieces of bench hardware, all of which were very nice. … Read more »

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Build a Bench, Help a Serviceman

Build a Bench, Help a Serviceman

One of the biggest obstacles to beginning woodworkers is carving out a space to work in, and building a bench to work on. Recently, I built a pair of portable workbenches that are closely based on a now-disappeared commercial bench from the 20th century. These small-scale benches clamp to almost any surface, from a kitchen … Read more »

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Tooth Your Benchtop in Four Songs

Tooth Your Benchtop in Four Songs

Years ago, I saw an interview with W. Patrick Edwards on how he dressed his benchtop with a toothing plane to improve his bench’s grip. I was intrigued by his argument, but it took a few years until I was ready to commit to it. Last year I toothed my benchtop and began working on … Read more »

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