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Project by MichaelT77 posted 07-23-2013 08:16 PM 3494 views 10 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’d like to call myself a woodworker, but it has only been in recent years that I’ve made anything worthy of coming up out of the basement. For many years, I’ve gotten by with a hardboard-covered sheet of plywood over sawhorses. Recently, though, I was inspired to build a decent workbench. An acquaintance showed me one that he had build (one of those big Roubos with the contrasting wood, and the big dovetails). I went a different route. This is modeled from a Christopher Schwarz design.

I made it 6 feet long instead of 8. It’s made of pine and fir, because that was the least expensive wood l could find, and readily accessible at Lowes and Home Depot. I just tried to find the straightest boards available (usually at the bottom back of the stack).

Compared to that Cadillac of a Roubo, this is closer to a dog cart. Nonetheless, it’s functional, and I’m reasonably happy with how it turned out. The screw for the wagon vise is too short, and I had to add some material to the back of the vise block. I think the screw was meant for a press. I bought it from Grizzly (about $14). The screw for the leg vise came from Lee Valley. Much more appropriately sized (about $40).

I built an easily removable tool tray that is mounted on the back side with a couple short lengths of dowel.

My first project using the workbench is a tool chest that I’m making for my grandson. He’s only six weeks old, so although I may carve his initials in the lid, I’ll probably use the tool chest myself for the next 15 or 20 years before I give it to him.

-- Michael T, Pittsburgh, PA

29 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


12638 posts in 3184 days

#1 posted 07-23-2013 08:45 PM

Looks great Michael.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View theoldfart's profile


6549 posts in 1538 days

#2 posted 07-23-2013 09:00 PM

Michael, fine job. You might want to post some pics on the workbench smackdown thread.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


12268 posts in 1705 days

#3 posted 07-23-2013 09:07 PM

”...this is closer to a dog cart.”

Doesn’t look like it to me! More than a few english-style benches out there and they’re more than capable of helping you create great work! It’s clear you put alot of effort into the build and the result is outstanding.

Ditto to what Kevin said. Add “Smackdown” to the tag word list and hit up the thread, too! Lots of bench talk, no waiting…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Don W's profile

Don W

16821 posts in 1655 days

#4 posted 07-23-2013 09:12 PM


-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View albachippie's profile


715 posts in 2122 days

#5 posted 07-23-2013 09:21 PM

Lovely work Michael. Really well planned and executed, well done,


-- Garry fae Bonnie Scotland -

View Cantputjamontoast's profile


416 posts in 2519 days

#6 posted 07-23-2013 09:53 PM

very nice

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

View Greg72's profile


59 posts in 1199 days

#7 posted 07-23-2013 10:22 PM

Very nice. You did a great job!

View StumpyNubs's profile


6592 posts in 1888 days

#8 posted 07-23-2013 10:23 PM

I have been wanting to build that type of bench. I just think it’s a great old design. Great job on yours!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' premiere online publications:

View johnstoneb's profile (online now)


1547 posts in 1260 days

#9 posted 07-23-2013 11:24 PM

That is one beautiful bench. I really like the angled leg vise. You don’t see that every day and it looks very functional

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View robdem's profile


364 posts in 1693 days

#10 posted 07-23-2013 11:34 PM

Nice looking bench Michael don’t know about the dog cart remark .

View stevo_wis's profile


115 posts in 2114 days

#11 posted 07-23-2013 11:53 PM

Michael, I also agree that it’s not a dog cart. I also built this bench, though I didnt angle the legs.
I know Schwarz had it in his book (which I have). It originally done by Nicholson in England where I think they would build these benches in houses that were being built. I love mine and yours looks great too.

-- Stevo

View gsimon's profile


883 posts in 1200 days

#12 posted 07-24-2013 12:43 AM

awesome bench – great job
i hope you have many more great projects in store

-- Greg Simon

View mafe's profile


10541 posts in 2176 days

#13 posted 07-24-2013 12:57 AM

Lovely bench.
Really like it.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View mike1950's profile


327 posts in 886 days

#14 posted 07-24-2013 01:31 AM

Nice bench- Have ya scratched it yet- that is what matters. :)

-- "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is."– Albert Einstein

View doubleDD's profile


4011 posts in 1130 days

#15 posted 07-24-2013 01:48 AM

One heck of a bench you built. Beautiful. Now put some rails on it and some felt and we’ll shoot a game of pool. ha ha. Great job.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

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