Workbench questions

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Forum topic by Trey posted 01-21-2014 02:27 AM 932 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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84 posts in 1127 days

01-21-2014 02:27 AM

I see a lot of nice workbenches out there. I also see a lot of options, and add-ons. But, I see a lot of choices. Being new to woodworking, this leaves me with a lot of questions.

Vises. I have seen a lot of types, and I don’t know the advantages to the styles. From single, to double, wood, steel, it goes on and on. I’m also having a hard time getting past the prices.

Holes. I dont know what else to call them. Round, square. I know that these can be used to aid in clamping. But which is better?

I know I have more questions, and I’ll think of them.

If there is a good resource to point me to that explains the pros and cons of everything, just point me that way!



8 replies so far

View jmartel's profile (online now)


6474 posts in 1572 days

#1 posted 01-21-2014 02:52 AM

Vises: They don’t have to be expensive. The cheapest options would be a wedge powered leg vise. Leg vises allow larger depth of clamping than traditional quick release front vices. If you don’t want to deal with the wedges, you can buy a lee valley tail vise screw for $30 and the wood and be done with it.

Holes: Those are dogholes. Personal preference for which is better. Most have round.

Good resources is , but it’s quite long and generally goes off topic frequently.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 2481 days

#2 posted 01-21-2014 03:01 AM

You might want to get a book about workbench design. Just go to and search for Workbench Book and many options will pop up. I have a copy of this one ( and found it to be very helpful and informative.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


13571 posts in 2041 days

#3 posted 01-21-2014 03:27 AM

Chris Schwarz’ blue Workbenches book addresses each of your questions and then some. Highly recommended.

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

View Trey's profile


84 posts in 1127 days

#4 posted 01-21-2014 03:30 AM

I just noticed the Chris Schwarz book. I can get it on prime for free, but our kindle is registered under my wifes info. Grrr..

Thanks for the advice guys. I’ll get some books!

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 1926 days

#5 posted 01-21-2014 03:41 AM

There is a loooong workbench thread that has a lot of workbench crazy folks posting. Lots of pictures and opinions. Also, the guys seem friendly enough and will be more than glad to assist you with your questions.

PS, there is also a vise thread but I do not thinks those guys are as friendly…

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 1864 days

#6 posted 01-21-2014 03:54 AM

The book that docholladay recommended (The Workbench: A Complete Guide to Creating Your Perfect Bench ) is a good read. It’s not really a book that will walk you through from A to Z on how to construct your workbench, but more something to just give you an idea.

For me, that book really enforced the notion that what constitutes a good workbench is a very personal decision and as such there is no one perfect bench out there. Definitely take into consideration the type of woodworking you do and how you do it as that will really influence the design.

Having said all that though, if you’re just starting out, check out Matthias Wandel's Youtube Channel as well and search for workbenches. He’s got a couple really simple builds on there that will get you the basics and let you figure out what you might like and what you don’t like.

There was an episode of the Woodsmith Shop a couple seasons ago that involved a simple weekend build for a workbench. You might want to check out the plans to get an idea of how to start building too.

View ColonelTravis's profile


1159 posts in 1316 days

#7 posted 01-21-2014 04:59 AM

I’m getting ready to build my first decent workbench and two, lengthy, step-by-step video builds I’ve found helpful:

Building a Holtzapffel Workbench – basic

Roubo Workbench Build – advanced

And you don’t need no stinkin’ tail vice with the Batten and Holdfast

View Trey's profile


84 posts in 1127 days

#8 posted 01-22-2014 12:55 AM

Those videos are awesome, and very helpful. After watching the Batten and Holdfast video, I’m convinced!

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