Chapter 1 PDF
I'm pleased to
inform that Christopher Schwarz's first book,
"Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction &
Use," is shipping now.
downloadable PDF file is available here -
To order the Deluxe Edition with CD visit
Press - Christopher Schwarz's website.
About the Deluxe Edition with CD
The Deluxe Edition with CD is available only through a handful
of independent woodworking specialty stores and presents
additional electronic information that could not be included in
the book, including:
Complete text and drawings to the book in PDF
format that you load on your computer so you can print out
construction drawings of the plans to take to the workshop and
search the entire book by keyword.
Complete plans, step photos and text to build a
third historic workbench not presented in the book, the
19th-century Holtzapffel Workbench. This simple and
almost-forgotten bench was designed specifically for
Interactive 3-D models that allow you to
examine, disassemble and manipulate the three workbenches shown
in the book and on the CD. These models are like having the
bench in front of you so you can examine its parts from all
angles, look inside at the joinery and even disassemble the
entire project on your computer screen.
Plus slideshows of the construction of two of
the workbenches on the deluxe CD
This is the only workbench
book that shows the reader how to design a good workbench, how to
build it and Ė most importantly Ė how to use it in their shop for
all sorts of tasks. Encompassing years of historical research and
real-world trials, this book boils down centuries of the history and
engineering of workbenches into simple ideas that all woodworkers
With this book, your very first workbench will do
everything you need it to do for the rest of your career in the
craft. Hereís what youíll find inside:
This book shows you how to build inexpensive,
simple and very useful benches that haven't been in widespread
use for 100 years or more.
Every woodworker needs a workbench, and other
books skimp on showing you how to design a good bench yourself,
or how to use it once it's built.
The construction information is presented so
even beginning woodworkers can build these world-class benches.
The technical drawings are extensive. The step-by-step
instruction is unusually detailed.
board has edges, faces and end grain. So every workbench should be
able to easily work the edges, faces and ends of boards. But most
benches built during the last 100 years will fail you on at least
one of these tasks.
This book dives deep into the historical records
of the 18th and 19th centuries and breathes new life into
traditional designs that have lain dormant for decades and were
utterly fantastic to use. These old-school benches are simpler than
modern benches, easier to build and surprisingly perfect for both
power and hand tools.
This book explains the
fundamental rules of good workbench design that have been largely
forgotten. It explains all of the complex vises and ways of holding
work so you can understand what they do. And it shows you how to use
this knowledge to design a workbench for the ages, using two
venerable designs as basic skeletons. Unlike other books on the
topic, this one isnít a tour of unusual or beautiful workbenches.
Instead itís essential reading for anyone who likes to get their
hands dirty in the shop.
The deluxe edition of this
140-page hardbound book is signed by the author and includes a CD
that works with both PC and Macintosh computers. The deluxe edition
CD includes the complete and searchable text of the book, plus 3D
models of the benches, a bonus workbench plan and slideshows of the
Christopher Schwarz is the
editor of Popular Woodworking and Woodworking Magazine and is a
long-time amateur furnituremaker and hand-tool enthusiast.
He began working with wood
at 8 when his family members built their first home on their farm
outside Hackett, Ark., using hand tools because there was no
electricity. After studying journalism at Northwestern University
and The Ohio State University, Chris became a newspaper reporter but
studied furniture-making at night at the University of Kentucky and
joined the staff of Popular Woodworking in 1996.
addition to his duties at Popular Woodworking, Chris writes about
hand tools for The Fine Tool Journal and has four DVDs on
traditional hand tool use produced and sold by Lie-Nielsen
Toolworks. He teaches handwork at the Marc Adams School of
Woodworking and Kelly Mehlerís School of Woodworking.
He lives in Fort Mitchell,
Ky., with his wife, Lucy; two daughters, Maddy and Katy; and at
least three cats. This is his first book. WK
From the reader...
I was given Chris Schwarz's
workbench book for Christmas as I am on the very verge
(indeed the edge, the precipice, that slippery slope) of
building a real bench. I have been using a bench I
built about 20 years ago that has 2x6 legs and
stretchers with bed bolts holding all together, then a
plywood top with a face and a tail vice - both of them
I have been forced to be creative
when it comes to holding things up or down and have
learned to live with it. FWW had an article in
their special "shop" issue about 5 years ago about a
bench with a double screw end vice, and this recently
struck me as a good idea for chair seats. When I
re-visited this article I also read several other
workbench books, including the standard ones, and
thought I had a handle on the topic.
But nooooo... Chris's
book is truly the definitive discussion of the topic.
Nowhere else have I seen such a meaningful analysis of
the what and why of each feature of a bench. It
has reinforced many of the "decisions" I had thought I
had made already, but it changed a couple of others.
Like the use of the sliding
"deadman" (that thing that slides the length of the
bench across the front and has a lot of holes for dogs
in it) that allows a movable support for planing the
edges of long or wide (or both) boards. Or that
you want the front legs to be flush with the edge of the
top so that they can be clamped against. Or that you
want no aprons so you can clamp onto all four sides of
the top. Or that the standard tail vice is a lot
of work for what you get. Or that a stack of
drawers under the top prevents you from using a proper
holdfast that would stick down through the bench.
Or that 350 pounds is not too heavy. Or that the
lovely "German" benches that are offered in the
catalogues might look good in the living room, but have
some serious shortcomings for handwork.
Part of his discussion is a
bench that works for power tools. A power tool
bench may not work for hand tools, but a good hand tool
bench is great for power tools too. It turns out
his favorite is his version of the Ruobo bench (he says
it is the one possession he would take if he had to take