For those of you who think a workbench should be rough and ready, you may well cringe at the bench I have to show you today.
In fact when this customer enquired with a request that the workbench should be built from cherry, even I thought it was pushing things a bit posh.
The workbench was to be a French bench (to be more specific a very chunky Roubo type French bench) made in solid cherry, with a smooth and lustrous finish.
It seemed a little like putting me in a ballerina’s costume; a hairy barbarian trying to perform Swan Lake and somehow having to nail it.
It doesn’t matter how many benches like these I build, I still had to work myself up to it, yet once I got stuck in I found it all very enjoyable. The cherry was such a pleasure to work and once it started coming together, I began getting that buzz of excitement to finally see the finished result.
Being a bit different, we decided to keep a record of this build, and turned it in to an article for Furniture and Cabinent Making Magazine. This Thursday 16th (May 2013) the magazine will be out on the shelves, so you can take a look at the processes and workbench in more detail.
Since the bench was somewhat unique, I don’t expect anyone to set out to copy it detail for detail, so I wanted to use the article to provide some more general pointers when it comes to building a solid workbench.
There’s some info in there about tackling a big thick top glue up, along with the approach I took to the joinery.
If you’re toying with building a workbench or just have a healthy interest in them then I certainly hope that you’ll find it a good read.
Note: At the present time we’re not building any workbenches for sale, however we have many resources on this website that will help guide you with your own workbench build.
Our English Workbench Video Series takes you step by step through a traditional bench build, starting out with a discussion on choosing the ideal dimensions, demonstrations of how to cut the joinery, right through to flattening your workbench top and building the face vice from scratch.
If you’d like us to guide you through your build with videos and PDF plans, then you can find full details for this Workbench Series here.