Our French workbench build is now complete.
If you’re interested in this build then have a look at the full details here.
Or you can Click Here to Buy Now
Your workbench can be a tricky thing to get right.
Not so much because the build needs to be complicated, but because it’s functional and you’re likely going to be stuck with it for a long time.
It’s that pressure to make the right decision that I think can often put us off getting started.
With this video build series we wanted to show how simple it can be to make a really sturdy, functional workbench that can also be rather pretty if you’d like.
The traditional French bench design works. There’s not really any need to fluff it up.
We’ve done everything properly so it’s built to last for generations.
The slabs for the top are mechanically joined with loose tenons.
The legs are morticed in to the top and drawbored in to place.
We’ve even added a cross mechanism to the leg vice so it’s nice and convenient and smooth to use.
But despite doing all of this by hand, the build just feels accessible and simple.
With workbench design, less is more. And the key is having confidence in that simplicity, so you can do a really good job of what is there, without feeling the need to keep adding more.
This is a French bench built from old roof joists, and a mismatch of left over timber.
You can build it from beautiful new wood if you’d like, but we hope we’ve made the point that a good workbench doesn’t have to be an extraordinary investment.
As with all our series Helen’s done a great job of filming and editing to keep you enjoying the flow of the work. There’s PDF plans, a cutting list and drawings for making your own vice cross.
You can find more details of the build here.
(If you’re already a Member then it’s best to login first).
For the next week we’re also offering some limited video collections.
Not familiar with our Videos?
We make online courses that provide tuition on hand tool woodworking.
The detailed videos can be both streamed and downloaded.
As a professional hand tool woodworker, we aim to get you feeling inspired to build, and equipped with the knowledge to tackle projects entirely by hand.
View our full Collection of Video Series HERE
Or sign up to our Free Plane Build Mini Series HERE
Daniel Lewczuk says
Hello Richard, I have purchased and am building the English workbench. What are advantages/disadvantages of each? Thanks for the excellent videos! So informative with crucial details!
Chris Bailey says
Good morning Richard,
Another great workbench video build; many thanks. I am always delighted to see how ‘relatively easy’ your excellent projects are to build. However… you have now given me a slight headache!
I have recently moved house and I am setting up a new (garage) workshop. I already have a good workbench made some years ago with a laminated top etc., but it is quite tall essentially better suited to cutting dovetails etc and not hand planing. As I have been moving more and more towards an ‘unplugged workshop’ (save for my bandsaw), I am going to build another lower bench, more suited to hand preparation of stock.
I was going to build your English workbench, but now your French one has caused me a dilemma. Which would you build and why?
Perhaps your reply will be of interest to others who may face a similar problem!
Love your approach to woodworking. I do have a question. If the legs are attached to the bench top with mortise and tenon joint is there enough flex in the legs to allow for the wood movement of the top?
This looks like a good series. I’m still in the procrastination phase with regard to my bench, so this might do me some good. I need something with drawers and castors due to space restrictions, but I’m sure this one could be adapted.
Greetings, Richard, do you have any news on the beginner’s series you mentioned in your Christmas post?
Great post Richard! I just recently built a new workbench and now I maybe regretting the style I went with.. But great inspiration!
Daniel Carlton says
Beautiful live edge (if that’s what I’m really seeing….)!
Robert B. Martin says
Excellent video series and another awesome workbench!
I loved your approach. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. It helps a lot of people.
James Collins || FamousToolz says
I have heard from many people that it is very easy to make a workbench but I have been bored twice while making it. Later I collected some information from the net to make it. Your content information has helped me a lot to make it a workbench. Eventually, I managed to make it to the workbench. I hope to be able to report more success very soon.