Giving Birth To A Cow

by | Dec 1, 2015 | 24 comments

English workbenchOur English Workbench Video Series is on its way. We said it would be out this year and after many enquries to it’s presence, we can finally say that it will be on time… just. We’ll be pre-launching any day with full details of the build, and Chapter One will be very close behind.

This workbench had a very difficult birth. It’s technically our first Premium Series because we started it long before the Spoon Rack, but unfortunately as many of you will know things got a bit awkward during the build as I became ill and had to down tools and close a workshop, loose a house then build a workshop, and… well all those woe is me sorts of things.
splitting cheeks
The workbench stood unfinished for many months in a barn with a collapsed roof and then got another shock to it’s system when it was brought back in to the warmth and became cared for again. I have to admit, I’d actually wrote this project off but to my surprise, other than the pebble dashing of bird shite and some water staining the bench remained exactly as I left it. I’d say that’s a fair testament to the construction methods chosen.

Since being ill (poisoned) it took nigh on a year to get back hand planing without panting like a walrus, and build some endurance, but over the last month we’ve finally finished this workbench fitting it with a good solid face vice and flattening the top.
As Maguire Workbenches closes it feels like a great time to be able to share the huge amount of info and experience that I have acquired on this subject. And it also feels so very right to be ending Maguire Workbenches with a bench build that will be so accessible to others.

So after its journey I find myself with just the right bench at just the right time, a new surface for the next chapter. I think I’m very fond of this bench.
I expect this won’t be the only bench that we build on camera but the English Workbench in this simple, honest form will probably be my favourite. A good, proper bench.

A big thanks to everyone for your patience with this one.

The Full Video Series is Now Available. Find Full Details Here.
Flattening a workbench top


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About Richard Maguire

About Richard Maguire

As a professional hand tool woodworker, Richard found hand tools to be the far more efficient solution for a one man workshop. Richard runs 'The English Woodworker' as an online resource and video education for those looking for a fuss free approach to building fine furniture by hand. Learn More About Richard & The English Woodworker.


  1. Stefan

    Hi Richard,
    this are great news. Can’t wait to see the next series and to get some insights into your workbench building process. Although I won’t have enough space to put such a bench into my small workshop and I’ve already decide to build a cabinet based bench, I’m sure I will get some valuable tips while watching the videos.


  2. David G

    Hi Richard
    Good to see you back on track it sounds like you have had a rough time of late.
    I have only been following your site for a short while but have very much enjoyed reading your blog watching your videos and completing the Spoon Rack, which turned out good.
    Best of luck for the future


  3. Richard Arnold

    Now that’s a bench I can relate to, and fall in love with. I think it’s time I got on with my own so I think I will have a word with santa and see if he can order me some rough sawn redwood for christmas!. You have got to find something to do while you have a break from work! Don’t tell Kate I said that.

  4. patrick anderson

    Looking forward to this series!

    Wishing you and Helen a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

  5. Mike C.

    Oh this is joyful news!

  6. Nullan

    That looks like a good bench to a noob like me. I’ll buy those videos and build it.

    Just need to build a few other things first.
    Like the workshop to put the bench in.

    Best regards
    Peter Nelly

  7. Darryl

    Great news and perfect timing as I am just drawing up plans/ideas for my first work bench build.

    Having picked up so much information from the spoon rack series I look forward to another learning extravaganza with the bench build.

  8. Kermit

    I will be watching for it, Richard. I’m sure it will arrive, like any child, in good time. Do yourself proud. We’ll all be waiting.

  9. Ian M. Stewart

    Oh Joy! I’ve been waiting patiently (almost) for this. Thanks for the heads up Richard, the sub is on my wish list for this Christmas. 🙂

    Have a lovely festive season, and I hope the workbench videos go down a storm (they should do!)

  10. Paul B

    My last year-and-a-half has been absolutely shit, too! I’m now downsizing from a 4 bedroom house into a tiny one bedroom apartment. I’ll get to pay spousal support as well!

    At least I’ll finally have a space to unpack my tools. I’m going to enjoy building this (though it remains to be seen what my new neighbours handle the noise – so I’m hoping there isn’t a lot of mortising to be done).

  11. Len A


    This is great news. I will definitely be subscribing not because I need another workbench as yet as you well know but I have no doubt that if the Spoon Rack series was anything to go by then we shall be in for a treat in any number of woodworking lessons. I hope to pick up plenty of pointers and will look to put them into practice in whatever projects I work on.

    Who knows I may one day get a larger workshop that will hold another work bench and I will build the next one myself. Meanwhile I shall make do with what I have and start building or making other things.

    Also looking forward to the plane build that we are all eagerly awaiting.

    All the best


  12. Peter Zimmer

    It’s wonderful to see you back and on line. I’ve missed you two, and now wish you a joyous Christmas and wonderful New Year. Take care of each other!

  13. DenverGeorge

    That looks like one solid, serviceable bench. I love the English style of benches. Will look forward to watching the build.

    Glad you are recovered from the poisoning and back to decent health. The very best to you and Helen for the holidays!

  14. Mike O'Brien

    Richard, I am glad you have regained your health and that you can return to doing what you love to do, woodworking. Very excited to hear about the workbench build video series and will sign on as soon as it is available. Thank you and Happy Holidays.
    Mike O’Brien
    Alabama, USA

  15. Allen Norris

    Richard, I look forward to seeing this as I am sure do many others. May I wish you and Helen a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

  16. Jasper

    Simple and sturdy, I like that. It’s built like a house, literally. I thought workbenches weren’t born but crafted and assembled; must have missed some major innovation 🙂

    Glad to hear your health is getting better.

  17. John Gibson

    Happy news about the video. Wonderful news that you are well again. Wishing you & yours a joyful & healthy Christmas & 2016.

  18. Jeremy Stoltzfus

    Was it from the toxic vapors next door to your old workshop that affected your health? I only ask because I left a cabinet shop job a year ago after I badly injured my knee. I think that my health has been improving since I am not breathing the vapors from the finish on the cabinets. You would open the doors after getting to the job sometimes and it would make your eyes water.

  19. Neal Mangham

    Richard, Delighted to hear you’re back on your feet and resuming “normal” activities (your “normal”, of course, would put me in hospital!). I look forward to going through the bench series, and to your schedule allowing you to get back to the plane build premium. I hope you and Helen have a wonderful season and a Happy Christmas


  20. Mike

    Richard, great to hear that even after going through all that you’re pressing onwards; and will be sharing more great content with us. I look forward to this premium workbench series, and hopefully a series on the hand planes too! Best to yourself and Helen for a Happy Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.


  21. Dan O'Neill

    I have enjoyed your way to solve problems the English way and they are rather unique to an American way.
    But either way gets the job finish.Please keep the the good stuff going.
    Dan O’Neill
    Chelmsford Massachustts

  22. Dennis Heyza

    Perhaps I missed it, but are the premium videos downloadable?

    • Richard Maguire

      Hi Dennis, Yep all of the Premium videos are downloadable and available to stream.


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