The Last Empire – In Stock

by | Jan 17, 2013 | 4 comments

This week I’ve completed what may be my last few ‘Empire’ workbenches. The Empire is a model that I designed to allow me to offer a solid bench with a lower price tag and it’s been in production for a couple of years. The design was heavily influenced by the typical traditional English benches that are often refered to as the Nicholson. The distinguishing feature is a deep front apron attached to the top.

Update: 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 detailed videos and PDF plans, then you can find full details for this Workbench Series here.

This has always been a popular bench but since we launched our ‘Little John’ we opted to take the Empire off the market. Having too many ‘standard’ models on offer can over complicate things and we feel that the Little John better achieves what we were aiming at all along.

A couple of the just completed ‘Empires’ are to satisfy some remaining orders but I built an extra one for good measure – This workbench now needs a new home.

The specification is as follows:

Length 6’
Height 34”
Single screw face vice
Flip stop down the centre of the top
Price £1195.00

If you’re interested then you can find our contact details here.

I’ll certainly be coming back to the English bench from time to time. I envisage some more one-off, slightly unique versions such as this oak one. It’s arguably my favourite style of workbench – but then that depends on which way the wind’s blowing.

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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. patrick anderson


    I’ve got a lovely hold fast here in need of a bench ;P

    Are you planning on selling plans for any of the benches in the future? If so, I’d be happy to offer my sketch up skills for the plans.

    • Richard

      Hi Patrick, yes we are looking to bring out some bench plans so thanks for your offer we’ll certainly bear it in mind 🙂

  2. Ken

    If only my friend, sad to see it go It’s a great bench

  3. Ariel Emilio Barbero

    Pros and cons of aprons? I built a traditional English workbench some 25 years ago, it is rather small, but I still use it. Nevertheless I always look people clamping wood on top of their workbenches and see that my apron doesn’t allow me to do that. On the other hand, it provides rigidity to the bench. I plan to build a new workbench and this time I will try a different tradition, no apron. Still, I would like to know your thoughts about aprons


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