1 August 2018 at 5:35 pm #549781
I really love the roubo-style workbench and I use it still very much however I came across this https://youtu.be/G5u9buZRy3Y workbench and I am convinced it is much more versatile and practical. While it wins no beauty contests, I can see the sense of having a bench where all my tools are with arms reach. Also, there is no worries in scratching, marring, glueing or otherwise damaging my bench top. I have set to work making this and I am more than confident it will be my go to bench. I would like to know how others feel about it once you watch the video2 August 2018 at 12:34 am #549785
I watched most of that video. I didn’t see the fellow demonstrate the use of a single hand tool with that bench.
Any bench needs to do three essential things, which are to hold work when you work on an edge, end grain, and face – securely.
It also needs to be rigid to avoid wasting energy when you apply hand tools to the work.
The vise and 3/4” ply top seem too feeble for mortiseing with a hammer and chisel. When the fellow demonstrated how rigid his bench was, things hanging from it rocked back and forth.
His holding method for holding for face work seemed to depend on clamps that obstructed the face or just clamped a scrap of wood with spring clamps. The edge holding seemed to depend on pulling drawers out so you could fill them with sawdust. He didn’t show any method at all for working on an end grain edge.
All the tools on his bench were power tools. I have nothing against them, ( I had a nice 40 year career using full complement as well as hand tools) but that is what this bench seemed tailored to. It isn’t designed to use hand tools to their best benefit.
And one of the major features he seemed to tout was storage, which my experience is that once you get past one drawer or so, isn’t an advantage, but a hindernce to efficient work.
Storage is what chests and shelves do best – especially if they are between waist and eye level.
Think about how a kitchen is organized.
And since you need about 3’ all around places you will stand, a bench with a center well only works if you have enough free space, so larger than a single car garage.
Still, it could work with the type of work you want to do. If so, have at it.2 August 2018 at 12:58 am #549789
Yes, as I stated, I still use my laminated Workbench for hand tooling. This Workbench is designed for electric tool use and as I pointed out, the thing I love about it most is that you can abuse it with impunity and replace the top when you wear it out. Granted, this Workbench is basically for cabinet making but I would stretch it to include anything that might do damage to my laminated Workbench. The gentleman in the video has made this bench in his mission work all over the world. He had left his benches for others to continue using long after he has moved on to other volunteer projects. One location he was volunteering in made several of these and a class is being taught in woodwork using only these benches. They are very solid and last for decades. If you have room for more than one Workbench (I have 3 and they all have their advantages and disadvantages and one doubles as an outfeed. You should investigate this as an a useful addition to your shop.2 August 2018 at 3:29 am #549791
This is a workbench made for using handheld power tools, and it appears it works well for the gentleman. But it is not a bench which will be satisfactory for a woodworker using hand tools. And while my bench is not an altar and carries signs of decades of use, I do not think it economical or prudent to plan on expending the effort to build a bench to “abuse it with impunity.” If you are going to make a workbench, make one to suit the style of woodworking you will be doing-if you are going to be doing the type of hand tool woodworking Paul is teaching you will be much happier building either an English style bench-Nicholson or Sellers type, a Roubo bench, or a continental bench typified by face vise, tail vise, and bench dogs. Any of these can serve your needs. But trying to use the bench in this video in a hand tool only workshop will be an exercise in frustration. The benches I mention above were developed over centuries of use by craftsmen who used them daily to earn their living and evolved to help the hand tool woodworker make maximum use of his time and effort. We are always tempted to think we can reinvent the wheel and do it better, but sometimes the hard won knowledge of generations of craftsmen is worth listening to. If you are going to do power woodworking build a bench for that. But if you will be doing hand tool woodworking, build a hand tool workbench.2 August 2018 at 3:47 am #549792
And that’s why, as I have said, I have and use both. Geez2 August 2018 at 8:40 am #549794
Given that this site is oriented to hand tool work, I doubt there will be much enthusiasm for a power tool oriented bench, regardless of of well designed it is.
This looks like a decent enough bench for what it is.2 August 2018 at 12:45 pm #549797
Having watched the video, I see what @broan is talking about. I do think it is pretty cool to watch someone who saw a need, in their own shop, and devised ways to deal with those needs. While those full length drawers wouldn’t be appealing to me, I see why he has them. I also wouldn’t build a workbench out of 3/4″ plywood either, but I understand “why” he did it. It is what he needed and what his budget would allow. My first workbench had 3/4 MDF for a top. I cut tons of mortises on that before I built my current one. In fact, it is because of that workbench that I built my current one the way I did. Yes, this guy is a power tool woodworker – but that doesn’t make his invention less than anything we might create in our shops. “I” don’t think it is the new generation workbench, but it certainly has worked for this guy for decades – congrats to him. I can only hope that my accomplishments will last that long.2 August 2018 at 8:00 pm #549809
This bench seems to be a little like a Swiss Army Knife. It appears to do a lot of things and none of them particularly well! I understand your concerns over damaging your main work bench but you can address that issue other ways. While we rarely see Paul use a bench hook, I use them constantly for a couple of reasons and the first is avoiding damage to my bench top. I don’t mind chopping into the bench hook – that’s what it’s for and they’re ultra cheap to make. The other reason I like using them is to avoid going into and out of my vise(s) so much. Stop strips on a bench hook allow me to simply butt a workpiece up against the stop and chisel out waste safely and efficiently.
As far as this design goes, I think it’s usable for someone dedicated to power tools where bench stability isn’t a concern. I saw his demonstration but I also know he’s trying to sell the plans. Plywood legs and substructure like that are not a good idea in my opinion. Apart from being more expensive and less stable than a solid wood structure will be, attaching two pieces of plywood to each other at right angles with a butt joint as he does with his legs is just bad practice. For a low cost, easy to build bench/table, you can use common wall studs like the bench in the attached photo. For this one I used a 3/4″ layer of MDF with a layer of 3/4″ plywood on top of and it’s pretty solid. Certainly okay for light work or as an extension for my main bench or as a sharpening station or for clamp storage. But as stout as it is, it’s still very marginal for joinery work. Things jump around if you chop or pound on top of it. The good news is, it only takes a couple hours to make at a cost of $50 or less (vise not included).
I don’t see anything about the design in the video that would make it more versatile than my main bench which also has a center well by the way, or like the benches that Paul promotes these days. The whole implementatin seems flimsy and poorly conceived to me. I noticed that he has several other videos and if you want a good laugh, watch the one on drawer construction. That one left me speechless!
You must be logged in to access attached files.2 August 2018 at 11:40 pm #549819
Sorry but that bench is just horrible. The complete antithesis of what I’m here for. And he wants money for ‘plans’?
Manxman living in France3 August 2018 at 1:05 am #549820
Looking at the gentleman’s other videos, the cabinets and drawers he is building are exactly what is in my kitchen and probably most of yours-plywood or particle board joined with pocket screws, glue, and nails or staples. His bench appears to work well for his type of cabinet construction. But for those who aspire to use traditional joinery and build furniture to last a lifetime or more, a traditional woodworking bench will give much better service. Paul’s classes are a call to return to this type of craftsmanship and I am trying to build furniture pieces for my home and my children to this standard. I don’t plan on replacing my kitchen cabinets, but my next dining table, chest of drawers, medicine cabinet, end table etc I do plan to make with dovetails, mortise and tenon, and housing dadoes on a workbench made for this.3 August 2018 at 4:30 am #549826
I’m astounded at the elitist attitude concerning my post and I wish I could retract it. I’m sure Paul would see the point I was attempting here. Sorry guys. Chisel away3 August 2018 at 8:02 am #549828
You said you wanted to know how people felt having watched the video. I actually think that the responses here have been very considered and balanced, they’re just not what you wanted to hear. If you don’t want to know the answer, don’t ask the question.3 August 2018 at 4:57 pm #549832
the bench in the video is so bad that it’s hard to tell if you are trolling us or not3 August 2018 at 11:38 pm #549835
Bingo!18 August 2018 at 8:08 pm #550350
This guy builds cabinets, and has created a bench to suit his needs and workflow. I would imagine if he were teaching classes on his methods of building cabinets, that bench would be handy.
For traditional hand tool woodworking and joinery? Not so much.
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