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Workbenches: from Design and Theory to Construction and Use (Popular Woodworking) [Hardcover]

Christopher Schwarz
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.99
Price: 18.01 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 May 2008 Popular Woodworking
Two Centuries of Workbench Wisdom in One Book!

With this book, your very first workbench will do everything you need it to do—possibly for the rest of your woodworking career!

Encompassing years of historical research and real-world trials, Christopher Schwarz boils down centuries of the history and engineering of workbenches into basic ideas that all woodworkers can use.

  • Learn how to design your own world-class workbench
  • Learn the fundamental rules of good workbench design that have been largely forgotten
  • Learn how to build an inexpensive and practical bench that hasn't been in widespread use for over 100 years
  • Learn how to properly use any workbench
These old-school benches are simpler than modern benches, easier to build and perfect for both power and hand tools.

Beginning woodworkers can build either of these benches. The technical drawings are clear and show every detail. Using the step-by-step instructions, you will be amazed at how easily these workbenches can be constructed.

Frequently Bought Together

Workbenches: from Design and Theory to Construction and Use (Popular Woodworking) + Workbench Design + The Workbench Book: A Craftsman's Guide to Workbenches for Every Type of Woodworking (Craftsman's Guide to)
Price For All Three: 52.59

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Betterway Books (30 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558708405
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558708402
  • Product Dimensions: 28.7 x 21.9 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Christopher Schwarz is the editor of Popular Woodworking and Woodworking Magazine and is a long-time amateur furniture-maker and hand-tool enthusiast. Chris joined the staff of Popular Woodworking in 1996. He teaches handwork at various woodworking schools.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best book on the subject 31 Mar 2010
This is probably the best book on this subject. To be quite honest I can not see how it can be improved further. The author, who, I think, is also the editor of Fine Woodworking magazine, clearly researched his subject and, more importantly, put into practice his findings before writing this book. Firstly he looked into the history of woodworking workbenches and examined their development over the years and clearly identifies what works and what doesn't. Secondly he approached his subject in a critical manner rather than readily adopting the accepted wisdom. Thirdly he made his presentation in a very clear and constructive manner. Fourthly he does take the reader through each and every step of the process and provides a full explanation along the way. Finally he wrote the book in such a way so as to useful to complete novices and seasoned practitioners alike. He doesn't confuse the reader with technical terms and complicated practices. The book is primarily aimed at the American market and therefore some of the terms and measurements may appear alien. But he does use them sparingly and only where absolutely necessary. For example he uses imperial measurements rather than metric and terms such as "lumber" instead of "timber". All in all this is an excellent book which could stand as an example as to how a practical book should be written. It is highly recommended and without any reservations whatsoever.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Benchmarked 3 Oct 2010
By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought two books on bench design, the other gets straight to the business of building a specific bench, but Schwarz's book is much more philosophical, almost a "Zen and the art of workbenches", talking about WHY you should need a bench, how it can be specific to the things you want to make , and how to tune it.

Schwarz details two benchtypes and how to build them, the "English" pattern and the Continental" pattern - he then critiques the designs, after his own years of use.

Leavened with a lot of humour and anecdote, and bristling with valuable information -tables of wood hardness and strength, I think this book provides, well, a benchmark in design for anyone wanting to make a really good base for their craft.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, informative, insightful and practical 30 Oct 2010
By IanBJ
Looking to build a workbench for furniture/cabinet making I bought 3 books on workbench design etc. By far the best is Schwarz's. It's packed full of sensible, insightful advice based on his long experience and is extremely readable. Well organised structure. Argued reasons for his recommendations. Excellent photos and diagrams. Practical suggestions re workbench usage. Designs and construction guidance for the English and French (Roubo) workbench. His enthusiasm and down-to-earth realism leap out. I'm really looking forward to bulding a modified version of the Roubo. Having scanned the web, I did spot that the Roubo leg vice & guide may be better raised off the floor and may need a runner under the guide.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where are the English Craftsmen Books? 7 Sep 2011
By esox
This is an excellent book, whether your interest is in the history or the actual structures and their developments, why-o-why are the best books of this type, carpentry/tools/woodwork/roof pitching/timber framed buidings & styles etc, only significantly available from American publishers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, engaging and informative 20 Jan 2012
By JoMolly
This is really a wonderful book. I have been using woodworking benches for a long time for large- and small-scale work and still have learned so much from this book. Christopher Schwarz has organized his material beautifully. The basics are all here, but these slip easily into subtle and advanced information based on his own very considerable practical experience. The style is thoughtful, informal and thorough. Materials, siting, size are all considered properly, then most of the operations one needs to carry out using a bench are considered. I especially liked the way the author considers his first, second .. etc. choices for how to carry out bench-based tasks with different bench designs and equipment. Then there are detailed instructions for making two contrasting kinds of bench - in the 'English' and 'French' design. The illustrations are excellent. The book will benefit amateurs who are keen to build or improve their benches as well as professionals who need to consider how to achieve quality with speed and ease. This is bench design and practical communication at its very best. In fact I would say this book sets a new standard for practical design and instructional books in general. Woodwork teachers may learn a lot from it in this respect. Finally, the standard of Mr Schwarz woodwork will itself inspire readers. Combine this book with Scott Landis's Workbench Book which expands the topic with a wide variety of views, and you will have it all.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed and relevant 2 Feb 2011
By Snoots
This is a very detailed book on the subject but fortunately most of it relevant if you want to build yourself a great workbench that is capable of holding all shapes and sizes of work piece for the various operations you're likely to perform. Full of great photos and detailed plans for two completely different styles of bench (English and French). I very much doubt you'd feel like you needed to buy another book on the subject once you've read this!

Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
You can tell the author's heart is very much attached to the topic. The book tells you not just everything you need to know about benches, what to look for and how to build one. It also speaks about the history and how things came to being (I.e what's the story behind a certain bench type).
I really enjoy this book. It helped me in selecting my next bench (and also tought what's rubbish about the one I currently own. So be aware, you may not like your old bench anymore after reading this book.
Well written, nice pictures, overall a keeper.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The bible for 'modern' work bench design
Chris just has a way of putting his ideas into layman English that is easy to read and understand. I woofed the book down in three nights at first and have read it twice since with... Read more
Published 5 months ago by C. Raymond
5.0 out of 5 stars For more than just a work bench
Brilliant intro into more than just building work benches, techniques and planning as detailed in the book can be applied to a wide range of projects. Read more
Published 8 months ago by bodi
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read, informative and enjoyable. Brilliant.
I have a few books on workshop design and benchcraft; this one is the best by far.
Illustrations are very well done, the commentary is sensible and knowledgeable being drawn... Read more
Published 8 months ago by GM53
2.0 out of 5 stars waste of money if you want something quick and easy to follow with...
this book focus to much on the story behind the making of wooden benches throughout history. it has some written information in how to make benches but in terms of images and... Read more
Published 10 months ago by dm
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Type too small
Excellent book, let down for me by the size of type chosen for the text. In my opinion it needs to be increased by at least 2 pt. to make for comfortable reading.
Published 14 months ago by cono18
5.0 out of 5 stars Workbench Book
Christopher Schwarz's Workbench book is a must if you are thinking of constructing a workbench. So informative. Really enjoyed working out how to build my bench.
Published 16 months ago by Howell
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty thorough look into workbenches
This is a thorough and well regarded book but it is not exactly what I was looking for and the font is not easy to read. Read more
Published 19 months ago by sir_isaac_newton
5.0 out of 5 stars Workbenches
I enjoy reading anything by Chris Schwarz as I find his writing and craftsmanship inspirational. This book doesn't disappoint. Read more
Published 21 months ago by mh
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny
I purchased the Workbenches; From design and theory to construction, book on a whim, and could not put it down. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Anthony
5.0 out of 5 stars FABULOUS
If you are thinking of buying or making a new workbench, then you really need to read this book first. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Mr. P. A. Bryant
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