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 My Woodwork Bench

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This website will soon be undergoing a redesign.  For those interested in My Workbench, I have recently completed a video series on how to build it with a companion series on how to build the tool chest.  My redesigned site will be offering both subscription service options and DVD's for purchase.  In the meantime, please enjoy this link to the first episode: Episode 1 - Bench Introduction.  If you have an interest in building this bench and would like to know when the subscription service options or DVD's are available for purchase, send me an email to dave@swigerwoodworks.com and I'll add you to my announcement email list.  Thanks and please put "Announcement Email List" in the subject line of your email.

The "great" folks at The Taunton Press (publishers of Fine WoodWorking magazine) have given me permission to build and sell this workbench based on their original design.

Note - the tool chest is a Swiger WoodWorks design.

See "What Inspired Me" to build this bench at the bottom of this page. 


This bench, as shown, is made of hard maple with purpleheart used for the front apron, end vise jaw, and other cabinet and drawer pieces.

This is an extremely well crafted, serious woodworking/cabinetmakers bench that any woodworker or woodturner would be proud to own and have in his/her shop.  It is intended for those that demand an upper end product.  I take orders to build benches on a commission bases, $500 down at time of contracting to show good faith and to reserve a slot in my build schedule, the remainder of half down due approximately two weeks prior to start of work (I'll contact you for payment), the remaining balance due at time of delivery or prior to shipping.  I will provide free personal delivery within 250 miles of my shop.  Mapquest at http://www.mapquest.com/directions/main.adp? used for mileage determination.   This bench can also be shipped, and shipping and handling charges will apply.

I limit myself to building only two or three benches a year based on a first come, first served basis.  Manufacturing time is approximately three months from start of work, but at times I do build a bench for sale so I may have one under construction.  

If you are interested in a couple of higher resolution photos of this bench, send me an email requesting bench pictures: dave@swigerwoodworks.com.  In addition, I'll be glad to answer any questions you may have.

To obtain a cost quote, please review the features below and send me an email identifying the key features you would prefer: dave@swigerwoodworks.com.  I'll get back to you promptly with your quote. 

Bench Features

  • Woods - Hard Maple with Purpleheart front apron and end jaw vise. Optional close-grained wood selections include oak and beech.  Many European benches are built with beech.  I will also consider other wood choices.
  • The Top - solid, 2 in. thick with lots of workspace at 28 in. wide by 77 in. long.  Note - tops are built to within a tolerance of + inch.  This is due to the natural bowing that occurs when ripping slab strips from wider stock that must be corrected for when flattening the bench.  I rough cut the slab strips just shy of 3 in. and maintain as much thickness as possible.  Thicker bench slabs can be built for an additional cost.
  • Bench Height - The nominal height of the working surface is 35 in., but this varies depending on the resulting table top thickness after flattening.  If you have a requirement for something higher, I can accommodate it.
  • Heavy Duty Trestle Base - 3 x 3 in. leg members with 1  x 4 in. stretchers that are joined with mortise and tenons providing for a solid bench foundation that will not wrack or skid across the floor during heavy work sessions.  Most commercially available benches on the market have spindly 2 x 4 in. legs and stretchers that don't provide the solid foundation that is required of a good bench. 
  • Tool Tray - 6 in. wide tool tray.  The tool tray is optional; however, if you elect "not" to have one, the bench is reduced to 28 inches wide.
  • Front Apron and End Caps - at 1 x 6 in. they provide great strength and add to the massive look to the bench.
  • Front and End Jaw Vises - massive, 3 + in. thick providing for great performance and secure clamping.  Vises can be mounted at either end of bench.
  • Front Vise - Quick release, German made vise from Woodcraft.  A half turn counterclockwise releases the vise so that it can be slid out easily.  Other front vise selections possible if you prefer something different.
  • End Vise - Veritas Twin-Screw Vise from Lee Valley.  Veritas claims this is the only full-width "non-racking" end vise on the market.  You can clamp anything anywhere in the vise and the jaws stay parallel.  This vise also features controlled jaw skewing through the use of a simply operated spring-loaded lock pin.  It can be operated using either handle and the speed knob can be set up for either right or left hand operation.  I will mount other end vises if you prefer something different.  This vise may also be mounted as a front vise.
  • Square Dog Holes - 4 rows, 10 holes each, are aligned for use with the end vise.  Maximum clamping capacity is approximately 68 in. 
  • Round Dog Holes - 2 rows of in. holes, 7 holes each, are aligned with the front vise.  Maximum clamping capacity is approximately 34 in.  The use of round dogs allows for clamping odd shaped pieces to the table.    inch holes also allow for the use of hold-downs and holdfasts, as well as allowing for the securing of jigs that are made with  in. dowels.
  • I deliver four Veritas square bench dogs with solid brass faces and four Veritas solid brass round dogs with each bench.  Brass is gentler to your tool's edge, chisels, planes, etc. - if you happen to slip!

Tool Chest

  • Woods - the cabinet is constructed of in. maple plywood that is edged with walnut - walnut does a great job of defining and accenting the cabinet area.  Paying attention to such detail adds to the overall integrated look of the bench which is artistically pleasing to the eye.  Other wood selections are available to match bench construction selections.
  • Drawers - the drawers are constructed with poplar and faced with matching bench construction selections.   In the photos shown, the top and bottom drawers are faced with maple and the middle drawer is faced with purpleheart.  The drawers are constructed using box joints which provide for superior strength joints that will stand up to years of abuse of banging tools as the drawers are opened and closed. 
  • Slides - the drawers are mounted on Blum Tandem, Full Extension, Fully Concealed Slides.  These slides have a smooth ball bearing movement, are self-closing, and have a 100 pound weight capacity.
  • Doors - the frame-and-raised-panels doors add yet another touch of distinctiveness to the bench.  As shown, the door rails and stiles are maple, and the raised panels are purpleheart.  Again, other wood selections are available to match bench construction selections.  If you are not interested in the larger storage area these doors provide, you may elect to have additional drawers installed.
  • Wooden Pulls - wooden drawer and door pulls are available in maple (shown), oak, or cherry. Metal pulls of your liking can also be used.

Additionally, for those who want to build their own bench, but don't have a heavy duty tablesaw (recommend at least a 3 HP saw) to cut slab strips, I will custom build you a bench slab.  Send me your dimension requirements and I'll send you a price.   

Some additional photos.  

  Workbench 091.jpg (618594 bytes)    Workbench_067.jpg (36177 bytes)   Cabinet 030.jpg (780529 bytes)    Workbench 114.jpg (849905 bytes)

For some manufacturing photos, click this link Bench Photos.

What Inspired Me

When I laid my eyes on Lon Schleining's woodwork bench, page 158, in his book, "The Workbench" published by The Taunton Press, Inc., fall 2004, I knew I wanted to build one something like it.  There were three things about this bench that immediately caught my eye: simplicity, functionality, and the potential to show nature's work by using a beautifully grained piece of wood for the front apron.  I would like to thank Lon and The Taunton Press for the inspiration they provide to all woodworkers.  Lon has supported and encouraged me to build and sell these spectacular benches.

I was searching for a new bench when The Taunton Press published Lon's book.  I couldn't find anything on the market that I truly liked enough to buy.  Therefore, I decided that I would build by own and, as luck had it, I came across Lon's book.  After reading the relevant chapters and perusing all the woodworking benches, I set out to identify what was important to me in a bench and what techniques I would use to build one.

Although Lon's bench has plenty of functionality, there was something missing that I needed, the tool tray from Tage Frid's bench incorporated into the design.  I'm not the best guy in the shop for putting tools away; however, I do practice the "Rule of Ten."  I put ten things away in my shop every morning before I start working - even if it is only a set of nine drill bits and their case.  That makes ten!  I read the "Rule of Ten" sometime ago and wish I could remember where or who to give credit to.  If anyone reading this knows, please send me a short e-mail - thanks in advance!  

Links for Lon Schleining's Woodbender's Page and The Taunton Press's Fine WoodWorking page:



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