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The Workbench Book: A Craftsman's Guide to Workbenches for Every Type of Woodworking Paperback – September 1, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Landis is a freelance editor and writer on various woodworking subjects.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561582700
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561582709
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 9.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #526,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Lon Schleining's book "The Workbench" is the book of dreams.
Dick Johnson
If you just like looking at and reading about neat stuff made from wood, buy this book.
Lewis B. Hayes
I have designed my own bench with the many, many ideas from this book.
Oavde

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Oavde on August 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
OK where do I start ....
This is a great book. Inspirational. Great photos and illustrations, well written, fascinating history, deep insight into the various uses of benches and the techniques of holding workpieces.
I bought this to inspire the design of my own bench.
Now this book might not be for everyone, so I am breaking this review into bits:
Beginner: will educate you to the history of woodworking and inspire you. Making your own bench is probably beyond you at the moment. If you have a love of woodworking, this will fire your enthusiasm.
Novice: can give you ideas for the future. There are sketches in this book, but not plans, especially not detailed router diagrams with measurements.
Intermediate: (you can design your own projects) get it. You should seriously consider making your own workbench, to your own requirements and style. This book will show you many possibilities and get your thinking.
Advanced: well you should definetely get it, and make yourself a variety of benches to suit different applications.
I really enjoy this book. I have designed my own bench with the many, many ideas from this book. I have many innovative concepts, and specific requirements - for example, I carry my bench into the courtyard, and so have a hole in the middle where I can put a beach umbrella to keep the sun off (not to mention fact that it must be light enough to lift). I also work with leather, jewelry, metal, and beads, so I need adaptability for hammering, soldering, velvet lining to prevent beads escaping, etc etc you get the picture.
This book gave me many many ideas for various means of clamping a work to the bench .. things that I can make myself, which is great.
Read more ›
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Scott Martin, martindg@gte.net on June 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you're a serious woodworker, you need a serious workbench. If you want to build your own workbench, you won't want to do it without first reading "The Workbench Book." Scott Landis superbly covers the world of workbenches and provides a lot of insight into the history and function of workbenches. When I set out to build my workbench, I didn't know what kind I wanted to build. "The Workbench Book" gave me all the information I needed to decide what kind of bench to build and how to build it. But what really surprised me about the book was that even if I wasn't planning to build a bench, it would have been well worth reading simply for the interesting story of the workbench. Scott Landis' knowledge, experience and love of the craft of woodworking, and his respect for the workbench, made the book a joy to read. I not only learned much more about workbenches than I expected; I also gained an appreciation for the craft and those who put their hearts, as well as their hands, into it. If you have even the slightest interest in woodworking, get this book! You won't be disappointed.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a well written book with many great ideas for workbenches. In defference to the gentleman who gave this book a review of only 2 stars I would say that while it is true that only 5 workbenches had measured drawings, there are probably twenty different workbenches discussed. There are 4 in the japanese work bench chapter alone! Although it is true that these workbenches (as woodworking projects) are probably not beginner projects. But I don't think that they're suppose to be. What I found most interesting was reading the reasons why each woodworker built his bench the way he did. You can really pick up on the different philosophies and work habits of these masters. Once you've digested these ideas it's easy to see how you could take one idea from this bench and another idea from that bench and design "YOUR" bench. Highly recommended.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 14, 1998
Format: Paperback
Building your own workbench is for most woodworkers a passage from apprenticeship to proficiency. In his "The Workbench Book", Scott Landis captures the artistry, craftsmanship, and utility behind the design and construction of this most fundamental of woodworking tools. The book begins with a brief history of the workbench (from Roman times to the present) which serves the more detailed part of the book well by providing a context for understanding the layout and design of more modern workbenches. What makes this book truly outstanding however is that Scott Landis choose to eschew the narrow, personal perspective, instead focusing on the workbench philosophy and design detail of a diverse group of master wood craftsmen. This approach allows us to appreciate different bench designs not as simple woodworking projects themselves, but as the foundation of diverse disciplines to the wood craft. This is an excellent book and I would recommend it to any serious woodworker.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The reason I purchased this book is to get a wide variation of plans to choose from. Though the book goes to great lengths about the history and origin of many benches it only gives plans on about four. On a positive note, the author does give us a tremendous amount of information that we can tailor to our own needs.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Lewis B. Hayes on August 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
Scott Landis knows how to write. This is both a history book and a woodworking book, and I still loved it. I never liked history in HS or college, but if I had had Landis, I would have been a history major. The book is captivating virtually from cover to cover (although I found the latter chapters a little less enthralling than the first 3/4 of the book). I plan to build a significant workbench, and I bought this book thinking it would help me with ideas and planning. It did so much more than that, I'm stunned. The insights it gave me about different ways of working with wood have expanded beyond the previous limits of my imagination.

Landis' approach to describing the workbench from an historical perspective highlights the changes in tools that have occurred over the years and how benches have evolved alongside. I started reading the book as a devoted user of power tools who would put up with some hand tools if absolutely necessary. I ended with a much clearer understanding of how hand tools, working in conjunction with the appropriately designed and build bench, could enhance my woodworking pleasure and accomplishments. lol, I've even started buying high quality planes.

If you enjoy history, get this book.

If you want to gain better insight into ways to work wood, get this book.

I you are looking for bench plans, this has some, but I wouldn't buy it for the plans. While there's nothing wrong with the plans, they just seem sort of out-of-place here. I would rather have had more narrative.

If you are looking for a tutorial on how to build a bench, this is not the book.

If you just like looking at and reading about neat stuff made from wood, buy this book.

Bottom line - if in doubt, buy this book.
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