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Workbench, The: A Complete Guide to Creating Your Perfect Bench Hardcover – October 1, 2004


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Workbench, The: A Complete Guide to Creating Your Perfect Bench + Workbenches: From Design And Theory To Construction And Use (Popular Woodworking) + The Workbench Book: A Craftsman's Guide to Workbenches for Every Type of Woodworking
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561585947
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561585946
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 9.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lon Schleining teaches woodworking at Cerritos College and has been a professional stair builder for 20 years. He lives in Long Beach, California.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 41 customer reviews
Went back to the internet ordered the book.
Jeff W
Even if you only have the time and budget to throw something together from scrap, this book will help you get the most out of your workbench.
K. Hammond
This is a great book for what I wanted - a survey and idea book to design my own bench.
Jeff Tischer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Scott Pointon VINE VOICE on December 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Though I am a huge fan of Scott Landis' book on this subject, I think I like this book even better. Because I will soon build my third and final bench (yes I am a dreamer), I have been reading a lot about this subject lately. This book does a great job of grabbing your interest, showing you the thought process you should use to determine what design and features are best for you, and then showing many beautiful examples of hard working benches in scores of woodworking shops.

Three things stood out to me as I read this book. The color photography is excellent, the text is well written, and the whole package culminates in giving you the inspiration to go out and build that new bench you have always wanted. In response to the notion that there is too little detail here, I say that this book is not intended to be a set of plans for one to construct a bench. this is an IDEA generating book, so you won't have to say later "Gee I wish I had thought of that before I built my new bench."

I highly recommend this book for any woodworking book collection or anyone interested in options for bench design.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By rankar on October 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
After years of wanting my own dream workbench, I finally took the plunge and began building one this year. My workbench is a slight variation of one of the workbenches profiled in Mr. Schleining's book and I couldn't be happier with it.

This book covers many different designs of workbenches from traditional style benches, to European, to more modern workbenches (suited for the woodworker that uses more power tools). What I liked most about this book is that it not only covers some of the nation's most well-renowned woodworkers' workbenches, but Mr. Schleining also goes into great detail why their respective benches work.

Mr. Schleining does an excellent job of getting you to think about how you work in your shop to come up with your dream workbench. This is not a cookbook packed with a ton of plans. Instead, Mr. Schleining includes plans that are representative of today's styles such as Tage Frid's bench, the New Classic bench (modern), windsor chair maker Mike Dunbar's traditional bench (complete with wood screw vises), Niall Barrett's no-frills bench, and a Sam-Maloof style bench.

Each bench profile gives details on how to build the bench. But more importantly, Mr. Schleining arms you with a wealth of information to customize each bench to your liking, giving you the benefits and drawbacks for each design and add-on. For example, for those who wish to have cabinets under their bench, Mr. Schleining notes that his helps to add mass and storage space to the bench. But it also may impede your ability to clamp certain work pieces to your bench. Other examples include comparisons between wood and steel vise screws, round versus square dog holes, tool trays versus no tool trays, and a host of other feature comparisons. In addition, Mr.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Violette on January 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I recently started building a bench that is featured in this book (the one that appeared in the 3rd edition of Fine Woodworking's Tools&Shops magazine). This bench design is excellent and incorporates all the best of traditional european-style cabinet maker benches and some new modern touches such as the Veritas twin screw vice. This book's design is incomplete. For instance, how much of a gap is there between the two legs? How far in did he start the slight elevation of the sleigh feet and how high is that elevation? Where do the mortises for the stretchers start? These are questions that are not answered in the design. While most woodworkers change the designs around to suit their needs, it would be nice to have a good starting point with the designs.

I found the pictures to be excellent (although most are probably ones you've seen before if you've subscribed to Fine Woodworking).

This book is more-or-less complete, but I think if you're going to build a bench you are going to want buy this book AND the Workbench book (especially if you plan to build a traditional tail vice which I find to be very complicated and the pictures in both make it clearer). I like the binding in the Workbench book better, since the hardcover binding is kind of hard to lay flat and it costs more.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By magele on May 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book has a lot of good ideas, great pictures and plans. I especially appreciate Schleining's review of what modern masters, including Sam Maloof and the late Tage Frid, are using/used. I would have liked to see more coverage of classic benches - only a couple of shaker benches and Henry Studley's (amazing) bench are included.
I have already built most of my bench but I sure wish I'd had this book before I got started. I would definitely have done things differently.
Workbench tops, bases, built-in cabinets, vises, hold-downs, deadmen etc. are all covered. I am looking to add a tail vice and several good plans are included.
This is a very good and quite complete book. Highly recommended.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David C. Brayton VINE VOICE on November 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book. If you are thinking of designing and building the perfect workbench, you absolutely should buy this book.

There is no single perfect workbench. Any design is a tradeoff between competing demands. The author discusses all facets of workbench design--vises, tops, support/chassis. It is up to the reader to design a workbench that satisfies her needs.

The author provides several examples of workbench designs / plans. These plans include important dimensions but leave the details to be worked out by the woodworker of an intermediate skill level. This I feel was the right decision because the book is directed at the intermediate woodworker. If you are a beginner and looking for detailed plans, I suggest the article from this month's Wood magazine or any of the other magazines.

The layout and format of the book are top notch. The photos are superb. Reading the book makes one eager to get in the shop.
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