Our 5’ workbench has now been named and is ready to step out in to the big bad world. We introduced The ‘Little John’ last month and if you haven’t seen it yet you can catch up with that post here. After taking him along to the European Woodworking Show we’re confident that the design is right and offers everything that we’d hoped – his rock solid stance under planing definitely impressed!
Update: At the present time we’re not making any workbenches for sale, however we have many resources available on this website that will help guide you with your own workbench build.
Our English Workbench Video Series takes you step by step through a traditional workbench build, starting out with a discussion on choosing the ideal dimensions, demonstrations of how to cut the joinery, right through to flattening your workbench top and building the face vice from scratch.
If you’d like us to guide you through your build with detailed videos and PDF plans, then you can find full details for this Traditional Workbench Series here.
Unlike all of our other workbenches The Little John has been designed to be made in small batches and the first ones will be built in February. We’ve started taking deposits for benches within this limited batch and if you’re interested you can find more information and place an order in our shop, for any questions please feel free to send us an email.
We found the perfect tail vice for this bench in the Veritas inset vice. This is very compact and unobtrusive but works much like a wagon vice with a moving plate to allow work to be clamped down to the bench top between dogs. It holds extremely well and whilst we had a small issue with it to begin with we’ve since spoken to the chaps at Veritas and will explain once the amendment arrives.
For the face vice we opted for a traditional leg vice with parallel guide and steel thread. From what we can see it isn’t easy to find a workbench of this size for sale that won’t wobble about and move whilst you work so we made this one of our main priorities. The vices and work holding were the other priority and this pair of vices together with the ¾” dog holes offer all of the strength and versatility that you will need.
Providing a thick, heavy top is key to a good hand tool bench. This one is 68mm thick so you have all the weight and support where you need it with a well for tools at the back. Two trays in the well can easily be removed for cleaning and can also be sat up on supports to bring them in line with the bench top – a useful feature if you need to stand say a chair on top of the workbench without the back legs falling in to the well.
This workbench has been used and abused here daily since it was built and Richard won’t be parting with his prototype! I’ll try to get some video footage on here next week to show you what we mean by rock solid: Watch The Little John Workbench In Use
Learn About Traditional Workbench Design:
The Planked Top Construction
– Dealing With Vice Rack
– What’s my Ideal Workbench Height?