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i prefer round bench dogs as opposed to rectangular ones, so they can rotate as needed to match irregular shapes when clamping.  i also like the option of adjusting tension on the legs of the bench.  with the two benches you list, i don't see both of those options together.  the large german one has rectangular dogs, and the all-round doesn't have adjustable tension in the legs.

i made both of my benches.  the large one is a tear down for ease of moving (which i've done 5 times since building it).  it has a twin tail vise, and shoulder vise.  the small one fits on top my dining room table, and is great for small projects.

Yes, the bench will serve other projects as well. When I dream, I dream big. Haha! My end goal is to be able to carve mantels, so I figured I would go big to start with. I have always been able to draw, and my husband encouraged me to give it a try, so I am gathering the tools that I think I will need. I have always loved furniture restoration and painting and done a fair amount of that. But when I saw a carved mantel, my heart jumped! So I’m going to give it a good honest try! Thank you all so much. I had not thought about the round dogs being more versatile than the square, but that does make my leaning in that direction a little more.

SmokyRick Crawford and Jason Parsons have reacted to this post.
SmokyRick CrawfordJason Parsons

Jason Parsons - I am really unsure what you mean by adjustable tension in the legs.  Could you elaborate please?  I am building my own bench now and may want to incorporate something.  Thank you.

you want your bench to be completely rigid, and you also may want to be able to take it apart.  to address both of these features i ran allthread rod in a groove cut in the trusses.  this allows me to tighten the leg tension or take the whole thing apart if i need to move it.

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SmokyRick Crawford


I like your twin screw vise...I almost got one, but went with the old school version. Maybe on my next bench I make. I made this one with a small stack of 2x12’s from the home store. It was fun to make!

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Mathew,  NICE job on the bench,  looks like the 'holtzaphel' bench from Christopher Schwarz's book on workbench design.

Question ???  How high did you go with it?  Most carving books recommend between 36in to 39in.  or at or slightly below elbow. For general woodworking - much lower!

I have a VERY SMALL shop 12 x 12 and it's already full,  The bench I've drawn up but haven't started yet will be 20" w. x 32 L with a front vice mounted on the end and leg vice on the front.  38 in high.  dedicated carving bench.

Thank you Michael...I built my bench using that design mixed with the roubo from that same book. Definitely a must get if you plan on making a bench. I went with 30” for the bench height (60”L x 24”D) I use the bench for all sorts of woodworking/carpentry, but do carving mostly inside on my kitchen island using a portable carving slab as I’ll call it.

I would love to have a spot inside for a dedicated carving stand/bench...or better yet, a nice temperature controlled studio for everything!


Michael Duncan has reacted to this post.
Michael Duncan

Anyone looking to build or buy a workbench this IS a MUST read;

The Work Bench Design Book,  by: Christopher Schwarz  (2011 2nd addition)

I was able to get it through the inter-library loan sys. if unable to buy, copied out @ 4 pgs of plan and details for dream bench!

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SmokyRick CrawfordChuck Schroeder

And if you want a portable bench, this is a nice solid one and easy to make too.



Greetings from Jutland.

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