Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Getting Schwarzed

A small batch of rosewood knobs in production for tail vises.

A few weeks ago we got Schwarzed. What is "getting Schwarzed"? It's when Popular Woodworking and Woodworking Magazine editor Christopher Schwarz decides to blog about a recent tool he's picked up, without of course notifying the manufacturer of that tool. In this case, it was a multiple whammy. The Benchcrafted Tail Vise went on sale last month on Black Friday, and Chris decided to blog about the sale (again, unbeknownst to us!). We got swamped with orders, and sold out of our existing stock within a few hours. Then within the space of a couple weeks Chris blogged about installing his own Benchcrafted Tail Vise in his Roubo bench no less than four times. Thanks Mr. Schwarz. And I don't mean that with any hint of sarcasm. Well, not entirely! :-) Since then we've been scrambling to get parts and materials ordered and delivered (that's a task in itself during the holidays and the nasty midwest weather this time of year) the steel milled and fabricated, the hardware assembled and the rosewood knobs turned. Our usual turnaround time for vises is 2-3 weeks. With the sale, the huge response from Chris' blog and the other delays that are common this time of year, amazingly we're only a couple weeks behind that goal. If things go as planned (do they ever?!) another batch of vises should be heading to those first Black Friday purchasers by the end of the week. In this case, the early bird gets the vise.

In case you missed Chris' review of the vise, check out his blog post. We couldn't be more pleased with his review.

We recently uploaded another glowing review of the tail vise from infill plane maker Ron Brese. You can read it here.

In addition, we've also uploaded a newly edited video to the vise page showcasing the function of the vise. Direct download here.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Another Olivewood, er.....Spalted Maple Custom BLOK

Well we've yet to get our hands on any large pieces of olivewood. That said, we're not terribly dispointed in the spalted maple we've laid our hands on! This is just one of 2 custom jobs we've done lately (32" x 3"). We love this stuff. Just imagine your set of fine Japanese steel on this.

Maybe there's more to smaller sizes?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Woodworking Magazine and the Tail Vise

The Benchcrafted Tail Vise was recently featured on the Woodworking Magazine Weblog. Magazine Editor Christopher Schwarz installed one the vises in his Roubo-style bench. You can read about his experience and thoughts here: Woodworking Magazine Weblog.

We're proud that Mr. Schwarz, who is responsible for much of the recent interest in traditional workbench design and use, has chosen the Benchcrafted Tail Vise for his bench. We're excited about offering this vise in the coming months and years, and even improving on its design. We think it fills the niche between traditional tail vises, and wagon vises made from bench screws and other hardware not necessarily intended for wagon vises.

Thanks Mr. Schwarz and Woodworking Magazine!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Black Friday at Benchcrafted (Tail Vise price drop!)

Late Thursday (right about the time I'm making a turkey sandwich) the price of the Benchcrafted Tail Vise will drop. But only for a day. If you've been considering picking up one of these, this would be the time. The price will be, well, check the Home page Thursday around 10pm to find out. There will also be special pricing on Mag-Bloks. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Barnacles & Cocobolo

Though we're not into full production yet, we are making some custom barnacles. These 9 are a matching set for the 18" Cocobolo MAG-BLOK the customer requested.

Woodworking in America Conference

Ron Brese at his bench, featuring the Benchcrafted Tail Vise.

This past weekend a new and unique woodworking event took place. Fine hand-tool manufacturers from all over the world converged on the Berea College campus in Berea, KY for three days of classes, lectures and demonstrations. For the first time, top hand-tool makers such as Lie-Nielsen Toolworks, Lee Valley Tools, Tools for Working Wood, and Wenzloff and Sons Sawmakers, among many others, were assembled in one room, available to conference participants to answer questions or demonstrate their products. Participants were invited to use the tools and receive instruction from the exhibitors. Through the generosity of Czeck Edge Hand Tool and Brese Plane, we were able to present the Benchcrafted Tail Vise and field questions throughout the conference. Ron Brese installed one of our vises on his portable bench for the conference. Woodworking In America was a rousing success and we heard nothing but great things from the participants and exhibitors. As for the next WIA conference, we can't wait!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Trade show BLOKs.

Kevin Kent from Knifewear in Calgary (one of our dealers) sent us this shot from a recent Trade Show. The BLOKs went over extremely well. See some mounted on the wall, left side of the photo.

Another review from a great magazine.

We're thrilled to get a short positive review in issue #15 of MAKE Magazine, page 173. Thanks to John Edgar Park for the review. John is an animator for Disney and quite a tinkerer to boot, check out his blog.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Benchcrafted Tail Vise

The coming months should see us adding more items to our product lineup. Today we've added our custom Tail Vise. See all the details here at the website. Goes on sale today for a Introductory limited time price!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

4 Foot Olivewood, or is it?

Needless to say, this isn't olive wood. We dare say there is nary a piece of 4' Olive anywhere in the world. For anyone who's familiar with the Olive tree, this prediction can't be far off the mark, the trees are small, gnarley and fairly thin branched. No, this is an excellent specimen of Spalted Maple. We've found our our new "olive wood" for those of you who have asked for it in the past. It's virtually identical.

This Custom BLOK measures 4 feet long by 3" tall. Made by request for David M.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Barnacle Beta Testers

Well we sent out a call on a popular woodworking forum for Beta testers for the Barnacle. Took all of 5 minutes to fill up. We should have these in the finishing stages of development soon. Sales are just around the corner.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Additional One-of-a-Kinds

For anyone watching our One-of-a-Kind selections, we've just added some very nice and unusual pink/cream variant Padauk.

Friday, June 6, 2008


For anyone watching, the new batch of One-of-a-Kind BLOKs goes up on the site Saturday the 8th around 9am CST. 33 BLOKs in all this time, a large batch with something for everyone.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Not for your toast!

Well we finally have our BLOK-BUTTER ready. We've had several inquiries about MAG-BLOK care and this is the answer. Just slather on a thin layer, let it sit for a few minutes and buff it off with a clean cloth. Renews and protects, food safe and natural. Should be up on the site within the next day or so.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Jumped the gun.

An update for those of you waiting on the One-of-a-Kinds we posted about over a week ago. We have been inundated with orders so these went on the back-burner for a few days. We should have them up for sale this weekend, 35-40 in all, so a big batch.


Just wanted to put a short post about how happy we are with the Tite-Mark marking gauge we've acquired. Not only is it well executed but seems to be perfectly designed. Anybody who appreciates a well made product should consider picking one of these up. Fits really nice in one of our Barnacles by the way :-)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

New One-of-a-Kinds & Gallery Edition

Just a short note after such a long time without any updates.

We have a very large batch of One-of-a-Kinds coming up:

Macassar Ebony
Morado (Bolivian Rosewood)
Paduak (extremely uncommon pink/cream variation)
Padauk (standard, very intense orange maturing to a rich dark orange/brown)

Several Gallery Editions should be up also.

Just around the corner

Here's a pic of the Barnacle in action. We've almost got it ready for shipping. Should be very handy for those items that are either non-ferrous or that would be handier suspended this way.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

New One-of-a-Kinds Up Today.

We encourage anyone who is interested in Cocobolo not to miss this batch as we may not be doing more of these for some time as finer quality Cocobolo is becoming increasingly hard to find.

First come first serve, orders will be filled via email reservation only.

That's #145 pictured with a Benchcrafted Marking Knife.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Gallery Edition Prototype

Just a couple quick shots of the Gallery prototype. No screw holes but rear mounts and beveled sides. Finished model will probably sport a semi-gloss style finish.

Tapered Custom BLOK

We did this custom Cherry tapered BLOK. It's hard to see from the image but the BLOK is about 2" on the right end and tapers to ¾" on the left end. Makes for a more seamless look in this particular application, matching more closely the look of the cupboards as if they were designed with that in mind.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New One-of-a-Kinds coming....

Just a short note. We've been so busy with new dealers that we haven't had any time for blog updates. Though we're swamped we should have a new batch of One-of-a-Kinds up next week. We should also be ramping up production with new products within the next couple months.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Barnacle, updated.

Here's the newest iteration of the Barnacle. Slimmer and nicer looking. It's shaping up and looks like it may make it to production. Should be handy for non-ferrous or oddly shaped items.

Monday, February 18, 2008

New MAG-BLOK on the horizon?

We're working on a new BLOK for presentation purposes.

The new model, probably called the
Gallery or Galeria, will feature a beveled profile and a higher gloss finish. We've had a few people ask about back mounted BLOKs so we're incorporating that also. The prototype is done and looks fantastic.

We'll have pics up soon.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Dan's the Man

We are happy to see Dan of
Dan's Data has given us a thumbs up. We're long time fans of Dan and his seeming inexhaustible font of knowledge. We're happy we landed on his good side, he has a knack for cutting to the quick when something doesn't measure up. Whew!

Thanks Dan.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Windy, Frozen wasteland!

Took a short weekend trip into Chicago, mostly for a little R&R. Lake Michigan should be renamed an ocean. If you've never seen it it goes on forever. Unfortunately we couldn't have picked a worse weekend, we got lucky when the temps climbed to 2°f!

The best parts: Italian Beef at Portillos, Dogs at Hot Doug's and, oh yeah, some stellar Cocobolo stock for the next round of One-of-a-Kinds!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

New One-of-a-Kinds Up

Our first Blog entry.
Thought we'd put up a pic of one of our current One-of-a-Kind offerings pictured with a new acquisition Damascus pattern 210mm petty Shiki Hiro. The knife is now one of our favorites, great balance and weight with beautiful Ivory Corian handle.