Tuesday, May 26, 2015

You Can't Touch This

We think it best to get one thing out of the way before continuing this post. We're not crazy about embellished workbenches. But when someone nails it, we put aside our pompous opinions, bow our heads, and retreat in humble deference to clear examples of mastery.

Frank Strazza, of Waco, Texas just sent in these pics of a workbench he just finished, less than two weeks after returning from Handworks 2015 no less, where he spent two days demonstrating his humiliatingly deft skill at turning wood into things that dazzle the eye. Frank not only managed to demo crisp marquetry and joinery, but he also managed to build three inlaid boxes at the show, all while fielding questions and wandering around the rest of the event. We're now convinced that Frank is an alien, or at least has a clone.

So, if you're in the market for a plain bench (our favorite) or an embellished one (our new favorite) contact Frank at his new website Frank has been building our Split Top Roubo design for several years now. But we don't like to brag up our own stuff too much, so we'll let Frank close out this post:

"As I told you at Handworks, the leg vise with the crisscross has revolutionized my view of vises! After using a quick release vise for most of 20 years I find the leg vise quicker, more comfortable and much easier to use. Thank you again for making the best work holding hardware in the world!" 

Bench pics by Frank Strazza
Pics of Frank at his saw and of the box by Bartee Lamar


  1. I bow my head in humble appreciation! That is stellar work. I would love to learn that stuff. I guess I'll have to to at my Roubo.

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  3. Yup, saw the alien in action at Handworks. I think he has 3rd hand some where too.��

  4. These benches are the "perfect storm". Frank's amazing skills + beautiful design and wood + fantastic functionality of Benchcrafted's vises = a force not able to be equaled.

  5. Doubt that a dentist would need this workbench professionally {grin}. What a gorgeous sample of functional art.

    Newbie question: do the dovetail pins that come to a sharp point, while different and attractive, weaken the joint somewhat? If not, why are these rarely seen?


    1. "English" dovetails are pretty common actually. Tapering to near nothing doesn't really weaken the joint since that is the weak part of the wood's structure anyway. The strength comes mostly from the long grain of the pins functioning like through tenons. This joint is mostly decorative anyway, since the way we bolt end caps on negates the need for a super strong corner joint with the front laminate.

  6. Looks like Frank might need some new chevalet hardware to further revolutionize his view on work holding...

  7. While I have few regrets, not attending Handworks is high on that list thanks in no part to your introduction of Frank Strazza and his work. While I am sorry I missed him and the many other people and things that happened there, thanks for bringing him to my attention, his work is amazing.


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