Monday, August 22, 2016

An Elegant, Simple Bench in Walnut

Craig Thibodeau of CT Fine Furniture recently sent in these pictures of his minimalist split-top workbench in walnut, featuring our Glide C leg vise.

"Here are the photos of my split top Roubo with your vise hardware.  It's not quite as clean as it was a few months ago but it has been serving me well and is naturally starting to show some of the inevitable marks of regular use.  Best thing I've done for my shop in a long time."

Craig had the following to say about his bench, from his Instagram:

"And of course the main feature of this space is my split top Roubo bench with the @benchcrafted criss cross leg vise. I still find it amazing how useful this bench/vise combo has been over the past few months. I'm glad I waited so long before building a bench so I could really fine tune it to my way of working.
I'm definitely not a proponent of making a workbench as your first woodworking project. I think you need to get some time in doing some woodworking first so you can learn what type of work you want to do and how you like to work. Plus building a good quality bench is not a beginner project, it's big and heavy and takes big equipment to prep the materials properly unless your a hand tool only guy. Just my opinion of course."

"Since I had the camera out I took a few more pictures of my Roubo bench just for fun. Here's a decent shot of the @benchcrafted criss cross leg vise hardware. I'm still amazed how well the leg vise works, especially when combined with the sliding deadman. Super strong holding of workpieces with almost no effort, on my old vice I had to crank down on the handle to hold parts tight but with this one just a light turn of the handle locks pieces in place. That and the hardware really does look kind of cool. I sprayed my handle/wheel with flat black paint before assembly and left off the wooden ships wheel knobs it came with, they didn't seem necessary to me. No affiliation with Benchcrafted of course but I do like their hardware."

Don't let the simplicity of Craig's bench fool you. Craig is a master furniture maker, which makes the simplicity of the bench so satisfying. Many beginning woodworkers struggle with the minutiae of bench design, not knowing exactly what they want in a bench and vises. And that's where our bench plans come in. They've all been vetted by furniture makers with decades of experience. So chances are, if you've not got a lot of experience, building one of our benches will all but guarantee satisfaction.

But we don't want to make this post about us. So enjoy this video of one of Craig's pieces.


  1. My dad had a huge tree fall and crush his detached garage. He will be building a bigger garage and there will be room for a hand tool wood working area (so he can entice me to come over and do handwood working while he watches me). We've discussed the bench a bit. This bench is beautiful. I think we will for sure make the bench out of walnut. I haven't been this excited by a bench in a long time. Very cool.

  2. Thanks Benchcrafted for sharing my bench and our love of great benches and vices.


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