Buying advice: Emir's Woodwork DIY Bench

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11 Feb 2013
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East Anglia
Hi Everyone,

This is my first post here. I am on the lookout for a work bench for woodworking. I have seen and read the reviews on this site. I will try to stay away from Hofmann and Sjoberg, but am wondering whether anyone here knows Emir's "Woodwork DIY Bench": (I am not allowed to post links yet. Sorry).

With 1.35 x 0.5m, a bit on the smallish side, but since it is solid beech maybe not too light. I am also hoping that it has the same quality that their larger benches have. If you know this bench or have worked on it, I would appreciate hearing your thoughts.

Many thanks. ... -diy-bench

i expect that it will be much the same as the Sjoberg ones. (I am not familiar with the Hofmann's but are probably similar). It has some rails top and botton that will help with racking.

Personally, i would recommend either making one, or looking for an old scool bench on ebay. There are many threads on each that are worth a read.
I suppose it depends on what you want to do with it and how much they cost!

I cannot find a price or a retailer anywhere on their site, maybe I am just being a bit thick, but surely any website worth it's salt should provide those details in an obvious place.

That particular model of Emir workbench looks nearly identical to my Sjoberg bench. Mine doesn't have a tail vice and I would look for this if I was after a new bench.
Mine also had the sliding doors but they were a real pain to open and close if it got a bit damp. I replaced them with a normal pair of doors.
SurreyHills":1jzon9qv said:
That particular model of Emir workbench looks nearly identical to my Sjoberg bench. Mine doesn't have a tail vice and I would look for this if I was after a new bench.

The only differences I see to mine are that the drawers are plastic trays rather than wooden sides with plastic corners, and it's missing the extra holes to reposition the vices in different configurations.

I've found it to be a decent enough bench for the price (although I was given mine as a gift, so I didn't have to pay it!), it's sturdy enough but doesn't weigh very much, which made it move a bit when I planed away from the centre of the table until I loaded the cupboard down with stuff. Without the stuff I can pick it up and walk around with it, which is less than ideal. The vices aren't fantastic, but they're strong enough. I'm in the process of replacing one of them with a record-style cast-iron job; I have the vice, I'm still working on the courage. ;-)

I haven't had any problems with the doors, although I did need to wax the drawer runners to keep them from sticking. With the plastic trays on that Emir one I doubt that'd be a problem, though.
The image of the Emir workbench is rather small, and I agree, it's a carbon copy of the Sjobergs bench (which I highly recommend). If it is in fact a Sjobergs simply distributed by Emir, or is a good copy, then it should be a damn good little bench. I've raised mine up to a comfortable height with two pieces of wood bolted to the legs (they have a hole already bored for it) and it stands on a sheet of thick high-impact foam. Rock solid for such a small relatively light bench. I've had no issues with the draw doors, but then again, I varnished my cupboard before assembling it. The down side is the vices aren't amazing or particularly deep. Thus, I'm planning to make a removable Moxon twin screw vice soon.
Thanks everyone for all your feedback and also for pasting the link. I don't think it is a Sjobergs marketed as Emir. A lot of the Sjoberg Arctic Plus models use pine, but the Emir bench uses beech. It's too bad that the Emir website doesn't provide more information such as weight, top thickness ... I have worked on an Emir Cabinet Maker Workbench. They are great, something that will last you ages. But this bench is for my small home workshop and the problem is: I don't have much space, not too much cash and not enough time to build one myself.

I have seen the "Little John" which looks like a great little bench. I have also been in touch with Richard and I might end up buying that one if I don't find anything else that is cheaper and still good. Difficult decision.
Actually, if the vices are a problem on the Sjobergs and assuming that they might be problematic on the Emir DIY workbench too, then I wonder whether Emir's "2 Rail Workbench" might not be a good solution. It comes in three sizes, and the website says that its top is "manufactured from ex 50mm bonded beech, tongue and grooved to ex 80mm end bracing to maintain flatness." I would need to add dog holes and two vices of my choice. I guess the price will have the last word in the decision making process :)

(Sorry, still unable to paste links).
you can probably post links now you have made your third post.
makerman":283wmf8g said:
A lot of the Sjoberg Arctic Plus models use pine, but the Emir bench uses beech.

For what it's worth: the one I have which looks very similar has a pine frame and a birch top - and the top is the only part of the Emir which it mentions being made of beech. The main differences do seem to just be more holes on the Sjobergs one; the three in the side of the top are for repositioning the vices (there's six mount points around the top) and the ones on the legs are dog holes.

It's clearly not exactly the same, looking at them side by side, since the Emir one seems to overhang on the right a bit more... but it does look a lot like one is a clone of the other.
Sorry to hijack the thread, but with all these comments about Sjoberg benches, I am starting to wonder if I bought a pup!

I picked this up this older Sjoberg beech bench last year for £100. It needed a little bit of a tidy up, but once I made some bench dogs from beech and I has been really a bit of a revelation for me to work on. However, I have never had a woodworking bench, should I look at changing it for an Emir? or something else. I have not really had any problems with it and have really fallen for the tail vice and shoulder vice and find them both really useful. The wooden screws are a bit odd compared with the more modern metal ones but they seem to be fairly strong and certainly don't need a lot of turns to grip a workpiece.


Shoulder Vice
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Tail Vice
Tail Vice2.jpg



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ndbrown":1oum4jol said:
should I look at changing it for an Emir? or something else.

My point of view: if you don't notice anything wrong with the bench you have - if you never find yourself thinking "I wish I had an X on my bench" or "I wish I could do Y" - and you never find yourself cursing flaws it has, then there's no reason at all to change it.

And if you do, you could always use your existing bench to build yourself a new bench which fulfils your requirements!

Without meaning to sow the seeds of doubt, I think there's only two things I see from your pictures that I might find annoying about that bench compared to my fairly modern Sjobergs one: there's no facility to have a longer workpiece extending out from either vice to the side of the bench for cross- or rip-cutting (which I do pretty much all the time), and a smaller number of square dog holes would make it awkward to use the Richard-T-model holdfasts that I've come to rely on. On the other hand, if your vice screws hold tightly, then I'm envious of the TPI - I seem to spend half my time at the bench spinning the metal threads on mine around to get the thing open or closed (one of the reasons I'm replacing one of them with a quick-release iron job) and I'm definitely envious of the tool well, since I do have the bad habit of leaving my tools laying over the top of any available flat surface ready to be knocked off all over the floor at any opportunity. I haven't lost any chisels yet.
Hi makerman,

rather a random thought but back in 2008 there was a charity in Corby that had wood to dispose of in the form of ex-school lab tables and craft work benches. They still exist but I don't know if they still operate the same way. Back then, as best I understand, there was a problem with taking those particular items to the overseas schools that they would ship other recycled furniture to. There is a thread about it here:

I bought an Emir 1200mm square Beech bench with four Record vices for a very fair price. It is basically all sound although I did spend a few hours picking odd small bits of metal out of the top. Ends of nails and the like that had been hammered in flush. It is solid and heavy and has been very useful. I don't feel the need to look for a replacement.
Back then they had at least three varieties of bench available, some long and narrow that might be roughly the size you want.
Anyway the charity still operates and it may be worth an enquiry: ... About.html

Don't know where in East Anglia you are but Corby can't be too far away. I took my bench apart to fit the legs and rails etc inside an estate car and the top on the roof rails. Disassembling needed only some spanners or sockets but an over keen person had glued the ply cupboard dividers inside. I knocked them apart and repaired the damaged ply well enough to reuse it - without glue!

Good luck
Nigel, your bench looks fantastic, and Sjobergs don't seem to offer this model any more. I like the tail vice, which I use a lot.

ndbrown":bz016p2g said:
However, I have never had a woodworking bench, should I look at changing it for an Emir?

Yes, please do and sell your bench to me :D


Many thanks for your advice, chipchaser. That sounds like a great alternative, and I have left a message with the charity.