Richard Maguire workbench

Help Support

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Established Member
22 Jun 2015
Reaction score
Hi, has anyone any experience of Richard Maguire workbenches. I built my last one myself, a Frank Klausz style bench, but following an operation on my right shoulder I dont think I can manage the weight any more. So I thought about Richard Maguires 'Workhorse' bench. Its not cheap but the minister of finance has said she would view it as a wedding anniversery gift. So has any one on the forum used his benches or know someone who has.
I got an Maguire Artisan workbench over a year ago (due to an unexpected excess of funds) and it is simply tip top. It's the definition of down to earth no nonsense quality made to the highest standards and there's no higher praise which I can give than that.
I fitted a Maguire tail vice to a bench that I made and I take my hat off to his craftsmanship...beautifully made and finished.
My bench is a Maguire Workhorse, although it was bought in 2010 and I think he has tweaked the design a bit since then. Mine is 7 foot long and has a 24 inch double screw vice as opposed to the leg vice and doesn't have the central flip stop. He didn't make the wagon vice at the time, and it came with a record 52 1/2 vice on the tail, but I don't use tail vices so I took it off. A couple of hold fasts (mine were made by Richard, so needless to say are treasured) and it does all I ask.

All I can say about it is that it's the best money I have spent on equipment. Absolutely rock solid, took 4 of us to carry it 20 yards to the workshop, none of us small (I'm 6' 2" 20 stone rugby second row!), and we still had to put it down for a minute half way!

Five years on and used professionally every day, it doesn't get an easy life but apart from a few dings and scratches etc it still looks great.

Richard and Helen were a pleasure to deal with, and if I ever need a second bench they will be my first call.
You say you can't manage the weight of your current bench with your shoulder, do you have to move your bench? If so I reckon the Richard Maguire bench will be quite heavy, it's made of ash, he even says "‘The Workhorse’ has an extremely heavy weight and substantial base" on his site.
Thanks for the replies, from the research I had done online I thought they should be very good. It's great to get that confirmed by real users, thanks guys.

Paddy, once in I dont expect to have to move it. As for my shoulder its not so much a one off but the repatative heavy lifting needed when making a new banch that may agrivate the shoulder.
You would have to be insane to pay £3000 + for a bench or incompetent at basic woodwork (the empoures clothes springs to mind)
phil.p":2uyhe3v3 said:
Lovely as they are that was my thought - if you need one, you're capable of making one.

I think certain people would prefer to spend their time building furniture rather than a workshop tool. And if they have the money to spend, who are we to tell them what to spend them on? It's a bit like the argument between buying a new top-brand plane or a second-hand Stanley.

(I'll pipe down now and go play with my home-made bench and bootsale planes...)
vally bar":3t0alww9 said:
You would have to be insane to pay £3000 + for a bench or incompetent at basic woodwork (the empoures clothes springs to mind)

The OP has explained his shoulder injury will prohibit him from making it, not inexperience. I would politely suggest you guys read the previous posts more thoroughly before chipping in. Also like DTR said, its his money to spend.
My comment was a general reference to the purchasers of the bench, not really meant to be specific to the op's needs, although I wonder why he needs a bench that heavy when he can't work heavy timber. It's a little extreme for doing your marquetry on, although of course everyone can do as they wish with their own money.
The op wasn't that clear to me, I thought "couldn't manage the weight any more" meant moving a workbench rather than building a new one.

From ... enches.htm:
Some simple assembly is required and full instructions are provided
which I think will involve some lifting of at least the bench top, which could weigh several tens of kg.

When I first opened that page and glance at the price of the "basic" bench I thought it was £125.00, which seems quite reasonable...I looked again...add another nought to that!

Come off it, of course workbenches that cost £2,500 to £3,000 should weight at least 100kg and be completely solid and be perfect in every way, at those prices you wouldn't expect anything less.
He also said one off lifting is ok, it's repetitive lifting that's the issue....

Anyway, nothing wrong with spending good money on nice things and I wouldn't hesitate to buy one if it weren't for the fact that at my current skill level it'd be a bit like having a Ferrari but not being able to drive....
phil.p":2u9kl4si said:
Lovely as they are that was my thought - if you need one, you're capable of making one.

I think it's easy for the experienced and thus skilled to forget what it is like to be a beginner. I ordered my Maguire workbench about 6 months into my woodworking career, having become frustrated at chasing a workmate 1 1/2 miles around the room every time I used a plane bigger than a block plane. I realised I needed a proper workbench. So I bought a book on making them and had a go. My planing skills just were not good enough and having wasted a fair bit of wood I researched a bit more and then placed my order.

Nowadays I'm quite happy taking a 4 foot rough board and planing it to square on all six sides and I'm now fairly confident that I could actually make a bench as you indicate. The problem is that I needed a bench to acquire my planing skills (which is a bit like riding a bike: once you've got it you can't quite remember what it was like not to be able to do it). The next big stage of development for me is to get my sawing sorted out. So far it is proving to be a harder skill to acquire. At least I can practise that using the vice on a first class bench.
Alan Peters used purchased workbenches his entire career. Nothing wrong with it. He obviously had better things to do with his shop time, as do a lot of people.

One's magnum opus probably shouldn't be a workbench or other shop fittings and fixtures.
Personally I'd say that getting a bench with decent work holding is more important than how you go about getting it. If you've got the dosh and you don't mind spending it then buy one - fair play.

If you haven't got the dosh then make one as quick as you can so you can get started - 4 x 2, ply or MDF in a couple of layers, a handful of gold screws and some glue and you're off and running once you find a second hand vice.

If you like making benches then make one as nice as you want.

Either way is fine but a bench is a tool - nothing more and nothing less.
CStanford":1qz2xq9u said:
One's magnum opus probably shouldn't be a workbench or other shop fittings and fixtures.

Unless your name is Richard Mcguire :lol: