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James C

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Hey Guys,

I have tried searching back through the forum but after lots of pages and loads of posts I can't seem to find anyone advocating one of Chris Schwarz's workbench books over the other.

I'm interested in building my own workbench and when I was in London today I chanced a look through "Workbenches" which obviously has all the history of workbenches and the different holding mechanisms, what the different vices do etc. It was £20 so I decided to wait and check the price online where it is significantly cheaper.

I also came across this http://www.amazon.co.uk/Workbench-D...08/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1334434649&sr=8-12 which is more recent, only came out last year I think and contains ideas for 9 different benches as well as critiques on some others.

Has anyone read both? If you have which would be better for someone looking to design their own bench but needing some good advice and some inspiration?
 

Steve Blackdog

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Hey James,

I am reading this one at the moment:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Workbenches-Des ... t_ep_dpt_1

which I think is excellent. I'd give it 5 stars. I will be building a bench with the knowledge I have acquired from reading it.

It takes you through the build of the classic English bench and the classic French bench, with drawings and cutting lists etc. It also explains the logic of what you need a bench to do and discusses all the pro's and con's of all the different styles, plus the hardware choices etc. He also discusses wood choice etc.

I haven't read any others of Schwarz's books, but Workbenches: From Design and Theory to Construction and Use is superb.

Because Schwarz is a writer and not just a wood worker, he has a very cool writing style which I think makes this book very readable and enjoyable, even if you don't intend to build a bench.

Being a cheapskate, I got mine from the local library, which cost me a 50p reservation fee. If you get it out of the library and still want to buy it, at least you know what your buying. (As you will guess, I am a recent convert to the local library!!)

If you chose the other book, put a review up!

All the best,

Steve
 

James C

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Thanks for your opinion Steve. I did manage to read a fair chunk of it in the bookshop and it came off as a very well written and informative text.

On further searching, mostly on websites from across the pond such as lumberjocks, I found out that the second book was written almost as a response to the criticisms he received from people who wanted to see more than just two different designs.

This book has benches from other woodworkers, as well as Chris, and has critiques and designs for them all (9 in total I believe) and also has a tenth bench which seems like a fantasy idea of what Schwarz might build next if he built his dream idea.

This is probably more suited for me right now, as it has more variety and even knockdown bench ideas, but I suspect I shall be the owenr of both at some point. :D

I will definitely give it a review once finished though.
 

James C

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Unfortunately none of the libraries near me stock it, so it will have to become part of mine.
 
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