2. If you want a French workbench but don’t have the machines or time to build it yourself, I’d like you to meet Mark Hicks of the Plate 11 Bench Co.
Mark took my campaign chest class at Marc Adams School of Woodworking this year. Not that he needed it – he runs his family’s furniture business in Ozark, Mo. This year, Mark has expanded his business to start making workbench kits.
If I were to buy a workbench, this is exactly how I would want it.
The parts come unfinished. All the joinery is cut. No vises. All you need to do is do the final fine-fitting, assemble the bench and then add the vises of your choosing. The bench comes in two heights (which can be trimmed to a wide variety of custom heights) and with two joinery choices when it comes to the joint that fits the top to the legs: a tenon, or the sliding dovetail/tenon in French benches.
Here are the specs:
Material: Kiln-dried 16/4 silver maple
Top Dimensions: 23” wide x 84” long x 3-3/4” thick
Leg Dimensions: 5-1/2” wide x 3-3/4” thick
Two standard leg heights: 38” (adjustable to 34”) or 33” (adjustable to 29”)
Leg Joinery: Bare Faced Tenon
Mark is still working out the pricing, but he thinks the base bench will be about $2,000.
He will have a booth at Woodworking in America and prototypes of his benches to show and sell. Do stop by, meet him and check out his benches.
If you can’t attend Woodworking in America, you can read more about the benches at his web site: Plate11.com.
— Christopher Schwarz