During the Christmas season, we get asked to endorse and promote a lot of products, which is not something I am inclined to do. I publish a yearly Anarchist’s Gift Guide on my Popular Woodworking Magazine blog, but those are all little things that I own and use – not the result of a corporate PR campaign.
But here are two things that were brought to my attention – both workbench-related – by people I trust.
First is a hand-forged holdfast and bottle opener set from Horton Brasses. Horton makes a lot of the brass and iron hardware I use, and this year the company has made a set of two iron holdfasts and bottle opener for $99. I would order a set to check them out, but I use 1” holdfasts. These are designed to work in a more modern 3/4” hole.
The other item is a long-term investment. Will Myers, a workbench-building friend in North Carolina, convinced a sawmill he uses to cut up some oak kits for massive old-school workbenches. The kit includes a top 6”-thick top that is 18”-26” wide and 8’-9’ long. The legs are 4” x 6”, the stretchers are 2” x 4” and you get wood for a vise chop, too.
The price is $500 if picked up. Shipping is available.
It’s all green oak, so you’ll want to sticker it to dry. Red oak dries fast, so it might take 5 years, maybe more, depending on your storage environment.
— Christopher Schwarz