This is the final tour in our series. I have one more workbench on site – the Loffelholz workbench – but it is upstairs and in use as part of a makeshift kitchen (we ripped out our kitchen on March 1 and then the project halted because of the pandemic). So someday I’ll post a tour of that bench after our kitchen is rebuilt.
The bench in this video is a personal experiment. I have worked on lightweight commercial benches such as this all over the world, including some schools. I always wondered if I could improve them to the point where I might say: Yeah, this is a good idea for a beginning woodworker.
I improved this bench with about $50 in additional materials (cheap plywood, lag screws, shelf brackets and carriage bolts). But it’s still not as good as a bench you build yourself. All told, this bench cost $270 once you add up the cost of the bench ($200), shipping ($20) and improvements ($50). For $270 I could build a lifetime bench that is heavy and functional. Here it is.
So why even show this video to you? Well, I know that some of you own these benches. You inherited them or bought them out of ignorance or in the throes of drunkenness. If you are in this situation, these are cheap improvements that will help. Also, any bench can benefit from more rigidity, and this video shows you two ways to do that.
Finally, and I say this in the video but it bears repeating: I am not picking on this particular manufacturer. There are loads of these benches on the market. And they are all about the same quality. This was the one I thought was the best of the featherweights.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the series. I apologize for the low-rent quality of the video and audio. But it was the fastest way to do 10 five-minute videos without hijacking our entire book-production process.
After looking at these videos over myself, you can rest assured I am not headed to YouTube anytime soon.
— Christopher Schwarz