The Workbench Book

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You can download an excerpt of this book here.

By Scott Landis

First published in 1987, "The Workbench Book" by Scott Landis remains the most complete book on the most important tool in the woodworker’s shop.

"The Workbench Book" is a richly illustrated guided tour of the world’s best workbenches — from a traditional Shaker bench to the mass-produced Workmate. Author and workbench builder Scott Landis visited dozens of craftsmen, observing them at work and listening to what they had to say about their benches. The result is an intriguing and illuminating account of each bench’s strengths and weaknesses, within the context of a vibrant woodworking tradition.

The workbench is the heart of the workshop. Like the foundation of a house, a bench must be built with care because it reflects and supports all the work that takes place on top. Probably more than any other tool in the shop, the custom workbench reflects the personality and experience of its maker. For those woodworkers who want to undertake building their own bench, "The Workbench Book" offers valuable advice on design, construction and special features such as vise options.

This fully illustrated guide features more than 275 photos of beautifully crafted workbenches as well as complete plans for four benches. "The Workbench Book" explores benches from around the world, from every historical era and for all of the common (and esoteric) woodworking specialties.

This new 248-page hardbound edition from Lost Art Press ensures "The Workbench Book" will be available to future generations of woodworkers. Produced and printed in the United States, this classic text is printed on FSC-certified recycled paper and features a durable sewn binding designed to last generations. The 1987 text remains the same in this edition and includes a foreword by Christopher Schwarz.

 

About the Author

Scott Landis built his first workbench in the early 1970s in a friend’s shop in Maine, where he discovered many of the essential tools and techniques of woodworking. Since then, he has been a professional benchmaker, log house builder, and freelance writer, chronicling the disappearing traditional occupations of the North. He returned to woodworking as the author of The Workbench Book (1987) and The Workshop Book (1991), first published by Taunton Press. Scott went on to write numerous essays and articles about woodworking and wood use, and their intersection with responsible forest management. He founded the nonprofit Woodworkers Alliance for Rainforest Protection (WARP) and organized the traveling exhibition Conservation by Design, launched in collaboration with the Rhode Island School of Design.

A WARP field project in Honduras eventually led to his establishment of GreenWood, which was recognized in 2014 with the first-ever Innovation Prize awarded by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. GreenWood continues to employ appropriate woodworking technologies and creative niche marketing in support of sustainable forest management and economic development. The organization has trained artisan woodworkers in the Peruvian Amazon and works extensively in Honduras and Puerto Rico. Scott now lives in coastal Maine, where his woodworking and workbench career began.


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