Saturday, February 13, 2010


No!, I meant "vice" as spelled. As I have decided to start a new blog as a departure from my Wood Therapy blog. This one is more for selfish purposes as i hope to use these posts as a sounding board for those who are as obsessed with workbenches as I have become, hence the "vice " in the title.

I recently sent Chris Schwarz at Woodworking Magazine some photos of a prototype bench I had built that was small in size and tall in height that I had called a micro-bench thinking he might get a chuckle out of, except he failed to see the humor in it, in fact he was quite excited about the idea.

He proceeded to give me a short history lesson on smaller benches through the ages and the fact that some chair makers used taller benches. Several e-mails later he suggested we post it on the magazines web blog and I agreed. So the Joinery Bench came to light ( Chris named it the joinery bench and I love it) and the response has been incredible. I never thought that something that started out of necessity would spark such interest.

The idea for this endeavor came in stages. In preparation for a recent hand cut dovetail demo at Asheville Hardware I had been hand cutting dovetails non-stop as it had been a while since I had cut any. As many of you can attest to, in no time at all my back was in knots. I figured there had to be a better way that was more ergonomic than crouching down or sitting, which is less painful but detrimental to line of sight, power and controlling a hand saw.

My second concern was if enough people attended the demo would everyone be able to see what I was trying to show them with a seven foot long workbench. There was a possibility that if a fair number of people came to see me that some would have to stand on the other end opposite of where the vise I would be using was located.

It has snowballed into something even bigger, I mean this would be an amazing tool for anyone that has a limited amount of space at their disposal. I also think for those who do smaller projects, such as making boxes, it would be perfect. I have the joinery bench set next to my Holzapfel bench. I do all of my joinery at the smaller bench then do all of my larger tasks such as planing at the larger one.

In the coming days and weeks there will be posts here on the Joinery Bench as I plan on doing an extensive text and photo article (magazine style) on constructing it. There is a 3-d sketchup model that will be posted on the Woodworking Magazine web blog this week, even though all of my woodworking accomplices see dollar signs at the prospect of selling plans and landing magazine articles about the bench, I think this is something that needs to be out there for those needing a solution to their joinery woes. Besides for those who like the bench but do not want to build one, it is going to possible to buy either the bench or just the vise screws through Asheville Hardware in Asheville NC very soon.


Anonymous said...

Wow Tim! That is one cool looking bench!

Tim Williams said...

Thanks Dominic, I will begin a step by step construction tutorial on it starting next week!

Anthony said...

I caught your joinery bench on Chris Schwartz's blog a few days ago and backtracked to this site. It's awesome! I think you might need to do a bench building class up at AH. Speaking of classes, will you be doing anymore up there in the spring? Anything on hand tools?

Hope you're doing well,

Tim Williams said...

Bench building class coming this summer is a go!!! After AH moves this month we are going to crank up some night classes starting with hand cut dovetails. I will be using the Joinery Bench in that class, so everyone there will get to see and play with it!


jgccustomwoodworking said...


Are you still planning on posting the step by step tutorial.

I am mainly interested in the base joinery.



Tim Williams said...


Yes I am planning on the tutorial, just been crazy with snow problems and work orders. I plan on starting the first installment next week or as soon as I can actually get the materials to my home shop. (too much snow!!!)

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