"Say Hello To My Little Friend"...Workbench Ergonomics 101

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Project by blackcherry posted 09-13-2010 03:36 AM 3952 views 28 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello my fellow LJ’s, here we have a workbench workmate for small detail hand work. I first came across this mini bench at a Lie Nielsen show hosted by a Chicago Studio own Jeff Miller. Jeff Miller has had many publish articles in FWW magazines. Three years ago Jeff was demoing Lie Nielsen inlaying tools using this bench and I was quit taken by this bench and ask a few question about the bench. He was quit please that I show interest and began to give a rather in-dept explanation of the build. Made with a trestle style base using mortise and tendon joinery, a full 1” and half laminated top and 1” 3/4 thick front vise also the top measure 12” X 24”. The clamping mechanism are two veneer screw clamps. Once assemble you simple clamp to your workbench top and off to work you go. Bring work projects up close for a old man failing eye sight and to a comfortable stance make this bench a nice addition to the shop. As noted by Jeff making chisel work , hand cut tails, block planing, inlay work and small glue ups a breeze with comfort in mind. So after three year I finally got around to build this Little Giant. Hope you enjoy and thanks for viewing BC

26 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4157 days

#1 posted 09-13-2010 03:42 AM

very cool. I’ve seen this made several times (I think on FWW was one of them) and another here on LJ:
Click for details

It is definitely on My list (somewhere down the list though). nicely done!

That said, my reasoning to want to make one would actually be more for powertool work – routers mainly to bring the bit closer to eye level. for chiseling and cutting with hand tools I find it easier to site DOWN on both workpiece and tool for better alignment and leverage. YMMV.

Thanks for posting, and for the reminder, really like your build!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View blackcherry's profile


3343 posts in 4332 days

#2 posted 09-13-2010 03:52 AM

Thanks for the extra pic’s and insight Sheron. I check out these wagon wheels and founded them a tad bit expensive. The veneer screw clamp were 19 buck each from Lee Valley. Thanks again and thanks for viewing…BC

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3527 days

#3 posted 09-13-2010 03:58 AM

Looks like it will make it easier for you to work but not to keep moving it around if you need table space?

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4157 days

#4 posted 09-13-2010 04:01 AM

Yes I know what you mean about the cost – I still use my LV screws as well although the wheels give it a nice touch (literally).

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 3482 days

#5 posted 09-13-2010 04:09 AM

Really nice BC.
It took me until the last pic to fully understand what you meant by ‘little friend’
It is so much easier on your back working at a height like that little bench gives.

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4181 days

#6 posted 09-13-2010 04:14 AM

Nice looking workbench.

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2658 posts in 4035 days

#7 posted 09-13-2010 04:17 AM

Looks really great and yes I am drooling!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Rj's profile


1047 posts in 4140 days

#8 posted 09-13-2010 04:24 AM

Great Job !!!! I need one …..another project on my long list

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4390 days

#9 posted 09-13-2010 04:27 AM

Sweet. I could see how that would be really useful.

Also, when the big bench gets too full of stuff, presto, you have a new bench.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 3870 days

#10 posted 09-13-2010 04:28 AM

Sweet muti-purpose bench…well done.

View swirt's profile


4225 posts in 3480 days

#11 posted 09-13-2010 05:51 AM

Okay it is official, you now have the coolest set of benches in your collection. This looks like a great new addition.

-- Galootish log blog,

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 3397 days

#12 posted 09-13-2010 08:29 AM

Just added this to my favorites file.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3573 days

#13 posted 09-13-2010 10:48 AM

Nice job. Almost to nice to work on.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View degoose's profile


7257 posts in 3863 days

#14 posted 09-13-2010 11:44 AM

Great for the smaller work…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View mafe's profile


12109 posts in 3598 days

#15 posted 09-13-2010 12:03 PM

Really nice.
Then you can do woodworking in the sofa saturday night also now… Perhpas this might bring you in trouble!
No really, this is a wonderful little workbench, love it.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

showing 1 through 15 of 26 comments

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