Differences between Christopher Schwarz's workbench books

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Forum topic by Brett posted 07-01-2011 05:52 PM 14910 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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07-01-2011 05:52 PM

Christopher Schwarz has written two books on workbenches: “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use” and “The Workbench Design Book”. How are the books different? If you had to choose just one, which book would you buy?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

8 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 4427 days

#1 posted 07-01-2011 07:24 PM

I have the second book, “The Workbench Design Book”. I chose it because it presents several workbenches, I think it’s eight, and explains the pros and cons of each. It also goes into modifications that you can make to existing benches. And, finally it is where to get the reasoning for the “Roubo” style bench. I have been very glad I got this book because it has a wealth of information and really explained many of the features in a way that a person can apply to their situation, rather than just “this is done like this because that’s the way it’s done.”

The first book, I do not have, but I think it only covers the design of two styles of benches. I goes into the most detail about these two styles of benches with diagrams and parts lists. But, I just felt the second book was something I would get more value from because I had already built my bench, and I am satisfied with my choice. If I did not yet have a bench I would opt for both books.

On a side note, I am also glad I bought it from Lee Valley, because they saved me $10 bucks and I am very happy to have found this company. They are really nice folks and a pleasure to do business with. I have no connection to Lee Valley or financial interest in the company, I just like to pass it on when I have a good experience.

View Bertha's profile


13635 posts in 4149 days

#2 posted 07-01-2011 07:26 PM

I’ve got the first one and I really enjoyed it, although I’m not a big fan of the Schwarz. The first one will definitely guide you well to build the most popular benches. I’ve thumbed through the second one but haven’t purchased it.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5553 days

#3 posted 07-01-2011 07:34 PM

I would second Lee Valley. They currently have a free shipping sale for the 4th of July weekend. Shipping is free on any orders over $40 until July 11th. I would get the Anarchist’s Tool Chest while your shopping. From the description of the new book, it sounds like the second would be preferred if your limited to one book…,46096,46109&ap=3,46096,46124,66542

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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Newage Neanderthal

190 posts in 4006 days

#4 posted 07-16-2011 03:10 PM

I’m surprised you weren’t attacked by screaming hoards of fan-boys after your comment. Personally besides the fact that a leg vise would be the last type I would want, the fanboyism of the Roubo turns me off to it. That said, I like his writing and the first book, I just get annoyed at his followers.

-- . @NANeanderthal on twitter

View rance's profile


4282 posts in 4616 days

#5 posted 07-16-2011 03:27 PM

I must have “The Workbench Design Book” since it didn’t come with a CD. I like this one but I’ve not seen the other one.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5553 days

#6 posted 07-16-2011 03:38 PM

Neandertal, I am not sure which is worse Schwarz or Cosman fan boys….. lol Fanboyism in general turns me off.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View CharlieK's profile


605 posts in 5249 days

#7 posted 07-16-2011 07:46 PM

I really like Christopher Schwarz and I have his book titled: “Workbenches – Design, Theory, Construction, and Use”.

My favorite workbench book is The Workbench Book by Scott Landis The reason I like this one is because he describes so many different types of benches.

There are lots of great workbenches, but I think it is important to get one that suits you and the type of work that you want to do.

Charlie :)

-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans

View Newage Neanderthal's profile

Newage Neanderthal

190 posts in 4006 days

#8 posted 07-17-2011 03:59 PM

Me too Wayne,
Not sure which is worse but the Schwarz fan club is much larger.

-- . @NANeanderthal on twitter

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