Japanese workbench - plan wanted

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Forum topic by secharles posted 12-12-2019 02:01 AM 395 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 584 days

12-12-2019 02:01 AM

i am looking for a plan to something which i believe is a Japanese workbench. not the ubiquituos planing beam, short or tall trestles, or insert which rests on stubby legs and is placed on a western style bench.

I tried a search and found myself going down the rabbit hole and missing my subject entirely.

the bench I am referring is not a thick or permanent bench, but one which could have been brought to the job for light tasks (NOT pounding), and either left by tradition or carried off after the work was complete.

there was no vise; maybe a shallow tool well ???

true tradition would have been broken by this bench being used from a standing position. in fact, there is great possibility it is not a traditional tool, but an adaptation and my exposure was in a east/ west setting. I remember vertical legs with a diagonal brace going one way on the front pair and opposite on the rear. there was not a great deal of elaborate joinery, and rough hardware (black iron & screws) was proof of its workman heritage.

sorry to be so vague, but I cannot remember any more details other than it could have been in the background of a youtube video.

any help finding a picture or drawing would be greatly appreciated.

6 replies so far

View CaptainKlutz's profile


2257 posts in 2103 days

#1 posted 12-12-2019 03:56 AM

hmm, images are easy to find.
Did you click the image tab in DuckDuckGo or Google search sites?

Used to manage several factory teams in Japan, visited my factories and customers often for several decades.

When the carpenters were working on major building remodel, would see a couple using a ‘bench’ like this one.

Saw them in various sizes, intended for outdoor work on job site. It’s like the short trestle planing beam you mention, but much larger. Some folks called then planing boards, not work bench.

Also witnessed carpenters using a cross between the European style saw bench, like this one from here on LJ:
Click for details
But with removable legs like Moravian bench.
Lots of Moravian discussion here on LJ if need examples

In one factory with wood shop I visited, they had rows of 1/2 meter tall planing boards on trestles, with 1-2 European style standing wood benches sitting unused against the wall. When asked why they were not used, said ‘reserved for foreign contractors that aren’t used to sitting on ground all time’. LOL

In the same shop, they had a dozen butcher block top tables with metal legs (Grizzly style) used for assembly of wood items being built.

That is what I witnessed in japan travel from 80’s to now. Sorry if it doesn’t help.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View SMP's profile


1598 posts in 514 days

#2 posted 12-12-2019 05:41 AM

What you describe sounds like a one-off someone built to fit their working style, etc.

View secharles's profile


12 posts in 584 days

#3 posted 12-12-2019 08:47 AM

What you describe sounds like a one-off someone built to fit their working style, etc.


I think you are correct. may need to go into the “deep zone” and sketch whatever I channel . . .

View secharles's profile


12 posts in 584 days

#4 posted 12-12-2019 08:49 AM

… Sorry if it doesn t help.

- CaptainKlutz

knowledge is cumulative, so everything helps at some point!

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2135 posts in 771 days

#5 posted 12-12-2019 12:54 PM

How to Sketch a WorkBench


-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View HokieKen's profile


12008 posts in 1747 days

#6 posted 12-12-2019 01:17 PM

LJ Mafe has a blog series on Japanese woodworking. There are a couple of entries about different benches, horses and workholding. You might find some inspiration and ideas there.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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