Members' Gallery - Share Your Builds

First try

The weaving was a bit rough. But the wife wants another to match so I’ll have a chance to improve.

Danish Stool project finished!

Had a blast completing my first English Woodworker project. Despite the delicate wooden frame the stool is surprisingly strong. Details, like the tapered legs, round overs and gentle curves, really make the difference and more interesting to look at from all angles. Using Richards techniques meant I made neat through mortises, all by hand, first time. The Danish cord weaving was fun and I’ll definitely use it again in a future project. Love the way the black cord looks in changing light. Have signed up for the industrial desk series and it’s my next project. Great job Richard and Helen!

I made a stool!

Very happy with my first stool (I feel more to come in the near future). There have been many moments trying to work out angles and things I will do better next time. Thank you Richard, I could not have done this without you. Note the side-table project photo-bombing!

2nd project

Pine base and oak top, 2 legs and a drawer in the bin, took 3 months of an hour an evening but eventually got it done! On to the French workbench now.

Coffee table

Coffee table with marquetry drawn by my adored wife!

Mashup in recycled roof beams

I did some skip diving following the loft conversion of the house opposite ours in SW London. Combined with some other scavenging I was able to build this six seater dinning table which is a mashup of the tressle table and hall table builds. Chuffed with how it turned out.

Side table in cherry

This side table in cherry was a great project to build so many essential skills. It was my first real piece of furniture to grace my home built by own hands.

French workbench in beech

I have only recently got into woodwork and was looking for projects and ideas. I spend a week at Rowden Atelier and got some basic experience of how to use handtools. I then found your site and and really enjoying the approach. I have done the side table project but really needed a decent workbench, so the logical thing to do was order a lot of beech and then get into it. I have learnt so much from your videos and correcting the errors I made along the way. If you note the walnut inserts on the side they cover up where I had to drill holes through as one of the top boards had a split in it. Thank you and looking forward to whatever comes next.

Beech Englias workbench

Almost finished. Just need to leather prep the vice, drill the holes for. The holdfast and make the toothed planing stop. Been fun making it but hard graft with beech an hand tools.

1st project

Starting from barely being able to put up a shelf I cannot believe I've made this! very scruffy in parts and took me ages but I learned loads. The bridle joints were a lot trickier than I thought they'd be and not sure I got the ebonising quite right but onwards and upwards now! Thanks a lot for the excellent videos, keep up the fantastic work!

English workbench in Douglas Fir

It was a revelation to make this entire wood bench using hand tools. The skills I learned building this bench will be with forever. I loved I could make bench left handed.

Spoon rack wall cabinet

Wall cabinet with popular case, ash drawer front and walnut pull.

Don's workbench

My first piece of furniture! Hopefully not the last. Built over about 5-6 weeks with just a jack plane, block plane, ryoba saw, marking guage, knife, square, ruler, mallet, hammer, punch and one chisel. Thanks for the lessons!

Gareth’s Side Table

Happy with the build (&enjoyed it) but defects in my oak board forced me to match the oak unsatisfactory. I didn’t use the bridle guides as after making 20 sets my saws still drifted so cut them by hand.Didn’t realise how difficult bridle joints were! Wanted to ebonise but the wife wouldn’t let me due to furniture matching! Will do one day.

Jef's side table

2nd project after my English workbench was supposed to be the spoon rack, but then i put my hand on some oak boards... So here's my side table instead! Another great learning curve, much went well (i was delighted with my initial glue joint for the top!), some less so (bridle joints...). As others have noted, i struggled a bit with the bridle guides, partly because they require (i now realise...) very precise thicknessing of the aprons and legs, and mine were a bit out here and there. Lesson learnt. Oak is not quite as easy and satisfying to work as i'd expected - oddly brittle and very hard not to tear out, compared to softwood or ash, and despite all the raising of grain and sanding, some grain still trying to pop out in the finished piece! Also i found that he grain changed direction frequently over the thin boards, so even over the length of the top, it was very hard to smooth the whole thing to perfection without causing issues in one corner or another, and lots of tail chasing ensued! I love the ebonised finish - that one is a banker, but I've used Osmo on a couple of pieces now, and not sure I've worked out how to get the best out of it, just seems a little 'flat', even with past wax over the top. Still learning. Anyway, another very enjoyable series and onwards and upwards....

Garys Workbench May 2021

Well all I can say is I had a go! Made from fence posts, floor joists and 4 x 2s, more knots than timber. What a learning experience. Loved it! I will make a smaller one but next time I will use some decent timber and hopefully my joinery will be much better. It is a solid, stable beast though!

A Norwegian side table

Righty then, it's time for a Norwegian version of the side table! In oak, with aprons and legs ebonized darker than a midwinter night in the north. A brew of tea strong enough to remove paint helps the process. The madness is described here: https://fagerjord.org/woodworking-projects/furniture/2802/ The outdoor image is of course taken in sunny weather, to keep up with tradition. Dedicated to two wonderful people: Richard and Helen Best regards, Vidar F. Harboe, Norway.

Side Table

Poplar base, mahogany top. Base finished with milk paint, top finished with tung oil.

Jef's English Workbench - with some leftie design tweaks

My first woodworking project since school (a long time ago!). It took about 3 weeks of long evenings and some weekend work. I thought it was going wrong at several stages but it all came together in the end, and all the working surfaces are flat and square. My early joints were a bit hit and miss but i absolutely nailed the vice mortice - spot on square, so got it right when it counted, with just enough experience to take on that joint! The traditional wood screw vice (Lake Erie Toolworks) is a delight! I made a couple of design tweaks - as a leftie I had to decide whether to move the vice position but in the end i went for traditional left mounted, so my (right handed) sons can use it too, and it just doesn’t look ‘right’ the other way around. However i did add a second planing brace on the right trestle, so aggressive planing can be done in both directions - i also like the symmetry this gives visually. To increase the L/R flexibility, instead of Richard’s planing spike design i bought a pair of Simon James blacksmith-forged toothed dogs, which are ¾” hole mounted. They still suit the traditional feel of the bench but can be moved from one end to the other to accommodate left and right handers. The only other change i made was to add a lower central brace, which means the two upper ones work with it as a triangle – i was concerned there was a risk of my apron cupping outwards over time, due to the orientation i ended up mounting it in and noting the half-glued apron joints, so that central brace triangle should help stabilise it. I've learned a huge amount in a few weeks and wish to give great credit to Richard for his hugely insightful and highly accessible tuition style which was really transformative. I've learned a huge amount very quickly and I’m delighted with the results. Ready to take on my next project – the spoon rack. Looking forward to doing my first ever dovetails!

First hand tool project

Thanks so much for the plans and the video. The quality of the video and the instruction are fantastic. I had to abandon the guides. The saw seemed to wander off line in the bottom 1/8 or so of the cut. I tried different stances and different saws, but just couldn’t fix the drift. I’m sure it’s pilot error. Finally, I decided to fight that battle another time. I marked the joints out and cut them free hand. Any trouble shooting tips would be appreciated. The top is red oak, according to plan. The base is cherry because I ran through my oak supply in the aforementioned difficulties. The ebonized cherry took on a more mottled appearance which I actually like. It has some red and gray tones that give it some warmth. It doesn’t really show up in the picture. The Osmo finish was just the thing. It feels fantastic. I feel much more confident in my ability and I’m looking forward to building this table a mate!

Saw Horses

Knee high saw horses based on: https://www.theenglishwoodworker.com/the-saw-donkey/ . Made from reclaimed fence posts. Sacrificial top can be changed if too damaged. This was my first try at M&T joints and pegged M&Ts. It makes a good platform to built my English Workbench while I don't have a bench. Stout and sturdy - start here if a bench build is too overwhelming as a first project. I'm glad I did.

Jointer

My first build is just waiting for an oil bath. Body in Sapele with a maple pin, wedge, and tote.

Spoon Rack

This build was educational for me. It was The first time I did some of these joints. I definitely recommend this for a beginner. Not sure sure if it’s gonna be for tea and coffee or for my chisels. Tung oil finish and a coat of wax.

Smoother

After I finished making a foreplane and jack plane following Richard’s contruction method I continued with a smoother. I spiced things up a bit, with 9” smoother with full handle. This one is at a higher 50 deg bed angle and hopefully will help me tackling difficult wood in smoothing.

My favorite jack

This is my second plane build. This one is 15 1/2” long made from purple heart wood with hock 2” blade. I love how it turns out and now my favorite jack.

More workbenches!

Finished my workbench in March 2020 and it's had a lot of use since, not all woodworking! here's an old shot when I first finished it. Also, while I'm not sure it was Richards original intended use for the design, I've just been building a mud kitchen for my goddaughter and decided the best base for it was...... and English style work bench! It's not quite finished but for a bunch of old pallets it's certainly has a lot of strength. I'll try to remember to post a picture of the completed beastie.

My English workbench.

My completed english style workbench build. I used mahogany wood except for the reclaimed Ipil wood for the legs. Finished it with 2 coats of linseed oil/varnish/thinner and waxed it with beezwax/BLO. My favorite part is the big face vise with 3” diameter wooden screw, i think i did something right as it operates very smoothly without racking 🙂

Foreplane

My first plane build, a foreplane made from cut off acasia wood from my bench build. It takes heavy shavings by design and 18” long which helps me develop the initial level of flatness in dimensioning rough stocks.

Hall Table Is Granddaughter's Vanity

Since a granddaughter wanted a makeup vanity, it needed a bench. I made a reduced ton of the table sans drawer. Surprisingly, it turned out quite nice. I will deliver it Christmas day.

Finally finished

That took a hell of a lot longer than I imagined. I enjoyed it, though and I've ended up with a beast of a bench I'm very happy with. Thanks for the videos!

Hall Table Will Be Granddaughter's Vanity

I am well satisfied with the results, even with a couple of plane tracks in the red oak top. I have a deal with my grandchildren: take the first one or take the chance I'll live to make a second...I am 72 years old. The base is poplar and painted with Dixie Belle Bunker Hill Blue Chalk Mineral Paint.

Katherine's bench

Here is my English Workbench, I am very pleased with it and slightly amazed that I made it, I started with a very low skill level. The timber I used was mostly reclaimed from my Dad's barn, so not a square corner or flat surface anywhere, the week I optimistically allowed to build it just about sore the wood flattened and squared, 6 weeks later I had a workbench, all built by hand except for ripping the length of 9x4 in half for the legs. There is very little perfect about it so good job perfection isn't a thing and you would need something larger than a gnat to measure the inaccuracies. However thanks largely to my engineer husband and his vernier calipers the joints are good in all the right places so it stands solidly on all 4 feet and the surface and aprons are flat and square. I missed out the planing brace as it looked like a skill to far and my bench is only 5ft long, to fit in the shed, so less leverage to cause racking. I'll add holes for holding things when I know where I need them, it has been much admired by friends and relatives, one suggesting it looked strong enough to park his car on, it is a pleasure to use. I thoroughly enjoyed making it and could not have done it without you're instructive clear and entertaining videos, good job they're digital, I'd have worn holes in tapes at all the difficult bits. Thank you very much Richard and Helen

Dno's Coffee Table

This coffee table is made of elm that I managed to scrounge from a joiner friend of mine. He reckons it's been kicking around his workshop for at least 20yrs!! The base is an elongated version of Richard's side table and it is approximately 800mm x 500mmx450mm. I think this is about the maximum size using the dimensions of the side table. Beyond that I think there will be too much flex in the frame so thicker dimensions would be required. The top is two colour resin (Green and Black). I also made some coasters to go with it.

Retro sideboard inspiration

Really enjoyed watching the retro sideboard series and it gave me the inspiration and techniques to adapt it into a retro meets craftsman style TV stand and display case. Thanks Richard and Helen for that.

Planing brace

This was the toughest joint so far and I well and truly made a meal of it. Everything was going great until I had to free-hand saw the dovetail shoulder on that 45-degree angle. I went and cut it about 47-degree. I could see as soon as I started the cut that I was going off the line. I ploughed on thinking I might as well make it a neat cut even if it is at the wrong angle. I decided I would fix it by changing the angle of the whole joint as I'd not cut the leg bit yet. By this time I had bought a shoulder plane and that came in very handy. So now when I come to cut the apron joint for the brace, It won't be 45 degrees - I'll worry about that later! I was all happy with my bodge until a little bit of the shoulder then chipped off. That rounded off a bad day!

Trestles

When Richard knocked his bottom rail in it was great that the legs bent in slightly for him. This made it easy to tightly fit the top rail as it was sort of pincered in place. That didn't happen for me. I should have checked the straightness of the legs. I found they were slightly bowed out. So even after knocking them together the top rail was not nice and tight. I had to use clamps to do the dry fit so the top rail didn't fall out and get damaged.

Notch for the apron in the leg

I read a forum post of someone doing the English workbench build and they made a mistake I was about to make before I read the post. That was cutting the notch out for the apron on the legs. If your boards aren't "bloody big" boards like Richards's, then you have to adjust the size of your top rail. You need to make sure the top rail plus the width of the bearer is smaller than the width of your boards. If it is bigger you'll have a gap. It won't be seen but you'll know it is there!

Legs

My biggest mistake on the legs was not flattening the sides of the legs before cutting the joints into them. The side where the shoulder of the rail joint sits was slightly out so the joint was extremely tight on that side. At first, I tried planing the top of the rail to ease them in. Luckily I checked the legs for squareness before planing too much off. I had to square that inside face then after cutting the joint into the legs.

Rails

I found the 2 hardest parts of the rails to be first getting the shoulder cut straight. Even 1/2mm out and it looks naff. To fix this I made a cutting guide with magnets to get them straight. Hopefully, I'll get better at just cutting them straight from the saw. I don't have a shoulder plane to help either. Secondly getting the dovetail bit flat and level. On practice attempts I found mine to be lumpy. After a few goes, I realised that I needed to make longer, lighter strokes with the chisel.

First Trestle

Not perfect, but I'm happy with the result. On to the rest.

Bedside tables

Such a terrific build, and such fantastic plans and instruction. The measurements were slightly adjusted to fit the space, but I kept the proportions the same. I’ve built two of these as bedside tables and couldn’t be happier. Poplar base finished in milk paint, and Cherry top finished with shellac.

English workbench

Still got a few holes for the holdfast and a planing stop to fit at some point (if I get round to it!), but otherwise finished. Great series, and a fabulous no nonsense workbench. Thanks Richard!

Not Quite a French Workbench

I already have a workbench so this isn’t a french workbench post although you can say that it is french with a name like “Etaux”. The newly popularized Etaux aka HiVise has been on my to do list for a while, but I never got around to ordering the hardware. After seeing the shopmade crisscross in the French Workbench series, I decided to get it a go along with a shopmade wooden screw. I followed the plans for the crisscross, but shortened the steel bars to around 9” length since this is a mini leg vise. The plans did not mention a set screw for the Etaux, but I saw one used in the video so I included that in mine. Metalworking is quite foreign to me so I was beyond thrilled to see that it actually works! Tools used were a shoddy, wobbly drill press, hacksaw, and files. I also “finished” the metal using the cold bluing chemicals used for firearms. So I just wanted to say that if I can do it, it really is as easy as Richard states in the video series. It was time consuming, of course, given the tools used.

DNO's side table

This is a side table made of European oak, English cherry and resin. The stand is oak and I have used Richard's recipe for the base. The top is of English cherry and epoxy resin. This has been treated with Danish oil which rings out the beauty of the wood. The resin has two different colour pigments added to get that ethereal cloud look.

DNO's side table

This is a side table made of European oak, English cherry and resin. The stand is oak and I have used Richard's recipe for the base. The top is of English cherry and epoxy resin. This has been treated with Danish oil which rings out the beauty of the wood. The resin has two different colour pigments added to get that ethereal cloud look.

Keith’s workbench

I’ve only gone and blooming well made it. Feeling well chuffed with how it’s turned out, I built over a period of a month, putting in odd hours where I could and boring people silly with photos of my progress. I made it 24 wide and 54 inches long as that’s the only space I had in my workshop, works a treat though. Thank you for your inspiration, I made a few mistakes but learnt so much in doing this. I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do with it now. All the best.

James's Bench

What is Christmas for if not to finish unfinished projects! This is an 8ft workbench made out of pine. On several occasions I thought I'd totally cocked up, to the extent that I thought it was beyond repair and I'd need to have a massive bonfire and start again. In the end it was all fine, and every mistake was a chance to use my brain and think of a solution. When I fitted the vice (with metal screw) I couldn't quite believe that it all looked good and worked. I was pretty proud of the end result and now looking at going onto either the spoon rack or side table project next.

Rescued wood bench

A friend of mine gave me some 8x3 construction grade beams which were rescued from a skip following completion of an engineering project. Despite the shocking state of some of them and the preponderance on huge knots, it became a bit if a mission to turn them into a my first proper bench. The top and aprons stayed as 8x3 to minimise grief, though even at that I don’t think I could have planed those big knots without the thick bladed low angle plane that I was fortunate enough to have. As others have mentioned, fitting the quick release vice was a challenge (and I would probably go with Richards wooden one if I do this again) but the project had a ‘use what you have’ ethos so the old Parkinson went in. It’s no beauty but I wanted it’s roots to show and to see the learning experiences I had along the way. I hope this gives someone confidence to just get on and build with what they have, you learn so much. Thanks to Richard and Helen for the inspiration and guidance in your videos.