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Workbench & Workshop Reference and Design Library

Updated March 2, 2010

The books below are some of the ones that I have in my personal collection and happily recommend. The links take you directly to the listing on Amazon's website for additional information as face it...they always have most detailed descriptions and great alternate reviews of books. Note that all purchases via our Amazon links provide critical support to pay for the hosting fees for the Workbench Design web site. Because of the popularity of the site it costs quite a bit each month. So, if you decide to purchase an Amazon item, please do so through these links...it helps!

Workbench Reference and Design
Great books to help you build the workbench of your dreams. Most of these also include excent plans for workbenches.
Workshop Reference
What's a workbench without a workshop? Books that help you plan and make the best use of your shop space and equipment
Woodworking Inspiration
Sometimes the most important books of all are the ones that inspire. These are the books in my own library when looking for to see what one of the master woodworkers would do.
Woodworking Technique
Good books to help you become a better woodworker.


  Workbench Reference and Design
The Workbench Book by Scott Landis
Not only THE essential book if you're thinking about building or buying a bench, but an inspirational book as well. I can't imagine building a workbench without having this around. Lots of history about benches here. Several designs and plans are in the book as well. I used the Frank Klaus and Michael Fortune bench as my starting point. And, the technique for installing an end vise in invaluable.
Making Workbenches Planning, Building and Outfitting
Sam Allen has written one of the great books on the design and construction of workbenches. Should be in every woodworker's library if your thinking about building a bench. Includes excellent plans.

The Workbench A Complete Guide to Creating Your Perfect Bench
Lon Schleining has the latest book on building workbenches. This book has some plans (though not in as much detail as The Workbench Book) , lots of photos of several notable woodworkers and their benches and is very well designed and thought out. Certainly a great resource for anyone planning on building a bench. Lon covers severeal types of benches so there's sure to be one that you might find a great place to start on a bench of your own.

workbench design book The Workbench Design Book The Art and Philosophy of Building Better Benches
Christopher Schwarz latest book contains plans for 9 benches from quick and easy to traditional. This excellent book also reviews each design and suggests wasy to improve and modify the designs to make them better. This book is well done and highly recommended.
workbenches Workbenches From Design and Theory to Construction and Use
Christopher Schwarz has written a great book on workbenches. He covers the history of many types of benches and does an excellent job on explaining the theory of their use and design issues. The book gives you much to think about as you design your own bench and includes plans for both a French style and English style benches which are not as thoroughly covered in other books. A really excellent new book.
Workbenches & Shop Furniture
The prolific woodworking author, Nick Engler has written a very good book on benches and other shop furniture. He has several great ideas on his benches that are different and very well thought out. I found a lot of them useful in designing my own bench.
Tag Frid Teaches Woodworking
Tag Frid was one of the great woodworkers and instructors of the last 50 years. This book features plans for several pieces of furniture and an excellent workbench. This bench is the same bench that he built for use in the famous College of the Redwoods woodworking classes.
Danny Proulx's Toolboxes & Workbenches
Danny is a master cabinet maker and his benches reflect his skills. This inexpensive book features benches with lots of storage underneath the benches.
Build Your Own Custom Workbenches
By Mark Corke. This book has plans for many types of workbenches with additional storage spaces. It features 10 different benches.
  Workshop Reference
The Workshop Book
This is the book that really inspired me to get into woodworking. It's full of photos and plans of shops of all sizes and uses. Looking through it really gets you thinking about how other woodworkers create their ultimate shops. Lots of great ideas here. Many by master woodworkers who've been refining their ideas of what is an ideal shop for decades. This book and the Workbench Book should be the first books you buy to get you inspired.
Setting Up Shop: The Practical Guide to Designing and Building Your Dream Shop
Sandor's book is full of new ideas of how to organize your workshop. Lots of help on how to use the space you have available. Many ideas for small shops, too.
The Toolbox Book
What a beautiful book. Traditionally, a woodworkers toolbox was the way to show off his/skills and craftsmanship when seeking work. The book has ideas, photos and plans for wall cabinets, portable toolboxes of every concievable configuration. Lots of help in constructing them, too. And, two ultimate toolboxes at the end: an amazing van that's a toolbox and the tool box used on space shuttle missions.

The Evan Falls Woodworking Library
A unique collection of over 175 complete books on woodworking
and related topics of interest to woodworkers. The Library continues to grow, All Free, 24/7. These books are in the public domain in the United States and everybody, including you, may read and distribute them.
If you don't live in the United States you'll have to check the laws of the country you live in before downloading and distributing these ebooks. This library collection contains books which consist of both HTML and PDF format files.These files are very large and regrettably, are not optimized for dial up connection speeds.

  Woodworking Inspiration
Sam Maloof: Woodworker
If you didn't already know, Sam Maloof is one the greatest woodworkers of the last 50 years. His rockers and chairs are absolutely breathtaking and have inspired virtually all rocking chairs since. The book shows how he constructs his pieces and includes a great biography. When I look for inspiration when dealing with a design problem on a new furniture design this is the book I open up first.
The Furniture of Sam Maloof
A retrospective of Sam's great furniture. This book is just full of photos and catalogs almost all of Sam's pieces throughout his long and wonderful career. It's really neat to see how his designs have evoloved over the years. Talk about inspiring. I read it cover to cover.
The Soul of a Tree: A Woodworker's Reflections
George Nakashima was another of the great woodworkers. His pieces blend a remarkable comination of asian, modern and natural edge wood. He really started the idea of using naturally edge slabs for table tops. A trully great artist.
Nature Form & Spirit : The Life and Legacy of George Nakashima
Like The Furniture of Sam Maloof this book cronicles George's pieces and his development through the years. A wonderful catalog of much of his great work.
The Impractical Cabinetmaker
James Krenov probably has done more to inspire people to consider the craft of woodworking to make pieces as a form of art then anyone. This book is one of 4 books and a retrospective of the work of some of his students at the College of the Redwoods. Many woodworkers who first saw the first book of this series "The Cabinet Maker's Notebook" when it came out in 1975, stopped fooling around and really took to this craft with a passion.
poems wood and light Greene & Greene Furniture: Poems of Wood & Light.
One of the styles of furniture I like to build is in the style of two Arts & Crafts period architect:s Greene & Greene. For those unfamiliar with their work you'll find lots of great info with a google search. If you really want to learn about this outstanding furniture, a new book by David Mathias is an excellent resource. It's a great book written by one of the most knowledgeable experts on their beautiful furniture designs. It is filled with lots of information and great photos and for any woodworker it is sure to be great book to have around to learn about this great style and for inspiration for what to build on top of your workbenches.
  Woodworking Technique
Tag Frid Teaches Woodworking
As mentioned above Tag Frid was one of the great woodworkers and instructors of the last 50 years. This book features comines the original volume one and two which help teach the basic craft of woodworking. Volume 3 is a separate book (both are well worth owning) which is furniture plans and additional skills to build them. Plans for several pieces of furniture is in volume 3 and an excellent workbench.