Wednesday, May 4, 2011

More Traveling Benches

Years ago I took a class with Tod Herrli at Olde Mill Cabinet Shoppe on making a panel raiser plane. When Tod teaches on the road, he brings with him a petite, but fully functional workbench (first photo). 

The removable shelving unit underneath the benchtop adds weight when handplaning. The face and tail vises are beefy. Cubbies of tool holders hang on the back edge of the benchtop by way of hooked arms.  

After my last post about portable work surfaces, I got an email from Greg Miller of Western Australia who shared with me some of the cool workbenches he's made (remaining five photos). You can read his posts here and here.

Greg writes:

I call it my “Saw Stool on Steroids”. When I am doing joinery repairs on site, it is just perfect. Plenty of holding power with two vices, solid as a rock, and the right height for hand planing, chopping mortices, etc. I also use it for teaching, as people can easily gather round it. Since I wrote that post I have added wheels on one end. These are arranged so they engage when you lift one end by the tail vice handle. It works like a steering wheel!  Wheeling it around my customers’ houses to get nearer to the action was made easier by sticking a pair of wheels on one end. 

I also do woodworking with kids and have cooked up a bench that works really well for the stuff I do with them. I now have 5 of them, and they are portable in that they are not too heavy – but they stack really nicely, too. They are a range of heights, as I do woodworking with kids from about age 3 upwards.   

Now that we have so many choices in building our own portable workbench, the question remains: Where should we add the handle so it can be designated as "carry-on luggage"?


Larry Williams said...


We have a couple of these we made for traveling.

Unknown said...

A few of those look like glorified saw horses.

BarbS said...

What a great selection of 'portable' benches! I love seeing design ideas for these. And Larry, yours has an ideal tail vise, though it looks too big to be called 'portable.' It would be Heavy to move! So, Kari, have you decided on one to build for yourself?

Roger Nixon said...

A couple more ideas
1)Scott Grandstaff
2)Jr Strasil's demo bench

Anonymous said...

thanks Mrs Kari for more Ideas of benches

Kari Hultman said...

Larry, your traveling bench is nicer than my permanent bench!

John, the splayed legs and thin tops do bring to mind saw horses.

Barb, aren't they cool? I'd love to build a portable workbench someday....maybe more based on all these great ideas.

Roger, thanks for the links! Excellent.

My pleasure, Mr. Jim. ; )

Joe said...


I'm curious about your experiences at Todd Herli's classes. I am getting back into woodworking after many years of being away and am thinking taking one, and would like to here from someone who has been to Tod's classes. I would be taking first level classes. I have his video and love it.

Can you offer any information or is would that be too difficult for the site.

Does Todd ever travel to the Rocky Mountain Region to teach? I live in Denver and that woudld be very convenient and economical for me.

Joe Anderson

Kari Hultman said...

Joe, Tod is an excellent instructor in my opinion. He moves along quickly but is very clear and very good at demonstrating. Here is information on his upcoming classes:

Super Handyman Dave said...

going to make one asap.Dave