The Portable Moravian Workbench at The Woodwright’s School

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I regularly get asked “Joshua, can you recommend a workbench that is affordable, sturdy, portable, and easy to build?”

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I used to laugh at the requests. But I recently discovered a historical 18th century workbench that was resurrected from the past by Will Myers, an instructor at Roy Underhill’s The Woodwright’s School in Pittsboro, North Carolina. The old Workbench is part of the Moravian collection at Old Salem, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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Will and I wanted to make an easy step-by-step video (based on his class and his article) so that anyone can build this workbench with hand tools. And we did it!

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We just finished filming the DVD: “Building the Portable Moravian Workbench with Will Myers” at Roy Underhill’s school…thanks Roy! (Click here to purchase the DVD or digital download).

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In the video we share very detailed instruction, which will help you to become proficient in using hand tools. It’s packed with skills and tips! This could even be a first project for beginners.

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Bill Anderson even showed up to lend a helping hand…thanks Bill!

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The video at the top of this page shows how quickly the Moravian workbench can be assembled. It’s especially a great workbench for people who live in small spaces (like a city apartment or a basement) or for people who will be doing on-site woodworking.

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The video will be published by Popular Woodworking Magazine in a month or two, but you can currently get on the notification list (to be emailed when it’s released) right here. If you’re interested in free plans and resources (like the vices) click here.

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Below are some fun photographs that I took during our video shoot…comment below and let me know what you think!

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This device is an ingenious tail vice built by Will Myers. He takes special orders, so contact me here if you’re interested in ordering one for your workbench.

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If you’ve built a Moravian Workbench, contact me and I can post a photo of your workbench on Wood And Shop!

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Below are some photos of the original portable Moravian Workbench (at Old Salem, North Carolina) that inspired Will Myers’ workbench.

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In the DVD you will see a tour we took of the workbench warehouse at Old Salem, and you can learn more about the history of the Moravian Workbench.

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2017-05-03T08:56:35+00:00

About the Author:

"I'm wildly passionate about traditional woodworking with hand tools, and want to rekindle this lost art. At WoodAndShop I teach you the skills that I learn, and also share anything fascinating that I discover about traditional woodworking. That includes tours of traditional workshops, beautiful furniture, and my favorite tools and books. I hope you enjoy my videos, photos, and articles. Please feel free to leave constructive comments!"

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18 Comments on "The Portable Moravian Workbench at The Woodwright’s School"

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aina2
Guest

muy bonito e interesante este sitio ami tambien me gusta la carpinteria
saludos desde tarragona spain

mvflaim
Member

That’s fantastic!

Joseph
Guest

Great website Joshua! This is an amazing resource for the beginning woodworker, thank you.

andy
Guest

This bench looks so awesome! How sturdy is the bench Josh? Is the top thick enough to use hold fasts? I wish I could see it in action. Can’t wait too see the how to video!

andy
Guest

Thanks Joshua! I love your website! It’s my go to buyers guide, and your videos are awesome! I have a few hand tools now, I’m looking forward to building a bench and getting started! But first I must read Christopher Schwarz book ” Workbenches: from design and theory to construction and use”

Eric Wilcox
Guest

This bench looks like a very practical solution for my small shop. No offense, but will the video and plans translate well if I use power tools instead?

Bill
Guest

Joshua, I just discovered your site recently and have been really enjoying it. The content is just terrific.

Can you give some information on the wagon vise Will has on there?

Thanks, Bill

swanz
Guest

I need to build my first real bench. This one seems doable. I like the fact that it doesn’t have a big gaping hole through the leg to accommodate the leg vice screw like the roubo does. I know it doesn’t affect the roubo bench performance, but it just looks wrong to me. LOL!
I just discovered your site and it’s now one of my favorites for teaching the basics to beginning wannabees like myself.

Heather
Guest

Hello,

seems like a great design, I like the video where it is shown how to assemble the bench in very little time. I am anxious about the wooden thread, though! Last time I checked a wood thread cutter for this size costs about as much as a complete workbench from Sjöbergs.

Be safe

Heather

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