I received a letter from John, in Germany this week and thought I’d share it with you. John recently completed a Sawyer’s Bench following plans from my book, The Unplugged Woodshop.

As you’ll hear and see, he made some interesting changes that I’m super excited about!

Really great job on the bench John~

Thanks again for sharing these with us!


when are you coming to Toronto!! ~; )


The Sawyer's Bench

The Sawyer’s Bench


Hey Tom,

 been another few months and a busy summer. I hope yours has been good, and I was thrilled to see the shop-additions to your site. Very cool! I hope you and family have been well, and that your plans of moving house and all went smoothly?

 Thought I’d drop you a few lines as I recently found some time (well no, actually I MADE some time, since anything else is just wishful thinking just now), and following another one of the plans in your book just completed my own version of your sawyers bench. The need being, that my “shop” is only a storage compartment in our apartment building, measuring 4,5 by 9 feet, lined with shelves and everything you’d usually store there….plus my own space. Not really enough if you’re trying to dimension anything larger than a sheet of paper, so I always have to take anything larger outside into the garden, where so far I have used an old workmate. Functional, but not nor really satisfying. Here some pics of the bench. As you can see, it’s not exactly an elegant thing of beauty but more of a mongrel since I made from scraps I had left over from one of my workbench-builds and as always featuring many of my trademark mistakes.  Beech for the legs and a mixture of spruce and pine for the tops, stretchers, aprons and cleats. Also I didn’t quite stick to your measurements, since in true mongrel fashion I thought I’d make a multi-tasker out of it, hence it’s a bit longer and a hint lower than the measurements in your book.

 Why the mongrel, and in what ways? Well, to begin with we don’t have much space in the flat (what goes for the basement goes for the rest aswell although I’m not complaining), and I wanted to avoid any raised eyebrows regarding more wood-working paraphenalia inside the flat, so I aimed to present it as an additional seating option at the kitchen table. More importantly though, I built an addon for it, in order to also use it as a shave horse. Reason being, that my girlfriend a while back gave me a box of old tools in need of restoration including numerous maul- and axe-heads in need of a handle, a drawknife in need of some welding and new grips, and so forth. After I restored the drawknife (with the intention of using it to create axehandles (we’re talking really old ones with very crude shapes and eyes that no commercially available handle would fit)) I realized that some carving and shaving would be necessary, hence…the shave horse. 

But of course, it is most importantly a sawyers bench.

 Here some pics of the bench in various poses with the different restored users. Sorry the quality isn’t so great, took them with my mobile.

Needless to say, it’s a great addition to my kit and will be getting plenty of use. So once again thankyou for the inspiration. Hours very much enjoyed!

 take care


sawbench-3 sawbench-2 sawbencshave-horse sawbenchshave-horse-2