[See this original blog post here] I regularly get asked “Joshua, can you recommend a workbench that is affordable, sturdy, portable, and easy to build?” 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. ...
Well, it took 6 months from the time I first bought the yellow pine, but I am glad to say that the bench is finally done. I could write a bunch about all the mistakes I made, stuff I learned, etc., but I won’t bore you with all that. Just a few quick comments. True to form, I made some silly mistakes, like relying on the dimensions in the Chris Schwarz article and forgetting that his legs were narrower than mine so this nicely cut inset for the end-vise was in the wrong place. N...
Those of you who have read The Anarchist's Tool Chest may find the following story familiar. It was only after this project was underway that I realized that my life had strangely paralleled author Christopher Schwarz’s for a moment. It’s morning. My wife and I are starting the day: sipping coffee, stirring oatmeal and wondering whether we should wake our nearly three year old. Our eleven month old is keeping us company in the kitchen of our 1 1/2 bedroom apartment. She is sitt...
having just finished reading the Schwarz’s Workbench design book before heading back into my shop to finish my daughter’s Shaker style desk, I am seriously Jonesing for a real bench. rather than go all-out Ruobo for my first real bench, I’m thinking of making a Moxon-ish dovetailing bench. it also needs to be a bench for sharpening with my new Brian Burns double bevel system ( http://www.lessonsinlutherie.com/doublebevelsharpeninghirez.html ). I’m thinkin...
(click on the pic for a full-size view) So here’s the bench mostly as I see it. My apologies for the faintness, but I think you get the idea. I forgot to put the crochet on there, so that would naturally be on the front left of the benchtop. You’ll also notice that I have no vises on the bench. I’m not entirely convinced that the bench needs them, although I do plan on making a removable twin-screw vise à la Moxon (not pictured). I had planned on installing a wagon vis...
From my blog: For your viewing pleasure: A very short video. I extracted some of Christopher Schwarz’s best moves during his session on Forgotten Workbenches and Workholding – Woodworking in America, in Berea. And it ain’t no tango! Enjoy! AlView videos from Woodworking in America in Berea, KY.
My first big project will be the Holtzapffel cabinetmaker's workbench. If you’ve kept up with Christopher Schwarz, you already know well what I am talking about. It’s a beautiful machine, and I want to start my shop off with this cornerstone of hand tool work. I’ve long sought after the European benches you see in the magazines, but the money put them well outside of my reach. Just as I was about to fold and build a modern design on the same, I found some articles rega...
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