Farm Bench

  • Advertise with us
Project by nathanjackman posted 806 days ago 2132 views 9 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Fun project – I attend a school/open workshop that has been in Boston since the 1600s, The Eliot School. They have a ton of these old workbenches from the 1800s (with vises intact) that are now used as art tables.

A couple had broken apart and I was offered one as a recycling project. I determined to use only hand tools to finish this, including resquaring the wood. Use the Current Legs and stretchers after recutting and rejoining everything to new dimensions – little tricky as the wood was dry and chippy.

Top was amazing – I think it’s 100 year old Maple (just guessing), it was completely white after I had taken off a layer of wood. Thought I would leave the cracks and beating – all the love and time this bench has seen. Put in a butterfly to make sure the crack didn’t spread.

The wood sucked up Maloof oil like you wouldn’t believe – top went from white to the amazing color in the photos in one coat.

My favorite and simplest project to date…love thinking how many people this wood has seen come and go. How many people left their mark on this top.

Legs are morticed into the benchtop.

14 comments so far

View DocSavage45's profile


4741 posts in 1441 days

#1 posted 806 days ago

Looks like it appreciated your love and attention. :-)

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DocSavage45's profile


4741 posts in 1441 days

#2 posted 806 days ago

Nice character from what I can see.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View PurpLev's profile


8476 posts in 2247 days

#3 posted 806 days ago

that is an awesome project in so many ways-
Great on the recycling
Great on where the material came from and the stories it can tell
Great on the markings on the top
Great on the bench itself!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View BTimmons's profile


2078 posts in 1084 days

#4 posted 806 days ago

What a huge improvement on the original material! It’s got a new life, but still a lot of character.

-- Brian Timmons, Big T Woodworks - -

View Brandon's profile


4137 posts in 1550 days

#5 posted 806 days ago

Excellent work on reusing the workbench. Your farm bench is perfectly done!

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4088 posts in 1455 days

#6 posted 806 days ago

That is one nice bench

Even better with the story

I’m sure it will be treasured by many generations to come

Thank you for saving and recording this piece of unique history


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View grizzman's profile


6787 posts in 1902 days

#7 posted 806 days ago

now that is a really great save, nice work here, your joinery is perfect for this piece…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Martyroc's profile


2708 posts in 905 days

#8 posted 806 days ago

Awesome bench, a lot of history with that one.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View russde's profile


52 posts in 1438 days

#9 posted 805 days ago

Recently moved to Boston myself…and recently decided to upgrade meager ww skills. I was just on The Eliot Schools website the other day! How cool.
Do you enjoy their workshops? Any advice on attending sessions?
Bench turned out beautifully.

-- Upright and taking in nourishment--must be a good day

View nathanjackman's profile


23 posts in 1459 days

#10 posted 805 days ago

Fantastic place can’t recommend enough – great teachers and the open workshop is a very collaborative environment. Give them acall, they’re happy to answer questions.

View AspiringWoodworker's profile


72 posts in 904 days

#11 posted 805 days ago

Great job preserving the past for the future!

-- Jeff W., Boston, MA area,

View BarbS's profile


2433 posts in 2684 days

#12 posted 805 days ago

wonderful project! Good for you.


View Matt Vredenburg's profile

Matt Vredenburg

127 posts in 2013 days

#13 posted 774 days ago

Great work and I agree, it would be interesting now all the different woodworkers that have worked that bench.

-- Matt, Arizona

View rusticderek's profile


11 posts in 187 days

#14 posted 187 days ago

nice rustic bench i like the furniture style you created

-- derek, texas

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase