Farm Bench

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Project by nathanjackman posted 05-10-2012 02:34 PM 2867 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


6695 posts in 1929 days

#1 posted 05-10-2012 02:48 PM

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

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DocSavage45's profile


6695 posts in 1929 days

#2 posted 05-10-2012 02:49 PM

Nice character from what I can see.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View PurpLev's profile


8522 posts in 2735 days

#3 posted 05-10-2012 03:02 PM

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


2284 posts in 1571 days

#4 posted 05-10-2012 03:38 PM

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

-- Brian Timmons -

View Brandon's profile


4147 posts in 2037 days

#5 posted 05-10-2012 06:37 PM

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

4166 posts in 1942 days

#6 posted 05-10-2012 08:32 PM

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


7631 posts in 2389 days

#7 posted 05-11-2012 01:21 AM

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 1392 days

#8 posted 05-11-2012 04:29 AM

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


94 posts in 1926 days

#9 posted 05-11-2012 09:50 AM

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.

View nathanjackman's profile


23 posts in 1946 days

#10 posted 05-11-2012 01:36 PM

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 1392 days

#11 posted 05-11-2012 01:39 PM

Great job preserving the past for the future!

-- Jeff W., Boston, MA area,

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 3171 days

#12 posted 05-11-2012 01:45 PM

wonderful project! Good for you.


View Matt Vredenburg's profile

Matt Vredenburg

146 posts in 2500 days

#13 posted 06-11-2012 04:25 PM

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 675 days

#14 posted 01-19-2014 08:58 AM

nice rustic bench i like the furniture style you created

-- derek, texas

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