Nickolson "English" planing bench

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Project by bandit571 posted 05-18-2012 09:18 PM 3006 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

What started out as a couple old barn beams of 4×6 Beech, slowly evolved their way into a nice little bench, with a “High Tech” leg vise thrown in. Top came from splitting one beam in two, adding some filler strips, and glueing the lot together. legs were left in the ‘rough’ state, at 4×6x31” Added the top by screwing aprons to the top, and the legs. Aprons came from an old waterbed frame, 2×10s. Tried some dovetails on the one end, but the other was just a glue&screw butt joint. That open area might become a toolwell, or just a wagon vise. leg vise is made up of a split (riven??) piece of another 4×6. Wound up with a 2×6. Added a pipe clamp I had in the shop, a couple screws to “fix’ the screw part of the pipe clamp to the 2×6 slab. Vise is shown holding a 2×10 scrap from the aprons. Total cost so far…...$0.00.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

9 comments so far

View waho6o9's profile


8067 posts in 2449 days

#1 posted 05-18-2012 09:52 PM

Awesome Bandit! That’s a rock solid bench for sure, I like it.

View dhazelton's profile


2652 posts in 2169 days

#2 posted 05-18-2012 11:56 PM

Nice. I know some people will look and think it should be walnut and maple and dovetailed and 8 coats of linseed oil and yadda yadda, but making do with what you have is what it’s about. One of my benches is a 1950s steel kitchen sink base with a 2×4 top skinned with plywood. It was cheap and works for what I need.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18561 posts in 2440 days

#3 posted 05-19-2012 12:02 AM

nice. Is the back side of the pipe clamp used for adjustment? Looks like mine. When you hit it with a hammer there is no crying.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View bandit571's profile (online now)


18906 posts in 2555 days

#4 posted 05-19-2012 12:32 AM

Yep. I adjust by moving the old slider part of the pipe clamp. Just get it close, then allow the threaded part to clamp things up. Still working things out with the “wagon” vise part. Need a 1/2” floor flange first…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View bhog's profile


2236 posts in 2562 days

#5 posted 05-19-2012 01:36 AM

Looks solid as hell man.Nice dovetails too.

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View canadianchips's profile


2600 posts in 2869 days

#6 posted 05-19-2012 01:38 AM

Thats my kind of build. Cost is right. GOOD JOB.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Mauricio's profile


7139 posts in 3024 days

#7 posted 05-21-2012 07:04 PM

Looks sturdy, should work well for hand planning.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View bandit571's profile (online now)


18906 posts in 2555 days

#8 posted 08-12-2012 04:38 PM

I took some particle board, and a couple hard wood cleats, and made a nice large bench hook…

Seen here under a 2×12, and a Jack plane. Lower cleat holds the end of the bench, upper cleat acts as a stop. Just plane toward the stop. Particle board is rough enough to hold items from slipping and sliding around. Maybe a shooting board will be the next addition to this bench?

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View whitewulf's profile


452 posts in 2809 days

#9 posted 11-03-2012 04:45 AM

Like the combo Rubo base Nickolson top.
Solid build. I’m still using Workmate!

-- "ButI'mMuchBetterNow"

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