Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: English Workbench Discovery ...Parents Garage

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    437

    English Workbench Discovery ...Parents Garage

    My folks two years ago moved into a new place (well, not new construction of course). The detached garage is certainly no older vintage than the 1950's or so if it is even that old... on my first visit I never went into the garage (They are in PA, I'm in TX, so visits are short and full of activity, plus with my Father's poor health and very limited mobility we spend most of the time in the house)... I digress, but at any rate this time around while fixing a few things around the house for them I went into the garage to look for some drill bits... very very much to my surprise I discovered, mostly buried underneath junk and paint cans, an English style workbench!

    Now I would never have known what this was were it not for Christopher Schwartz's book on workbenches design & theory (I believe was the title). I was rushed for time and just needed to drill a few holes in a board, but right off I ran into problems as the only clamps about were "quick grip" clamps I bought for them on a prior visit. The front apron was too wide to use. Anyway, the point of the story was really just how amazed I was to discover what I believed to be extinct style of workbench in the wild.

    Anyway, here are the photos I snapped. I'll take better pictures after cleaning it off next visit if anyone is interested. Enjoy.

    2015-09-22 13.44.03 by Erich Weidner, on Flickr

    2015-09-22 13.43.55 by Erich Weidner, on Flickr

    2015-09-22 13.44.21 by Erich Weidner, on Flickr
    Last edited by Erich Weidner; 01-30-2016 at 2:05 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    Ohh, a leg vise!

    Several woodworkers are teaching and making English workbenches, including The Schwarz. From what I've seen I'd prefer that style to the more trendy Roubo, if I ever get around to making myself a proper workbench.

    Too bad I don't have a yahoo or Flickr login so I could admire bigger pictures.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    681
    What a cool find. That parallel guide is interesting; how does the sawtooth pattern work?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    437
    What a cool find. That parallel guide is interesting; how does the sawtooth pattern work
    Unfortunately I have no idea. I discovered this Sunday late afternoon, I was flying out the next morning and still had to finish up a few repairs and make dinner. Next visit I'll make some inquiries and see if I can figure out the story behind the bench and try out the leg vice.

  5. #5
    That's really cool. I look forward to the rest of the story.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Houston TX
    Posts
    523
    How long is it and are there more than four legs?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Lubbock, Tx
    Posts
    1,074
    Very cool. Look forward to the root from your next visit.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    N Illinois
    Posts
    4,577
    Wow....keep us updated...Thanks
    Jerry

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Sebastopol, California
    Posts
    2,319
    I realized, when visiting my parents' neighbor across the street some years back, that he had a leg vise on the bench in his post-WWII house. I hadn't realized that they were still on offer that late, or even much known in the 1950s.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    437

    4 Years Later. Decluttered the Bench

    Well, the last time I was home was in 2016 for my Father's memorial service. Since then it has been easier to fly Mom to visit me (as she is retired and I don't have to take vacation), so this week is the first I've been to my hometown since I started this thread.

    After much wrangling, I was able to relocate or dispose of the junk all over the bench... Here it is.

    Not terribly impressive construction and someone nailed down particleboard to the top. But the leg vice still works and grips like crazy. I guess it shows you don't need amazing joinery to have a functional bench.
    Now, I find myself wondering if any woodworking was done on it, because aside from a single dog hole on the front skirt... nothing for work holding besides the leg vice.
    2020-09-26 17.22.15.jpg 2020-09-26 17.22.52.jpg 2020-09-26 17.23.40.jpg 2020-09-26 17.35.10.jpg I just used a piece of bent metal as the "pin". Worked great.

    I was going to pry up the particleboard sheets, but since I'm sure it is more functional for its current use (stacking stuff on) without the gaps between the boards of the bench top. I reluctantly left it be.
    Last edited by Erich Weidner; 09-27-2020 at 6:13 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    On the edge of Pisgah National Forest
    Posts
    223
    Quote Originally Posted by Lenore Epstein View Post
    Ohh, a leg vise!

    Several woodworkers are teaching and making English workbenches, including The Schwarz. From what I've seen I'd prefer that style to the more trendy Roubo, if I ever get around to making myself a proper workbench.

    Too bad I don't have a yahoo or Flickr login so I could admire bigger pictures.
    Use the Schwarz?

    Nostalgia isn't what it used to be

  12. #12
    Erich, thank you for sharing this with us. I love to find something like this and indulge in trying to imagine its provenance and history.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    22,272
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Droege View Post
    Erich, thank you for sharing this with us. I love to find something like this and indulge in trying to imagine its provenance and history.
    My guess is this was a homeowner made bench built for everything that might come along in the realm of home maintenance.

    It works for woodworking or working on a lawnmower.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,407
    Is the bench built in or free standing? The wear showing implies that it was used for woodworking then rededicated to general use. I'll guess that it was an old man's bench first then a young man's.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Northeast WI
    Posts
    242
    Erich,

    This link may interest you. This guy refers to this style as an english joiners bench, and touches a little bit on the history.

    https://youtu.be/zcq1LQq08lk

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •