Kelly Mehler

French Workbench Class – Day 5

Installing vises in workbenches is always a finicky process – unless you go for a super-simple setup like the one I prefer: A quick-release vise for the end vise and a simple leg vise for the face vise. We have 10 benches being built in this class at Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking, and...

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French Workbench Class – Day 4

When I walked into the shop at Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking this morning at 8:24 a.m., the place was a wreck. The students were fitting their joints among piles of shavings and sawdust and joking with one another. The radio was on (they have a radio?) and playing a Bob Marley tune. This,...

French Workbench Class – Day 3

The problem with Wednesdays at Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking is that Kelly and Teri are a bit too nice to the students and instructors. That’s the evening when the Mehlers shut down the school a little early to feed the students a light dinner, some wine and beer and bring in a masseuse....

Building a French-style Workbench: Day 2

I usually keep a log that records all the time I work on a project in the shop. But few people believe me when I say that I spend about 40 hours building an ancient workbench. Their disbelief is understandable. I hear stories about people spending a year constructing a traditional European-style bench and...

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It’s Not Just for Bears Anymore

To transform a pile of 6″ x 6″ x 8′ yellow pine beams into 10 workbenches, the first step is a chainsaw. This morning I drove down to Berea, Ky., to help Kelly Mehler and his assistant, Ben, sort through 80 beams and crosscut them to length for the Roubo workbench class I’m teaching...

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Bench Building in Berea with Big Wood

The biggest challenge in building a workbench isn’t the design. It isn’t the joinery. And it isn’t even the physical labor. It’s finding the right wood. This May I’m teaching a class in building an 18th-century workbench at Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking, in Berea, Ky. The bench design uses massive timbers, similar to...

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What You Don’t Know About European Saws

Because of their unfamiliar features, unusual appearance and higher price tag, many Americans don’t even consider buying a European saw. Here’s why they should. By Kelly Mehler Pages: 49-55 From the August 2007 issue #163 Buy this issue now Perhaps when you think of table saws, the names that first come to mind are...