Kelly Mehler

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...

Bench Class Day 3 – Going With the Flow

Signing up for a woodworking class, like the one I’m teaching this week at Kelly Mehler’s School in Berea, Ky., is a lot like going on a cruise. When you tackle a big project at home, it’s easy to stick with the things you know, and put off the next big step. The energy...

Bench Class Day 2 – Tricks Up Our Sleeves

Woodworking is a solitary pursuit, and one of the benefits of taking a class (or teaching one, for that matter) is the interaction and sharing of ideas that takes place. Good ideas and techniques bounce around and stick with you long after the class is over. Here are a couple cool tricks from today....

Building a Bunch of Benches, Day One

Days that begin with moving more than a half-ton of lumber don’t often end up being considered “Great!” but today was an exception. After some introductions and a quick tour of Kelly Mehler’s school, it was time for me and my nine students to get to work. I did my best to postpone the...

Off to Build a Bunch of Benches

One of the common questions I was asked at last weekend’s Woodworking in America conference was “where’s your bench?” My schedule was full with SketchUp and Mortise-and-Tenon classes (teaching, not taking), and I had to answer “I don’t know.” I hadn’t seen my bench since we unloaded it from the freight elevator Thursday afternoon....