Collectively, members of the Popular Woodworking Magazine staff past and present have spent a lot of time at Old Salem and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) – I’d say it adds up to at least two months. And of course, if you were at Woodworking in America 2014, you likely spent time there, too.
One of the perqs of being on the staff of a woodworking magazine (or obtaining access through special group tours or well-placed calls) is getting to see behind-the-scenes stuff – such as the collection of Moravian benches that are tucked away in a non-public space at Old Salem.
Christopher Schwarz has written about and shown pictures of them a couple times on his PW blog (“Original Moravian Workbenches at Old Salem” and “More Moravian Workbenches“), and on his Lost Art Press blog, he’s written about “Will Myers’ Moravian Workbench,” which is a near copy of an 18th-century bench on Old Salem, but with the additional of a simple and useful tail vise.
And now, we have a new video (available on DVD or as a download) from Will Myers, “Building the Portable Moravian Workbench.” On it, Will shows you from start to finish how to build his sturdy, portable bench using hand-tool techniques, and it’s comprehensive enough for even the newest woodworker. The shoot was on location in The Woodwright’s School in Pittsboro, N.C., where Will is an instructor, and was shot by Josh Farnsworth.
p.s. Should you wish to dip into a smaller Moravian project, I’ve posted Christopher Schwarz’s “Moravian Stool” article from the December 2012 issue, free.