This past weekend, while waiting for a store to open so I could get a quart – my favorite color of Olde Century paint – I ducked into a local antique shop to kill 15 minutes. In the front of the shop I almost walked by what appears to be some type of Nicholson workbench.
I suspect it was built by a country craftsman. Check out the wide sides and the holes plastered front end to end. I don’t see any pattern to the holes, so my guess is that they were drilled in as needed. Overall, the piece looks rickety at best. The leg vise is hefty, but appears to be unrefined.
I couldn’t see the top because of all the crap that was piled on top. But even if it were cleared, you still could not see what may have been the original top due to a three-board scabbed top that extended the entire length of the bench.
I didn’t see a price tag, so I assume the bench was for display only. But if you’re in the market for an old, rickety workbench, and you’re rummaging through antique stores or old barns, keep your eyes open.
If you need more information on workbenches so you can identify a specific design (and build a non-rickety one), you need to read “The Workbench Design Book” by Christopher Schwarz.