The Many Advantages of the Nicholson bench - Popular Woodworking Magazine

The Many Advantages of the Nicholson bench

 In Arts & Mysteries Blog, Woodworking Blogs

I hosted a sapfm chapter meeting in my tiny basement shop yesterday. My Nicholson bench provided comfortable theater seating for 5.

A walnut plank, supported by hold fasts, served as a comfortable and stylish foot rest. I pulled my workbench away from the wall and repositioned my CF powered worklights to illuminate and focus attention on the demonstration.

12 woodworkers participated in lively discussions and tried their hands at filing, planishing brass and steel, and filing and setting saw teeth. Despite the cramped conditions, a good time was had by all. I think whenever you have a chance to gather with fellow woodworkers, it’s gonna be fun.

Speaking of which, we had a special surprise visit from author, instructor and Philadelphia windsor chair maker Jim Rendi. Jim is fantastic and it was a honor to have him join us.

This meeting has given me the confidence to try this again. I was afraid the shop would be too small and uncomfortable for a group of this size. But my collapsible Nicholson bench and a few throw cushions made all the difference. This is just another example of the many advantages of a long bench with hold fast holes on it’s front!

– Adam

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  • Anthony

    Hi Adam,

    I’ve come across your blog before and have found it inspirational; in part, because you do your work by hand and as the above photos show, you have a small home workshop like I do and you can turn out work that makes me think I can do that.

    As for the Nicholson bench (I have Chris Schwarz’s book and also Landis’ book as well and and trying to design a bench that is mainly hand tool focused as well as "tailed" friendly.



  • Doug Fulkerson

    Boy! Sure wish I could have made it thirteen! What exactly is a "Nicholson Bench"? Is it a historic style or example? Does it have any vices or does it just use holdfasts? Aside from its length, what else do you like about it? What do you not like about it? Is that the same bench in the photo you posted earlier in the blog entry of you at the trade show? Sorry for the twenty questions.

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