Adding our January 2011 Workbench of the Month from Jim C. of Excelsior, Minnesota to our Lake Erie Toolworks Blog for ease of access and historical awareness.
Hey Nick, I attached a few photos showing your awesome screw installed in the finished Nicholson workbench. Feel free to use these photos on your site if you want to. The vise cheek is 25″ x 12″ x 2″, with over a foot between screw and guide bar. The movement is extremely smooth with absolutely no racking. The action is beautiful and I’m very pleased with it.
The bench is a reproduction of Peter Nicholson’s joiner’s bench, as described briefly in “The Mechanic’s Companion”. The length is 9 feet, which is long enough to plane moldings for large case pieces. The benchtop is 29″ from the floor. I used 2×12 and 2×6 construction lumber and built it entirely with hand tools in two weekends. The vise chop is a chunk of 8/4 poplar, as is the planing stop and vise guide bar. There is 12.25″ between the screw and guide, so I can get a
pretty good-sized drawer in there. I would guess the bench weighs around 275-300 lbs, but due to Nicholson’s clever design which uses the front and rear aprons as structural components, the bench is much stiffer than you would expect. I’m a big 300 lb guy, and I can’t rack the bench with all my might. It’s heavy enough not to move when I push it. There is no finish, except for paraffin wax on the screw threads and vise guide.
I think a metal screw would have looked totally silly on a bench like this, and I couldn’t get my mind around that. Maybe there’s no practical reason to work with antique tools in an entirely hand-tool shop, but some of the best things in life are impractical. There is a certain meditative aesthetic to the old ways, and the Lake Erie Toolworks wooden screw completes the picture brilliantly.
I’m really pleased with the screw kit I got from Lake Erie Toolworks and I’ve told quite a few people about it. Thanks for the great product!
Jim C. , Excelsior, Minnesota