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Re: Workbench

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  • Jeff Johnson
    In short: No. OK, there s some roman stuff, but that hardly counts if you re SCA (intercourse the new early-period inclusive language). There s Moxton, as
    Message 1 of 10 , Jul 14, 2009
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      In short: No.

      OK, there's some roman stuff, but that hardly counts if you're SCA (intercourse the new early-period inclusive language). There's Moxton, as mentioned, a couple of late 15th C./early 16th hausbuchen, the Bourdechion painting shown on the homepage of this site, a couple of other 15th C paintings, like St. Joseph, but there's nothing I've seen pre-15th Century that represents a joiner, turner or other woodworker's bench.

      Jeff J.

      --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, beorn@... wrote:
      >
      > I think this is a great question, do we have any sources for the
      > workbenches utilized in medieval times, something with document-able
      > sources. Tapestry paintings, anything before the 15th century? I have
      > wanted to set up a medieval woodworking demo at various shows for
      > years now, and I will accomplish it eventually, but a "correct"
      > workbench is something I have thought about for a while.
      > woodwrights shop and rough hewn boards are nice but how about
      > something with lineage...
      >
      > Beorn the Oldwolf
      > www.tribewodenthor.org
      >
      >
      >
      > Quoting Jeff Johnson <jljonsn@...>:
      >
      > > I'd expect a turner's shop not to have very fine piece of furniture.
      > > I'd expect something rough and heavy that'll take some abuse. I'd
      > > go simple - split a plank from the center of a log, plane it or
      > > adze it a bit to smooth it some and bore a hole to accept a simple
      > > splayed leg at each corner. Just socket them in and let gravity and
      > > the outward angle of the legs stabilize the table.
      > >
      > > Jeff J/Geoff Bourette
      > >
      > > --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "bayard_turner" <williams@> wrote:
      > >>
      > >> Greetings, all,
      > >>
      > >> I finally have my spring-pole lathe working as I want. I have the
      > >> legs assembled so that they can be knocked off for travel, but
      > >> provide solid support in use.
      > >>
      > >> Now I need to build a bench to set up behind me to hold my tools,
      > >> etc. I'd like this to look like it fits late period, but
      > >> disassemble for travel. Anyone have ideas to share? Smaller
      > >> period bench that I can modify for travel? Sources for
      > >> documentation if I try for A&S review?
      > >>
      > >> I await your wisdom!
      > >>
      > >> Bayard
      > >>
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
    • Alex Haugland
      There are definitely some limited sources out there, depending on what you want a work bench to do. For me, I ve been demoing with a bench built as an amalgam
      Message 2 of 10 , Jul 14, 2009
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        There are definitely some limited sources out there, depending on what you want a work bench to do.  For me, I've been demoing with a bench built as an amalgam of period designs with Moxon and Roubo (18th century) thrown in for good measure.  It was the best compromise I could find for a bench that met my woodworking needs and one which allowed me to demonstrate reasonably period techniques.  It's basic, can be knocked down completely and contains no metal whatsoever, with wooden vise screws, mortise and tenon joinery, a few dovetails, etc.  I can perhaps get some photos of it sometime, if I can find time in Pennsic prep.  It's largely machine made and still needs some finish work, but it has worked pretty well for demoing so far.

        If you go back through the discussions in the archive on holdfasts, you'll find links to a few pictures and things on the net, and as far as printed resources, either the book "The Workbench Book" or "The Workbench" (I can't remember which off the top of my head), contains an introductory chapter talking a very brief history of workbenches with some images, including one of a german 16th century workbench with a twin screw front vise and a carriage vise.  Peter Follansbee has some great images from the early 17th century in his blog (http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/) of workbenches and other really cool woodworking stuff.  There is a workbench recovered from a Swedish shipwreck, called the Vasa, from the early 17th century, as well as a few other good sources out there.  Poke around and you'll find things!

        --Alysaundre Weldon d'Ath
        Barony of Adiantum, An Tir

        beorn@... wrote:

        I think this is a great question, do we have any sources for the
        workbenches utilized in medieval times, something with document-able
        sources. Tapestry paintings, anything before the 15th century? I have
        wanted to set up a medieval woodworking demo at various shows for
        years now, and I will accomplish it eventually, but a "correct"
        workbench is something I have thought about for a while.
        woodwrights shop and rough hewn boards are nice but how about
        something with lineage...

        Beorn the Oldwolf
        www.tribewodenthor. org

        Quoting Jeff Johnson <jljonsn@gmail. com>:

        > I'd expect a turner's shop not to have very fine piece of furniture.
        > I'd expect something rough and heavy that'll take some abuse. I'd
        > go simple - split a plank from the center of a log, plane it or
        > adze it a bit to smooth it some and bore a hole to accept a simple
        > splayed leg at each corner. Just socket them in and let gravity and
        > the outward angle of the legs stabilize the table.
        >
        > Jeff J/Geoff Bourette
        >
        > --- In medievalsawdust@ yahoogroups. com, "bayard_turner" <williams@.. .> wrote:
        >>
        >> Greetings, all,
        >>
        >> I finally have my spring-pole lathe working as I want. I have the
        >> legs assembled so that they can be knocked off for travel, but
        >> provide solid support in use.
        >>
        >> Now I need to build a bench to set up behind me to hold my tools,
        >> etc. I'd like this to look like it fits late period, but
        >> disassemble for travel. Anyone have ideas to share? Smaller
        >> period bench that I can modify for travel? Sources for
        >> documentation if I try for A&S review?
        >>
        >> I await your wisdom!
        >>
        >> Bayard
        >>
        >
        >
        >


      • John LaTorre
        ... You might look in the Photos section for pictures of a breakdown workbench I built for woodworking demos at events. It was freely adapted from some
        Message 3 of 10 , Jul 15, 2009
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          Bayard wrote:
          >
          > Now I need to build a bench to set up behind me to hold my tools, etc. I'd like this to look like it fits late period, but disassemble for travel. Anyone have ideas to share? Smaller period bench that I can modify for travel? Sources for documentation if I try for A&S review?
          >

          You might look in the "Photos" section for pictures of a breakdown
          workbench I built for woodworking demos at events. It was freely adapted
          from some images found in "The Workbench Book" and combine elements of
          two of the illustrations. The legs come off, but when they're installed
          in the top, they're locked in place with a tensioning device as
          illustrated in the second album of files. (This tensioning device is not
          period, but my own creation. It's not seen from above, and allows the
          workbench to be set up and made reasonably stable in uneven terrain.)

          The links are:

          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/medievalsawdust/photos/album/628969802/pic/list

          and

          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/medievalsawdust/photos/album/1199335119/pic/list

          I've accommodated holdfasts in the design, along with bench dogs,
          because I like them even if they're not documentable. Otherwise, the
          bench looks good enough to pass for "period" and has proved quite up to
          the task of on-site woodworking, as hundreds of visitors to the Period
          Encampment/Demo Area at Estrella War have found.

          --Johann von Drachenfels
          West Kingdom
        • bayard_turner
          My thanks. This looks like an excellent place to start. I like the use of a winding stick for tension. It may not be documentable for this purpose, but has
          Message 4 of 10 , Jul 15, 2009
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            My thanks. This looks like an excellent place to start. I like the use of a winding stick for tension. It may not be documentable for this purpose, but has been used in woodworking (frame saws) for a long time.

            Bayard

            --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, John LaTorre <jlatorre@...> wrote:
            >
            > Bayard wrote:
            > >
            > > Now I need to build a bench to set up behind me to hold my tools, etc. I'd like this to look like it fits late period, but disassemble for travel. Anyone have ideas to share? Smaller period bench that I can modify for travel? Sources for documentation if I try for A&S review?
            > >
            >
            > You might look in the "Photos" section for pictures of a breakdown
            > workbench I built for woodworking demos at events. It was freely adapted
            > from some images found in "The Workbench Book" and combine elements of
            > two of the illustrations. The legs come off, but when they're installed
            > in the top, they're locked in place with a tensioning device as
            > illustrated in the second album of files. (This tensioning device is not
            > period, but my own creation. It's not seen from above, and allows the
            > workbench to be set up and made reasonably stable in uneven terrain.)
            >
            > The links are:
            >
            > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/medievalsawdust/photos/album/628969802/pic/list
            >
            > and
            >
            > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/medievalsawdust/photos/album/1199335119/pic/list
            >
            > I've accommodated holdfasts in the design, along with bench dogs,
            > because I like them even if they're not documentable. Otherwise, the
            > bench looks good enough to pass for "period" and has proved quite up to
            > the task of on-site woodworking, as hundreds of visitors to the Period
            > Encampment/Demo Area at Estrella War have found.
            >
            > --Johann von Drachenfels
            > West Kingdom
            >
          • conradh@efn.org
            ... It s _The Workbench Book_ by Scott Landis. ISBN 0-918804-76-0 Great book, you can t possibly read it without picking up cool new ideas about holding
            Message 5 of 10 , Jul 15, 2009
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              On Tue, July 14, 2009 6:55 pm, Alex Haugland wrote:


              >
              > If you go back through the discussions in the archive on holdfasts,
              > you'll find links to a few pictures and things on the net, and as far as
              > printed resources, either the book "The Workbench Book" or "The Workbench"
              > (I can't remember which off the top of my head),

              It's _The Workbench Book_ by Scott Landis. ISBN 0-918804-76-0 Great
              book, you can't possibly read it without picking up cool new ideas about
              holding your work. The period-relevant stuff isn't all in the
              introductory chapter, either--there's great stuff in Chapter 9 about
              making your own vises, including cutting the screw threads with basic hand
              tools. Chapter 12 is "Country Shaves and Brakes" and many of these
              workholders are also period-appropriate.


              contains an
              > introductory chapter talking a very brief history of workbenches with some
              > images, including one of a german 16th century workbench with a twin screw
              > front vise and a carriage vise.

              This one, from a 1505 drawing by an engineer named Loffelholz from
              Nuremberg, is your best bet if you want a documentable bench with close to
              modern levels of versatility. The tail (carriage) vise is enclosed in the
              bench top, and works against movable stops to accomidate different lengths
              of workpiece. The Landis book has instructions for homebuilding this sort
              of vise. (Note: Landis mentions that the homebuilt version he saw had to
              be turned in the opposite directions from a regular vise to open and
              close. This is because the maker used off-the-shelf iron hardware. If
              you want a truly period construction, just make a wooden thread by the
              methods shown elsewhere in the book, but make it left-handed. No more
              trouble than right-handed if you're handbuilding the threaded parts, and
              that way a clockwise turning of the vise handle will grip the work (as the
              carriage dog moves away from you down the bench)

              One other suggestion about the Loffelholz bench: this design represents
              the troubled infancy of the "modern" cabinetmaker's bench. The screws of
              the face vise don't run in and out when you turn a handle; they're fixed
              in the bench and the jaw tightens by means of big hand-operated wooden
              nuts on the outside of the jaw. Consider making some cuisses to protect
              your thighs, or trade some nice woodwork to your local armorer. Otherwise
              you'll get a lot of bruises and snags from the screws before you get used
              to the damn thing!

              Still, this bench has an extreme coolness factor, and I plan to build
              myself one someday. When I figure out where to put another bench, that
              is.

              Ulfhedinn
            • Electric Wolf
              It is completed!! :) I m rather proud of it despite its issues. I may go ahead and screw it completely in place and just use it as a permanent bench until I
              Message 6 of 10 , Feb 22, 2010
              It is completed!! :)
              I'm rather proud of it despite its issues. I may go ahead and screw
              it completely
              in place and just use it as a permanent bench until I get version two
              built with better
              wood and experience.

              --
              David "Wolf" Mc.
              Nullum beneficium inpune stat.
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