Nicholson (ish) workbench build

Well it’s lockdown here in Canada, and I was lucky enough to get a wood order in before things shut up shop completely.

I’m doubly lucky to have the corner of a basement as a wood shop for hand tools. First order of business: a workbench. This is a split top Nicholson style bench (which really is just a simpler version of an English Joiners bench, available in every woodworking handbook from about 1900 onward and used on job sites since at least Victorian times). It’s made of pine (denser and nicer to work with than spruce) and is seven feet long. I’ve stuck a small tool rack on the back on a French cleat, and depending on how I like it I may make a longer tool tray.

One minor cock up on the legs, but not too bad. As is the way with these things I learned an awful lot.

Also included is a pair of sawhorses used to build the bench, the first thing I made.

Next steps: drilling holes for work holding next week, and then adding a leg vice, and putting a sharp edge on the planing stop. Even with a very basic stop it’s been great to work with so far, and if the top isn’t super flat well at least it looks smart for now.


Plane stop now with a metal tooth. Works well, we’ll see how long it lasts until I cut myself on it or chip a plane iron.