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  1. #1
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    Nicholson - English Workbench Build

    Hi all!

    Although I'm about one third into my workbench build, I thought I would take a few pictures and post em' here.

    After working for a few years on one of the oak slabs from Scott Smiths Roubo slab event, I've been itching for a longer, little wider bench - so I decided to build the slightly less popular english/nicholson bench.

    I started with about 175 BF of SYP, most from Jack (saw4you) and a little from the Hardwood Store in Gibsonville. Most of the stuff from Jack will be legs and aprons, and the wood from the Hardwood Store will make up the top (since it's a little straighter grained and harder).

    I started with the legs - mortise and tenon, each stretcher double-drawbored.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Then onto clamping up and flattening the aprons:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    One face flat with No. 5 and No. 7 (on the shelf below):

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And with both inside apron faces flat...a test fit!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    From the end:

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    I have a little trimming to do on the half lap faces on the legs, but otherwise, it's not a bad fit. However, after flattening each inside apron face by hand....and staring down the barrel of making the other sides parallel...well, the wife gave in and we rode to Lowes to pick up my new Dewalt 735 (on clearance!). The planer makes the second power tool, after my bandsaw. Hopefully I'll have more progress to share after the Thanksgiving weekend.

    Philip

  2. #2
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    Re: Nicholson - English Workbench Build

    Off to a great start!
    Gonzalo

    Just because you can, doesn't mean you should

  3. #3
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    Re: Nicholson - English Workbench Build

    That is gonna be great!...I just love big heavy stuff...as long as someone else does the lifting. I REALLY like the simple yet solid construction....looking forward to seeing more of the build.

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    Re: Nicholson - English Workbench Build

    That is going to be one very solid, heavy bench. When completed, what are the dimensions for the top? Length, width, thickness? I just looked at images for Nicholson benches. Lots of options.
    I'll gladly tell you how I do something. Just please don't confuse that with the right way to do it, and almost certainly not the only way.


  5. #5
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    Re: Nicholson - English Workbench Build

    Thanks!,

    The top will be 24"x8'X1 3/4" - resting on the aprons, and 6 or 7 4" bearers that will sit on "shelfs" glued to the inside faces of the aprons - much like Andy Margeson's bench.

    Philip

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  7. #6
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    Re: Nicholson - English Workbench Build

    Nice looking bench. The wisdom of SYP would make Paul Sellers proud.

  8. #7
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    Re: Nicholson - English Workbench Build

    About 2 months later I have a few updates on the bench build. It's been a while, but holidays, cleaning out the garage, and work have taken up too much time.

    Since the test fit I was able to surface the two aprons and then glue, screw, and miller dowel them in place. I glued about the bottom two inches, and "wallered" out the pilot holes for the screws to (hopefully) accommodate seasonal movement. I then glued in "shelves" on the interior bottom halves of the aprons to create a ledger for the bearers to rest on. I Added the bearers by gluing them to the ledger and miller doweling them through the aprons. The result looks like this (back of bench)



    I took a long time to decide how to attach the end-cap that will support and absorb the wagon vise screw. I thought about using angle brackets like the Schwarz, but I wanted a cleaner install. I also thought about using the miller dowels again, but wasn't sure if they could take the forces. I opted to use the Lee Valley bench bolts (I used them on a bed a few years ago). I'm really happy with the way it turned out.







    I still have one more bearer to install between the end-cap and legs, but this one will need to accommodate the wagon vise, so I have a little more mock-up to do before installing. Although the end-cap looks bowed in the picture above, it's just a little fish-eye effect.

    The top is going to be split, and since the wagon vise will be on the front half, I went ahead and glued up the rear "slab." The next two pics have the glued up rear slab, and the front two boards are just sitting together.





    Next will be making the cut-out for the wagon vise, building that, and gluing up the front slab: then onto the leg vise and the shelf below!

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  10. #8
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    Re: Nicholson - English Workbench Build

    Great job.

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    Re: Nicholson - English Workbench Build

    Thanks for posting as you go. I love looking at bench builds!

    Very nice work.

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    Re: Nicholson - English Workbench Build

    Very sturdy looking. Keep this pics coming.
    "By all means read what the experts have to say. Just donít let it get in the way of your woodworking." - John Brown

  13. #11
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    Re: Nicholson - English Workbench Build - Just About Finished

    Today I just about finished my workbench (except for the shelf below). Over the past few weeks I glued and screwed the top to the base. Flipping the bench on it's side to plane the front edge of the top flush was a feat (heavy). I finished up the wagon vise and put the face vise together. Oh, I also picked up some nice hold-fasts from Amos Tucker, featured in the pictures. The face vise is made of a nice leftover of 8/4 cherry from a bed project a couple years ago.



    Today I was able to drill the dog holes and make the "gap fillers" that act as planing stops when flipped upside down (I got the idea from Bob Rozaieski's build).







    I flattened the top and then used adhesive backed cork on the apron and the leg vise face to improve the grip. I think this was a little easier than sourcing leather and gluing it up...grips great.



    Enjoy the pictures!

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  15. #12
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    Re: Nicholson - English Workbench Build - Just About Finished

    Looks fantastic!
    Turning beautiful wood into scraps...one board at a time.

  16. #13
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    Re: Nicholson - English Workbench Build - Just About Finished

    Great job. The bench looks great.

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    Re: Nicholson - English Workbench Build - Just About Finished

    Great project! Your craftsmanship really shows and that bench is very stout. Let us know how you like working with it.

    Scott

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    Re: Nicholson - English Workbench Build - Just About Finished

    Beautiful bench Phillip, and it looks incredibly sturdy. I hope it is now sitting in it's final resting place, and you won't have to move it any time soon.
    I'll gladly tell you how I do something. Just please don't confuse that with the right way to do it, and almost certainly not the only way.


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