Traditional Woodworking Tours #10: Middleton Plantation Workshop Tour

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Blog entry by WoodAndShop posted 08-14-2014 01:51 PM 5631 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Elia Bizzarri's Windsor Chair Workshop Tour Part 10 of Traditional Woodworking Tours series no next part

In my above video I share my recent tour of the traditional carpenter & cooper workshop in at Middleton Place, a former plantation near Charleston, South Carolina. Sorry, the video is a little shaky. But fortunately my photos below are not!

Ahhh, what could be better than a traditional workshop in a heavenly location like this? (pssst…ignore the aligators)

Nobody was manning their workshop station while I poked my head into this workshop, so I just gave myself a tour. I really don’t know any history about this workshop. I only know that I felt great being inside it!

A few wooden plow planes, jack planes, and jointer planes.

The workshop seems to be entirely lit by candles, which gave it an amazing feeling.

I love photographing different styles of shaving horses, and admiring the craftsmanship. Unfortunately the modern-day craftsman that built this reproduction shaving horse missed some critical details: He/she put all the pegs & wedges in line with the bench’s grain. When the wedge expands outward it causes the board to split…below is a perfect example of what I saw on nearly all the wooden benches at Middleton Place! A sure sign that all the benches were made by the same person.

Yes, my family and I got to milk this lovely cow…mmm…warm milk.

Sorry, but I just have to share some photos of my little family in a lovely place.


-- Joshua Farnsworth - Free Traditional Hand Tool Woodworking Tutorials:

3 comments so far

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3813 posts in 2788 days

#1 posted 08-14-2014 03:17 PM

I’m enjoying the visits to these historic shops, Josh. Thanks for taking us along.

I imagine that the shop at Middleton was buzzing with activity with all the different workstations. Looks like four or five craftsmen could work comfortably without getting in each others’ way.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View doorslammer's profile


108 posts in 4106 days

#2 posted 08-14-2014 06:45 PM

Me and my family were just at Middleton Place back in early July. I think you are correct in that the shop is not necessarily “preserved”, but more of a demonstration area of what would have been typical for the time. Plus, a lot of cool looking old tools. I was able to talk to the gentleman there who was trained as a cooper here in Tennessee and made small decorative barrels for sale in the gift shop. You certainly missed out on an interview because he loved to talk :). Probably the most interesting thing for me was that giant hand cranked flywheel lathe. I’d never seen that type of 2 man lathe operation before. Definitely a nice place with something for the whole family.

-- Aaron in TN -

View WoodAndShop's profile


149 posts in 2046 days

#3 posted 08-15-2014 02:18 AM

Don & Aaron, I’m glad you enjoyed the workshop tour!

-- Joshua Farnsworth - Free Traditional Hand Tool Woodworking Tutorials:

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