Nicholson Work Bench

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Project by DevinCox posted 06-13-2011 02:53 PM 7108 views 10 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was my first large project. I bought Christopher Schwarz’s book about benches and just had to have the English work bench. It took me a looooong time, about 6 months, to complete but the bench is a dream to work on and I’ve learned a ton building it. I have yet to put some Danish oil on it but will do so soon.

Thanks for looking,

14 comments so far

View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3175 days

#1 posted 06-13-2011 02:55 PM

Outstanding. I love the huge aprons.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 4269 days

#2 posted 06-13-2011 03:08 PM

Sweet looking bench! Looks like a nice work area too.
Thanks for showing it to us.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16186 posts in 3100 days

#3 posted 06-13-2011 03:12 PM

Oh, yeah! You Nailed This One! Very nice work, Sir. I’m thinking of doing one of these, too; hope it turns out half as good as what you’ve been able to accomplish! Enjoy!

And, nice handplanes you have there – looks like they’re floating on that pegboard!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3136 days

#4 posted 06-13-2011 03:17 PM

Fine job. on my next bench I am having a hard time deciding between Nicholson and Roubo.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View shipwright's profile


8358 posts in 3280 days

#5 posted 06-13-2011 04:38 PM

Nice job.
I like the angled legs.
Looks like that would add back some of the stability that being a lighter construction takes away.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4130 days

#6 posted 06-13-2011 04:40 PM

looks like one heck of a project to start with. nicely done. now everything else will be easier on you (with the proper bench to work on, and with the added experience)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Scott's profile


66 posts in 3811 days

#7 posted 06-13-2011 05:58 PM

Awesome Devin.

The earlier photos make it look sort of like a foosball table. Hehe. Much more practical though… ;-)

Nice work!

-- Scott

View christopheralan's profile


1126 posts in 4202 days

#8 posted 06-13-2011 08:07 PM

Love the design! It must have some weight to it! Awesome job!

-- christopheralan

View BYGeorgia's profile


37 posts in 3283 days

#9 posted 06-13-2011 08:11 PM

Very nice. We see a lot of Rubios on the site, and it is a great bench, but nice to see other styles. Job well done.

View DevinCox's profile


10 posts in 3175 days

#10 posted 06-13-2011 10:19 PM

@Bertha, thank you. It’s the apons that sold me. It’s perfect for edging long boards. In one of the photos I show where I edged one of the top boards by clamping the board to the side of the bench. It was solid even then and crazy solid now.

@ratchet, thank you. I just started that pegboard area yesterday. It’s nice to have it all right there in reach.

@smitty, thank you. I am as green as they come, if I can turn out a bench I’ll bet anyone can. It probably won’t take you as long. (c:

@rgtools, thank you. I debated for a long time on which to build, there was a very nice roubo in Christopher’s book but the aprons and the simplicity of the top drove me to choose the english design, oh and that killer leg vise.

@shipwright, thank you. The 20 degree slant helps with racking and with the leg vise so I can clamp a wider board vertically before the screw interferes. I was real concerned about the lack of weight but it doesnt move at all. the shelf on the bottom adds some to the weight, it’s a row of six, 16.250” long X 11.50” wide X 1.75” thick panels.

@purplev, thank you. In retrospect, it was a bit much. I think I would have benefitted from some smaller projects first. But I have gained some invaluable training on how to fix mistakes.

@scott, thank you. I was almost ready at that point to make it a foosball table. I had to build one set of legs 3 times. It almost ended up in the fireplace. (c:

@christopheralan, thank you. for a bench with only a 1.25” thick top, it’s surprisingly heavy. the bottom shelf adds a lot. I wish I had a big scale.

@BYGeorgia, I noticed there are some super nice work benches on this site. very inspiring to see the different types and execution of each type.

View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3175 days

#11 posted 06-13-2011 10:21 PM

Like above, I’m torn between this and the Roubo. Time will tell:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Hoosierdaddy's profile


81 posts in 3123 days

#12 posted 06-14-2011 02:21 PM

Great job! I too have Mr. Schwarz’s books, on loan from the library and I’m thinking I’ll end up going to and buying them because they are both so CHOCK FULL of great information, and not only about benches but other tidbits he throws in that seemingly has nothing to do with bench building. One thing is for sure, he’s quite opinionated about what he does, but he’s walked the walk, so he can talk the talk.

It’s really nice to see an English Bench here, so many benches are Roubo’s it seems. Each has it’s pluses and minues. If any readers wish to have an eye-opening experience get Mr. Schwarz’s latest book, he covers a multitude of benches, not just the English and French variations featured in his book from a few years back.

I’m still on the fence about which variation to build for my shop, you’ve given me valuable food for thought Devin. I only wish I had a shop big enough to accomodate one of each then this rambling would be moot.
Many thanks for the great work you’ve shared with us!

-- I don't know what this is going to be like, but there's only one way to find out..........

View DevinCox's profile


10 posts in 3175 days

#13 posted 06-14-2011 03:22 PM

@hoosierdaddy thank you, I didnt know he had a new book out, definately have to check it out. I have a feeling work benches are like potatoe chips… can’t have just one. It will definately be awhile for me though.

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3136 days

#14 posted 06-15-2011 04:07 AM

In that case buy is even more recent book, The Anarchist’s Tool Chest.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

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