Blog — Nicholson Bench RSS



Welcomed into Their World

 Editor’s Note: Robell wrote this post several weeks ago, soon after he came up to help with the Nicholson bench build. Because I’ve been out straight getting Issue Three ready, I haven’t had a moment to put this up on the blog until now. Mike and I loved having Robell in the shop with us and we look forward to the next time he can come up. The following are Robell’s reflections on his time working with us.   It is often intimidating meeting people you admire from afar. That was the case for me when I met Joshua and Mike. Having been a reader of M&T since the first issue, I reached out and asked if I could spend...

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The Gift of Doing Stuff You Love with Friends

I like to run. Specifically trails - the steeper, the better. Few things make me giddy like bombing down a rugged, mossy, meandering mountain path, or cresting the last rise before the summit and seeing the horizon burst into view. But as family and work obligations take precedent, almost all of my running takes place in the early morning hours. 5 a.m. is a lonely time, even in a place as predictably bustling as Acadia National Park in the summertime. I rarely see another soul. What this means practically, though, is that when I happen across someone else out on the trails, I feel an instant connection with that person and the experience that we're both engaging. I want to...

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Drawboring the Workbenches

  Yesterday morning Robell, Mike, and I met at the studio to pick up where we left off on the bench build. We had just begun fitting stretcher tenons into their mortises at the end of day one so we picked back up there in the morning. When we cut the tenons, we followed Mike’s mantra “When in pine, leave the line” as pine is so great at compressing when joinery is assembled. Because we intentionally left them a hair thick, they almost all needed some paring to slide home.   Then we began laying out the bridle joints for the rails joining the top of the legs. We cut out the stock to length and transferred the exact shoulder-to-shoulder...

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Nicholsons Off to a Good Start

  Yesterday was a blast. Mike and I met Robell yesterday morning at the shop and after visiting over coffee, we discussed the chicken scratch and doodles we called “plans” and pawed through the rough lumber we’d set aside for this project. The benches are designed around the material I had stacked and stickered in my yard so it took Mike and I a bit the other day to choose just the right pieces. Mike and Robell cut the legs to length while I ripped out and planed the stretcher stock. We then planed the best face and two sides of the 4x6 legs and choose the orientation and position of the legs that looked best while avoiding placing mortises...

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12’ Built-in Nicholson Workbenches

  Today and tomorrow we have a guest working with us. Robell from Atlanta, Georgia is spending some time up here in Maine and offered his help with some projects around here. Even though we’ve been working on the Tables video and a few conservation projects, the rest of this week we’re going take some time to build a few new benches. Yes, more benches. Two 12-foot benches, in fact. These are not destined for this 14’ x 17’ shop, though. They are being built for our new shop that will be raised this September. More on that later but for now just imagine 200-year-old hand-hewn chestnut. Yes. We’re excited.  Today, we are going to begin building two English joiners’...

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