Category Archives: Ingenious Mechanicks

Add a Shaving Horse

This is an excerpt from “Ingenious Mechanicks” by Christopher Schwarz. Many visitors to my shop are intrigued by the low Roman-style workbenches (especially the children, who play Whac-A-Mole with the pegs). The most frequent questions I hear are: Were the Romans Lilliputians? And is this low … Continue reading

Posted in Ingenious Mechanicks

About the ‘Love Potion’ in ‘Ingenious Mechanicks’

In our research for “Ingenious Mechanicks,” we translated parts of a codex from 1505 that was written and illustrated by Martin Löffelholz. In it, Löffelholz showed what are likely the first modern workbenches with a tail vise and face vise. … Continue reading

Posted in Ingenious Mechanicks, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Download Excerpts from 4 New Titles

Many of you have been asking about some of our newer titles, with specific questions about content and wondering if these books are right for you. So we have assembled pdf excerpts for each of these books, which you are … Continue reading

Posted in Cut & Dried, Ingenious Mechanicks, Sloyd in Wood, Uncategorized, Welsh Stick Chairs by John Brown | 4 Comments

No Trespassing

This is an excerpt from “Ingenious Mechanicks” by Christopher Schwarz. Sometimes I wonder why I research old workbenches, build them and write about them. I know my critics and friends wonder the same thing. The truth is, I have a gland – well, it feels … Continue reading

Posted in Ingenious Mechanicks | 11 Comments

The Planing Stop

This is an excerpt from “Ingenious Mechanicks” by Christopher Schwarz.  The first time I saw the bench in Peter Nicholson’s “Mechanic’s Companion” (1831), I thought: That’s not right – the benchtop has only a planing stop. There are no holes for holdfasts, dogs or other … Continue reading

Posted in Ingenious Mechanicks, Roman Workbenches | 3 Comments

Woodworking from the ‘Bone Age’

One of the curious frustrations in researching “Ingenious Mechanicks” was reading the reports from archaeologists who speculated on how woodworking tools were used or objects were made. It became obvious that some of these guys didn’t know the difference between … Continue reading

Posted in Ingenious Mechanicks, Uncategorized | 23 Comments

Chester Cornett & His Roman Workbench

I’ve seen a blurry photograph of a detail of Chester Cornett’s chairmaking workbench and read Michael Owen Jones’s description of the bench in “The Craftsman of the Cumberlands.” At the time I thought: That sounds like a Roman-style workbench. And … Continue reading

Posted in Ingenious Mechanicks, Uncategorized | 11 Comments