Category Archives: Ingenious Mechanicks

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

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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

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The Nuts of “Ingenious Mechanicks”

While researching “Ingenious Mechanicks” Chris Schwarz and I found many workbenches with face vises and some of them actually had vise nuts. In the montage above there are selections from paintings from Spain, Italy and what is now present-day Ecuador. … Continue reading

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Last Chance for Free PDF with ‘Ingenious Mechanicks’

“Ingenious Mechanicks: Early Workbenches & Workholding” will ship from the printer’s docks on April 4, and that will be the last day you can get a free PDF of the book with your order. The book is $39, which includes … Continue reading

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Ingenious Mechanicks: Ah-ha!

This time last year Chris Schwarz and Narayan Nayar were in Naples, Italy. In between consuming vast quantities of pizza they made a visit to Pompeii to study and photograph a fresco depicting a Roman workbench (Daedalus and Queen Pasiphae … Continue reading

Posted in Historical Images, Ingenious Mechanicks, Roman Workbenches | 11 Comments

Ingenious Mechanicks: Finding Saint Joseph

Although Saint Joseph was a carpenter it can be a challenge to find him working as such in many paintings of the Holy Family. Prior to his rejuvenation during the Counter-Reformation he was often an ancillary figure, off to the … Continue reading

Posted in Historical Images, Ingenious Mechanicks | 14 Comments

Ingenious Mechanicks: Proving It

While sifting through bushels of old images for the research for “Ingenious Mechanicks,” Chris and I would often come across some odd something or other that made us scratch our heads. To give you a look behind the scenes, I’ll … Continue reading

Posted in Historical Images, Ingenious Mechanicks | 25 Comments