INGENIOUS MECHCANIKS – Early Workbenches and Workholding
A Lost Art Press publication. All about early workbenches and work holding devices.
By Christopher Schwarz
Workbenches with screw-driven vises are a fairly modern invention. For more than 2,000 years, woodworkers built complex and beautiful pieces of furniture using simpler benches that relied on pegs, wedges and the human body to grip the work.
While it’s easy to dismiss these ancient benches as obsolete, they are – at most – misunderstood.
For the last three years, Christopher Schwarz has been building these ancient workbenches and putting them to work in his shop. With them he built all manner of furniture. Despite any surviving ancient instruction manuals for these benches, Schwarz relied on hundreds of historical paintings for clues as to how these benches worked. Then he replicated the devices and techniques shown in the paintings to see how (or if) they worked.
This book is about this journey into the past and takes the reader from Pompeii, which features the oldest image of a Western bench, to a Roman fort in Germany to inspect the oldest surviving workbench and finally to his shop in Kentucky, where he recreated three historical workbenches and dozens of early jigs.
Size: 8-1/2” x 11” Hardback
160 pages and printed in full color on beautiful coated paper.
The binding is sewn to last for generations. The pages are surrounded by heavy hardbound boards that are covered in cotton cloth.
The whole book is wrapped in a heavy matte-coated dust jacket.
Like all Lost Art Press books, INGENIOUS MECHCANIKS – Early Workbenches and Workholding, is produced and printed entirely in the United States.