I’ve always been a fan of workbench designs, any, and all of them. They offer great insight into other methods of work; methods for doing essentially the same tasks in different ways.
One of the more intriguing benches is the Nicholson design, originating in 17th century England. This bench is designed for use with traditional western hand tools, and holdfasts instead of a vise. Christopher Schwarz, of Popular Woodworking Magazine, modified a relatively recent version of the bench and made it an easily knocked down bench that can be moved and assembled by one person without assistance. The remarkable feature of the bench is that in addition to all the above, it is one stout puppy. In fact, it’s damned near immovable once assembled, rock solid, period.
Chris made his bench with locally available construction lumber, which for him is southern yellow pine. Out here in the Great Pacific Northwest, it’s Douglas fir. The bench fits perfectly in the south window of my shop’s front room, and will make a good demonstration station, …until it’s sold of course. 🙂
Ps. If something looks a little backwards to you, it’s because the bench is set up for a left handed woodworker (me). It can easily be set up either way.