This is the first post in English on this blog. After our last post with pictures of the wooden bench hook from the Swedish warship Vasa that sank in the year 1628, we got a lot of English speaking readers and followers. Earlier this week Tomas and I attended at the Vasa museum to study some details of the carpenters/joiners workbench from the ship as we have started to make some copies of the bench to use in our own work. We where allowed to see some of the tools and other interesting objects that where found in the ship. Among the tools where this, now famous, wooden bench hook.
In my own workshop in northern Norway i have made a workbench that is not unlike the Vasa workbench, but it is made of pine and after a model from early 1800 from a farm (Eggagården) in Røros in Norway. The original bench where probably mounted to the wall but I have modified mine to stand free on the floor. I use the bench along with my tools that are copies from old tools from my area and from about 1800-1860.
All the other posts on the blog is in Norwegian (Roald) and Swedish (Tomas). We will continue to write in our own languages, but might write some posts in English as we would like more contact with woodworkers that works with similar things as we do in other parts of the world. Feel free to comment our posts in English and we would try to answer your questions.
This blog is about workbenches for what is called «snikkar» in Norwegian. The word is commonly used to describe a woodworker and could be the same as joiner, cabinetmaker or carpenter in English. As you would understand, there is a lot of different kinds of workbenches that have been used for different purposes. We are focusing on benches for work similar as a joiner. There is another similar blog about workbenches for jointing long boards, a bench called «skottbenk» in Norwegian. (http://skottbenk.wordpress.com) We search both private collections and museums in Norway and Sweden for old workbenches. The modern «Scandinavian» workbench, «høvelbenk«, have become so common that most people do not know other workbenches that that. We will make copies of old benches to try to rediscover some of the old woodworking knowledge.