The workbench from the Swedish warship Vasa are from a time where we dont have much information about other workbenches in Sweden and Norway. Few, if any, other workbenches are preserved from that time. The «Vasa workbench» are different than the more recent workbenches from Scandinavia. How does it «relate» to workbenches from other countries? There are many similarities between the workbench from Vasa and the well known French Roubo workbench. There was a lot of Dutch craftsmen working on the building of Vasa and some of the tools found in the wreck seems to be of Dutch orgin.
Gerrit van der Sterre have been researching woodworking planes in the Netherlands and published the book «Four centuries of Dutch planes and planemakers» in 2001. His father was a master carpenter and Gerrit also wrote about the workshop, toolchests and workbenches. «We do not know much about the dimensions of benches in earlier times, but their height must have been just as important then as it is now. » (Sterre, 2001)
Gerrits father used wrought iron bench stops that where forged with squared shanks so that they fitted into suitably placed mortises in the bench top. At the top end they where flattened and folded over almost at right angles and their leading edges were serrated so that they bit into the end grain of the work that was being planed.
The workbench above have a leg vice and a shelf for tools. Most of the other details are similar to details on the Vasa workbench. The workbench from Eggagården does have a leg vice but not the sliding deadman. The dimensions described on the first drawing in this post are also similar as the Vasa workbench and the bench from Helberg in Bardu. The drawing below are showing other 20th-century Dutch workbenches. The shaped wooden hook are known as «stoothaak» in Dutch. The benches seems to be made from two beams put on top of trestles. Its functions should be similar as on the bench from Helberg.
As a Norwegian it is very interesting to read about Dutch workbenches. There are many similarities to the older, and less known, Norwegian and Swedish benches. Theese benches are some places are still used by boatbuilders, but are not common among carpenters and joiners today. Theese workbenches are called «schaafbank» in Dutch and that is similar to the Norwegian «høvelbenk«, Danish «høvlebænk» and Swedish «hyvelbänk«. All translates to «planing bench». There might be other books about Dutch workbenches that could be interesting to read? Our Dutch readers might fill in about this matter?
Gerrit van der Sterre, 2001, «Four centuries of Dutch planes and planemakers», 2001