I have been asked to help build/create a 19th century (1840 to 1890's
era) traditional woodshop. I have failed teribly at finding online
samples, diagrams, descriptions or layouts of original general purpose
traditional woodworkshops online. I am also interested in the tools,
benches, and 'machines' that may have been used in that timeframe.
There are, however, certain limitations. I am a blacksmith by hobby,
and the tools and 'machines' have to either be made on the blacksmith
shop, or bought in some fashion that would demonstrate the age and
'originality' of that item's use in the desired time frame.
Does anyone know where I might get more information on how the shops of
old were laid out and equipt?
If you're in driving distance of Hancock, MA (western Mass, not Boston area)
or feel like taking a trip Hancock Shaker Village might be a good bet. If
you call them and explain what you're working on they may be able to
suggest some reference material.
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
Colonial Williamsburg comes to mind. They are definitely 18th century, but
the folks in the woodworking shop could probably give you an idea of the
advances in the next 70-90 years. Any chance you are in the mid atlantic?
Likewise for the Museum of American Frontier Culture in Staunton, Virginia,
an affiliate of Colonial Williamsburg and the Jamestown - Yorktown
Foundation. The Museum focuses exactly on the period you noted.
Check out Roy Underhill and his books.
There were lots of machines then, but many people using old methods too, so
you have to carefully define the type of shop...amateur, small town, small
production, professional cabinet, furniture, etc. The time window covers a
lot of innovation, so there would likely have been a mix of technological
levels too. You have a lot of reading to do, and planes to buy!
The old tool organizations would be a great source, as well as the antique
machinery people (antiquemachinery.woodworking or some such.
A Google produced 2,770 entries. enter the following *woodworking shop
I would like to thank everyone for their suggestions. Living in
California (San Francisco Bay Area) There really are not that many
historic parks to visit to get these details.
I have been looking into building that 'first woodworkers workbench'. I
have access to a 'table top' piece of eucalyptus that is 4" thick, 3'
wide, and 8' long. Will eucalyptus make a good top for the workbench?
I know it makes a great 'stump' for my blacksmithing anvil.
Thanks again for all the great details.
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