workbenches & lathe

sometimes the phone rings & it’s a good thing. Last week I answered and it was my friend Michael Burrey. He said “come look at this 18th-c cabinetmaker’s shop” – so off I went. Today I went back and got a few photos. I hope to get back some time and clear some room for proper shots…

It seems the room had a lot of use over the years, so some modifications took place. But essentially it’s benches on three walls, (I only photographed one bench & the lathe) – one is made into a treadle lathe. The iron wheel above is the second wheel, it seems. The ceiling framing shows signs of there having been a different sized wheel at one time. I think we determined that the lathe could handle a bout five feet between the (missing) headstock and the tailstock. 

treadle lathe

Here’s the tailstock taken out of the bed. 

tailstock

The room has a  simple arrangement; with the benches at least partially fixed to the frame of the building itself…in one case, the end of one bench is tenoned into the adjacent bench/lathe. When this bench top got too worn, they added a plank on top of it and started over. I’ll show that to Chris Schwarz! 

the knee bone connects to the leg bone

Windows over each bench. Hearth/stove on the other wall, with a door on each side of the hearth.

door to the next room

There’s another room that looks like storage, and a partial basement. A loft above. 


It’s not everyday that you get to see a place like this. There is a long story to be told about this building, but not yet. There’s much work to be done studying and then figuring out what happens next. For now, the building is safe and sound. If I get a chance to get in there with some lights, & de-clutter it, I’ll post more photos. There’s a whole chronology of nails, wrought, cut and modern; the framing members of the building itself, sash, etc -all to be factored in figuring its age & history. There’s a lot of compass-work on the walls, some things scratched here & there, door hardware. Some bench framing is replaced, but some seems older than just old. The bench that has a new old top has a mortise in its original top for a planing stop/bench hook.

Good stuff.

here’s some other shots from today. 

the lathe again

 

 

tool hanging pegs above lathe

These shelves were added over an original “gunstock” post. 

added shelves

 

13 thoughts on “workbenches & lathe

  1. THIS IS AWESOME! CANT WAIT TO SEE WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN HERE. I LIVE IN WEYMOUTH, JUST UP THE STREET, AND IM WILLING TO HELP OUT ANYWAY THAT I CAN. MY WIFE AND I ARE REHABING OUR 18TH CENTURY HOME AND TO HELP WITH THIS SHOP IN DUXBURY WOULD BE A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR ME TO DELVE DEEPER INTO THE CRAFT, EVEN IF I JUST MOVE STUFF AROUND AND SWEEP UP.

  2. It’s really fortunate that this was discovered at a time when interest in historical methods of craftsmanship is high. Think of what would have happened had it been discovered during the height of urban renewal? I’m really pleasaed with t everybody’s reaction ot it and the plans to study it right and then to restore/preserve it. Looking forward to more posts.

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