When you begin researching old woodworking tools, it’s the resemblances that are most striking– not the distinctions. Saws, blades and also airplanes– the core tools of the furnishings maker– are just slightly different in the East and West.

While some individuals magnify those differences– pressing a saw vs. pulling it is one instance– these are mostly synthetic. All societies both press as well as draw tools. As well as utilizing a Japanese saw takes no more than a few mins of training and the Western hand will certainly adapt. (Try it prior to you scoff.)


But then there is the concern of workbenches. Numerous benches in the East are low, lack vises as well as the worker uses his/her physical body to safeguard the work. That’s odd for Westerners, right?

Not. The initial workbenches in the West– Roman ones– are low, have no vises as well as feature the employee making use of the bench in unusual ways. These benches endured in some Western cultures up through the 20th century.



Have a look at these Estonian workbenches from the mid-20th century. As well as Estonia isn’t one only instance. If you take a close take a look at any Germanic society you will certainly locate these benches throughout the historic record. They are a basic slab with legs laid into it. And little a lot more.


Even in The u.s.a. Look into this workbench made by Jonathan Fisher, an 18th-century sage, preacher as well as woodworker in 18th-century New England.

So once more, we are more comparable than we suspect.

If you wish to see more of these connections with culture as well as time, look into my talk at Woodworking in America next weekend break: The Unwritten History of Workbenches.

— Christopher Schwarz

Popular Woodworking Journal” Chris Schwarz Blog site

Read more