Tuesday, December 9, 2014

More on viceless woodworking

I previously posted about my experience working without a vise for some time after I built my Nicholson workbench.  I learned a lot, really enjoyed it and think that working without a vise for a time makes you a better woodworker.  I'm a OK Guy has recently posted on the same subject.  As he mentions, Mike Siemsen has recently published a Youtube video entitled Workholding on a Nicholson bench without a vise.

This is a must watch video; I'm sure you won't regret watching it even if you have many vices or vises.  Beyond the primary focus, you will see an unassuming and highly proficient woodworker with a sense of humor.  Mike is also the author of a video on making the Nicholson bench you see here that is published by Lost Art Press.

I have great respect for Mike and I hope to meet him someday.  What you see in the workholding video is a more proficient and expanded version of what I learned on my own by spending a year without a vise on my new Nicholson bench.  It was really fun to discover all of the things you can do and the techniques are very worthwhile even if you have a vise.

I am an economist and I worry about the barriers to entry to hand tool woodworking, which are considerable.  Woodworking is reportedly in decline as a hobby.  A video for people new to woodworking about making a very low cost bench and acquiring a basic set of tools inexpensively is a real contribution.

I wish we could convince Mike to produce a weekly subscription video series like Paul Sellers does.  I know I would subscribe.  C'mon Mike, let's go.


  1. I'll second the weekly subscription.

  2. I have taken a few classes from Mike. Mike preaches, practices, and teaches keeping things simple. His school is great and you learn so much. Nice relaxed atmosphere and very welcoming.