We arrived in Valley Forge one day before the start of the Woodworking in America Hand Tools & Techniques conference. We did so to allow ourselves a visit the Lancaster area of Pennsylvania, the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch country, Amish country. This is a gorgeous region; the quaint shops, great food, and fantastic scenery make for a wonderful vacation experience.
A great place to visit is the Old Woodshed in Intercourse, PA, about a 10-minute drive East of Lancaster. It is now an antiques shop, including all the original equipment used in making carriages and furniture more than two centuries ago. Inside the shop one will run into the heavy iron used back in its heyday: a huge planer, an enormous band saw, a post lathe from the 1700s, and an amazing workbench that lacks lower stretchers. I sent photos of the workbench to Christopher Schwarz, Editor of Popular Woodworking and Woodworking magazines, an expert on workbenches. In his comments he stated that the lack of lower stretchers is a “…rare feature to see in the wild…”
Now the photos I took during our visit to the Old Woodshed.Click on the images to enlarge.
First, the planer:
And the huge band saw:
The post lathe bed:
The lathe drive system:
The workbench vise:
And the workbench body – notice the absence of lower stretchers:
An interesting piece shown to us by the shop owner was a price list for furniture pieces made in the shop – a few selected prices, from the photo:
Slat bed: $12.00
Blanket chest: $4.00
High sink: $43.00
Sandy found wonderful fabric for her embroidery projects, I enjoyed seeing some very old tools, and the scenery was truly amazing:
The farms in this region are beautiful:
If you have never been in this part of the country, I encourage to make your way there if you find yourself within 500 miles.