Woodshop Field Trip… John’s Excellent July 4th Weekend Revealed!

Drivel Starved Nation-

I should have known better than to try and seduce the DSN with misleading photos. What did I accomplish? A bunch of insulting comments about my advanced age and the cost of Depends…  At least nobody brought up my addiction to stool softeners… (Did I just write that?)

But I digress, I did indeed take a field trip to the George Nakashima property in Bucks County, PA. What a beautiful setting! The facility is open for visitors on Saturdays but the shops are closed. If you have never been there, it is an hour drive or so from either the Philadelphia or Newark airports.  I would love to go back in the fall, it just has to be incredibly beautiful. 

I have plenty of books with excellent images of Nakashima’s work, so I did not take many pics of the finished pieces. I just like the sights, sounds and smells of a woodshop.

In no particular order, and without my typical incessant comments, I share with you the scenes that moved me to take their picture… (I really liked the picture of the clamps in the preceding post – what a story they could tell)


chair on wall

chair seats




Drill Rack

Dust Collector

Finishing 700

gate counterweight

looking up


Porch Light

Saw Horse


Shop 1

showroom 2

Showroom 700




window display


Work in progress

Sign 700

16 comments on this post:

  1. Beautiful pictures, John! Thank you for sharing them. They evoke such peacefulness. It would be amazing to visit there in the fall, as the leaves were turning.

    That’s such a huge collection of shaped seats for the conoid chair. How many do you figure they make in a year?

    And did you happen to get a picture showing more of the case that had the small 3-legged stool in it? The case with the Japanese paper backing. I’d love to see what the larger piece looked like. It looks like he had a live-edge slab on the floor, forming the base of the case.


  2. They were gearing up for a big event that evening, so I was unable to speak with anyone, so I really don’t know more than what is in the pics. All the pics I took have been posted.


  3. “My observation is that a Nakashima stool would be quite hard and merits some softening.”

    Agree. However, I am not sure people buy these to sit on them. It is a piece of furniture history that takes up very little space – more sculptural than functional.

  4. Don’t know about the stool. Do know people in my extended family who own several pieces made when the old man was still alive (various chairs and a settee) and do, if fact, sit on them.

  5. John, John,

    The years are letting you down, re-read Daves post and your into- he wasn’t passing(pun intended) judgement on the Nakashima design.

    Lovely pictures and a great observation about not needing to take too many pictures. I came to that realization a bit too late as I was attempting to take as many photos as possible of the Studley tool chest finally figuring that I had ordered the book and they professionally took photos of everything- should have just taken in the wonder of the moments.


  6. I should have added that this stool was designed in an era when Americans were about half the size they are now. People were sitting in everything available in the showroom, so the functionality is not in doubt. If I sat on that stool (at my advanced age) it would take me 10 minutes to figure out how to get up. The reason I know this is when I get on the floor to play with my dogs I make sure there is someone else in the house to heed my calls of distress…

  7. I was given a box of Bridgecity Tools all in their boxes. These tools are like new and beautiful. I looked then all up and the web buy part number. All of them are no longer in stock but I did get the infomation and pictures and put them all in a PowerPoint file. The total original value was $1593.00. I was just wondering if anyone could tell me what the value of them would be now. These tools have been hardly used if at all.

  8. Thanks, Rutager, but as the Joker said to Harley Quinn, “If you have to explain the joke, there is no joke!” Or John was having a senior moment. Or wasn’t going to dignity the awesomeness that was that pun.

  9. Ron – congrats on your new acquisition. Others can chime in here but generally speaking, they are worth what someone else is willing to pay.

    – John

  10. Hi Ron,

    The only tools better than Bridge City tools, are free Bridge City tools, congratulations on your acquisition. In this day and age, eBay will probably be your best general guide to market values; search “Bridge City” to cast the widest net.

  11. Dave,

    The pun was awesome, but not going to fault John as he is super busy posting up some cool tools for auction and designing the CT-20, right John?


  12. I looked them up on ebay and the prices run from $250.00 down to $50.00. I have 12 different tools and I am goind to keep them in the boxes from my grandkids although there is a square I am going to use and a contour gage. Thank you for your suggestion. Regards Ron

  13. The Nakashima workshop will be on my list of stops when I travel East this fall. It looks like a great place to go if you want to pick your seat.

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