We Had to Sleep in a Lake

I’ve been teaching in Germany for the last seven days – three long classes followed by four beers each evening with the students. My liver, and the rest of my internal organs, have requested a holiday. As Lost Art Press doesn’t really have a benefits package, however….

On the last night of class, one of the students named Brian Eve drove me to Munich and I helped him move his completed workbench into his shop. It’s tiny. I’ve seen bigger dust collector bags in my time.

But he makes do. After moving his bench off of the car, I took the short video above so you can see what a really small shop really looks like.

Oh, and in case you don’t read my blog at Popular Woodworking Magazine, that’s where I’ve written about my Bavarian adventures this past week. Here are some links.

1. French Bench. German School. American Teacher. Day 1.
2. Mafell Chain Mortiser. Dang.
3. More Mafell Madness: Day 3 of the Workbench Class
4. My Assembly Tricks for Old World Workbenches
5. Knocking Together a Workbench

I’m in Munich now (it’s Monday, I believe). And this morning I had the best Bavarian breakfast ever with Peter Lanz of Dictum GmbH, and then he took me over to the new Dictum workshop and school in Munich. It’s a third-floor space where Peter is now teaching classes in handwork and machine work, along with another teacher.

Dictum is also planning on opening a store across the hall from the workshop, which will sell tools and be a local hangout for woodworkers. All in all, it sounds like a pretty cool plan.

I fly back to Cincinnati tomorrow and then immediately board a plane with my family for San Diego (sorry spleen, no vacation for you). Somehow day and night will resolve themselves. Someday.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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15 Responses to We Had to Sleep in a Lake

  1. I don’t remember a workshop scene in “The Blair Witch Project”?


  2. El. says:

    Wow, and I thought my workshop was small at 10 feet by 9!

  3. cannikin says:

    San Diego! What brings you out here? Let me know if you’re looking for any family stuff or neat restaurants to check out while you’re in town (or if you’re itching to help out yet another person finish up their Roubo bench 🙂

  4. bearlimvere says:

    WOW! Tho I have built furniture on my 5’x7′ deck when I lived in an apartment, and often demonstrate period woodworking outdoors under the 6’x6′ fly of my baker tent. I am rather spoiled in my 22’x28′ shop I share with my wife.

  5. Brian Eve says:

    Thanks for the help unloading the bench. Too bad we didn’t get a picture of you scrunched up in the front seat with my bench top as a head rest.

    If I had known you were going to be there to make movies of my space I’d have tidied up a bit.

    Just so everyone knows, this space is shared with our household storage (about 50/50), which makes things a bit more challenging. It is so easy for a space like this to collect a bunch of junk in a hurry making it impossible to do woodwork.

    When it is functioning as a shop, the clutter seen in this video is put away, and some of the bigger things that are stored in there can be moved into the hallway while I am working, and moved in again when I am done. 20 minutes worth of set up and clean up besides the normal woodworking stuff add quite a challenge to productivity in this space.

    I’ll send you a photo of the new shop when I get the new Mafellized bench set up. The plan is to get rid of most of the storage that is in there, have the bench up near the long wall, with the tool chest on the short wall about where the current bench is.

    • Marlon says:

      Still, with that little space, you have “the want to”. I congratulate you. I take it you build small stuff…lol

  6. John Jarrett says:

    Nice Python reference. You were lucky to have a Lake.

  7. Bob Jones says:

    You are one window away from a really nice place to work 🙂 any quiet space to yourself is valuable.

  8. Patrick says:

    Going with the movie theme and based on the opening, it looked like you might walk into something from “Pulp Fiction”.

  9. Don Slaughter says:

    Ditto what Cannikin said about helping in San Diego. I talked to Robert Therm, or SDFWA president, and he said they had tried to get you for our fall seminar and couldn’t schedule it for some kind of conflict in schedules. What is the nature of your trip here? Sure would like to show the Design in Wood Exhibit to you at the Del Mar Fair. Please email if I can be of ANY help to you here. My shop is just a tad bigger than Brian’s but I get a lot done in there.

    • lostartpress says:


      Thanks for the offer of assistance. I’ll be in San Diego for vacation with my family — planned by my wife and kids. I’m just along for the ride. Yay!

  10. Tom Bier says:


    In the spirit of your mini-guides to Cincinnati attractions:

    Blind Lady Alehouse – many local beers ( and hard cider) on tap, farm to table salads and pizzas that are my favorite in San Diego, and family friendly atmosphere. Come early (it can get crowded) for dinner and sit at one of the community tables. Its a good place to get over jet lag.

    Bread & Cie – crusty bread and pastries, also sandwiches. Guaranteed better than whatever is on the breakfast buffet at your hotel.

    Urban Solace – American bistro/comfort food. I’ve been through most of their menu without disappointment, if in doubt have a burger.

    If you have some need to get away from the beaches and the usual attractions like the zoo & Seaworld take a drive east to Sunrise Highway and the Laguna Mountains. It’s not that they are that spectacular, but they are very different from east coast mountains and will give you a fresh appreciation for regular rainfall.

  11. Jeff B says:

    A lake? There were a hundred and sixty of us living in a small shoebox in the middle of the road.

  12. Rich B says:

    I gotta ask – Who is the very nice banjo player and group for the background music?

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