When I arrived in Barnesville, Ga., on Sunday afternoon I found that all the preliminary heavy lifting had been done.
Jameel Abraham, Bo Childs, Ron Breese, Jon Fiant, Jeff Miller, Raney Nelson and Don Williams had finished ripping up the tops and legs with a sawmill and had everything stacked. The wood is beautiful. Huge. And wet – in the “high teens.” I’ve made many benches with wood at this stage in drying, and the Roubo design is well-suited for wood that is a little wet.
The leg vise hardware was artfully displayed. And Jameel was tweaking an enormous banner hanging in the middle of the shop that showed A.-J. Roubo’s plate 11 in all its detail.
All I had to do was unpack my tools, buy some fried chicken and set up to give a presentation tonight on the history of woodworking benches from Egypt to the 18th century.
I’m sure I’ll get to do my share of sweating during the next five days. My work station is in the corner with all the flies.
— Christopher Schwarz