That’s where Roubo thinks woodworkers belong. In a footnote at the conclusion of his second section of the Third Volume of “l’Art du menuisier,” during which he describes the processes of making furniture from solid wood, he waxes enthusiastically eloquent on the world of the woodworker, and the remarkable people who populate it.
Give yourselves a pat on the back, courtesy of André-Jacob Roubo.
— Don Williams, donsbarn.com
“…(T)he art of woodworking is, without question, the most extensive of the mechanical arts, as much for the different types of woodworking as for the multitude of works belonging to each type of carpentry, which requires a quantity of knowledge distinct one from the other. Such that the art of woodworking can and should even be regarded as six arts under the same name, but all different from each other. Namely, the art of building carpentry, which is quite considerable, the art of carriage woodworking; the art of furniture making, which is separated in two distinct classes one from the other, the art of cabinetry, which embraces not only the knowledge of choice and use of wood, but also that of different metals and other substances both mineral and vegetable, and the use even of turning and filing; the art of trelliswork or Garden woodworking, which is still another class apart, without counting the art of drawing, necessary for various sorts of woodworking, the detail of which has been made the object of more than half of the second part of this work. This observation is altogether natural – it is the only art that, under the same name, has rapport with so many different objects. With the exception of carpentry, the art of woodworking embraces all which has to do with the use of wood, instead of those arts which have for its object the use of metals, taking different names, although using the same material. Because, without speaking of the use of mines and iron forges, the workers which use this metal, are known under different names, like the blacksmiths of two types, the locksmiths also of two types, the maker of edge-tools, the tinsmiths, the cutlers, the nailsmiths, and even the clockmakers, those who make mathematical instruments, and a number of others who do completely separate arts, distinct one from the others. Their description, if they be united in a single and same art, would contain more than ten to twelve volumes, assuming that they are treated according to the intentions of the Royal Academy of Sciences, that is to say, with the precision and all the appropriate extent for each of them.”