Chronic Shop Envy in Alabama


This weekend I built a six-board chest for the Alabama Woodworkers Guild, and I was impressed. Not just with the members or the food (holy moley, the food), but by the building where they meet.

It’s an old schoolhouse nestled in the pines south of Birmingham, Ala., and it almost made me rethink my plans to buy a building in downtown Covington, Ky. The members have restored the building, which had more recently been a roller rink, a recreation center and then a storage unit for Habitat for Humanity.

There are three main rooms: a kitchen, a classroom (with a digital projector) and the main workshop and demonstration room. Tall ceilings. Yellow pine floors. Enormous divided-light windows.

Oh, and a roll-up door and loading dock.

In other words, heaven.


If you live in that neck of the woods, check out the club. Dues are reasonable. The food they serve is amazing (I know that sounds odd, but they take their food as seriously as I do). And the shop equipment is very good.

And thanks to all the Alabama and Mississippi woodworkers who treated me so well over the weekend. They were kind enough to make only two Arkansas jokes.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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One Response to Chronic Shop Envy in Alabama

  1. tombuhl says:

    My kind of clubhouse. Food, tools, good windows, great people. Yep, I’d join.

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