People of Earth: If you want to make a workbench that exceeds all your functional and aesthetic desires, I have but one recommendation: The French Oak Roubo Project III. The building session runs from Oct. 14-18 in Barnesville, Ga., in the well-equipped (vast understatement) workshop of Bo Childs.
Registration for this event opens this Friday, March 1. It costs $5,195 for the week and the materials. This is cheap.
The raw material is impossible to come by – thick, well-seasoned French oak. The benchtop will be one slab – no glue-ups. The hardware will be the Benchcrafted good stuff: the Classic Vise, a Crisscross, a Benchcrafted Planing Stop and two Crucible holdfasts.
After one week of work you will have a completed bench, and you will be done building benches for the rest of your life. Read all the details here.
Yes, it is time to sell your plasma, your platelets and that gold-nugget jewelry from your Matlock phase. The supply of this massive old oak is always in question. Every time Jameel and FJ at Benchcrafted finish one of these events, they say: That’s it. There’s no more. Somehow, Bo seems to scrounge more.
Aside from the crazy hard labor and teamwork needed to build these benches, the FORPs end up being about building bonds – as well as workbenches. It’s a mentally and physically intense week that you will never forget. And this will be my third one.
If you can scrounge the money and make the time, you won’t regret it.
I hope to see you in October. I know a great fried chicken place just down the road from Bo’s. So bring the Lipitor.
— Christopher Schwarz