That Rumor is Something I Can’t Do


I get a lot of odd email through my personal website, and most isn’t worth mentioning. But there’s one email I get every week that I want to put to bed. It goes like this:

Someone told me you host classes where people build a roubo bench for a week with you and take it home is that true

Sorry, no. It’s not true. We hold some classes at our storefront (complete list here), but I don’t teach much these days. And we don’t have the facilities to teach a workbench class.

I still love to build workbenches and research their history. But there’s no way I could manage a class like that in our little storefront. So if you see this rumor repeated out on the internet, would you mind stabbing it in the eyeball for me? I feel bad for the people who keep asking me with high hopes.

There are lots of people who teach workbench classes. You might ping Mark Hicks at Plate 11, who teaches some classes in his shop along those lines.

I’m flattered to be asked. But like I said, it ain’t me.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized, Workbenches. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to That Rumor is Something I Can’t Do

  1. jimmyfly311 says:

    It might have stemmed from this:

    “As a result, I’ve continued to build benches from yellow pine since 2000 with no complaint. My first Roubo (2005) and Nicholson (2006) workbenches were made from yellow pine. And I’ve built at least 25 or 30 benches from the stuff during classes or at woodworking shows. (That actually was our gimmick for a few years – we built a bench during the show and gave it away at the end of the show.)”

    That blog entry was in the “related” offerings of this post.


  2. Steven Vlahos says:

    The Melbourne Guild of Fine Woodworking (Australia) is running one in January 2020 – it’s your “18th century roubo workbench”. I signed up immediately to do this one- can’t wait! I’ve already assembled the Benchcrafted gear. I think Alistair plans to use New Guinea rosewood for the base and SYP for the top. Would be great to see you there, but I know you don’t teach much anymore.




  3. Mark says:

    What about a class featuring Windsor-style, bird chairs?


  4. Al says:

    What if I don’t want to make a bench but this instead
    Just kidding. I figure when I make my first few stools they won’t even turn out that good.

    On a more serious note, can the french bench be built of soft wood (doug fir, pine, ect) or is it better to use something like oak?


  5. toolnut says:

    Don Williams has offered them in the past. Im not sure if he still plans to but maybe you could send those requests his way. ( Assumimg you run it by him first.)


  6. johncashman73 says:

    What’s the single oddest question you’ve ever gotten?


  7. KA Cruise says:

    Bet the questioner was thinking of those classes/projects/groups you did in Georgia with Jameel Abraham with the oak from France.


    • Andrew says:

      Yes, I was thinking the same thing. There’s been a lot of discussion about benches, and building, and classes, it’s not surprising they all came together in some people’s heads. Unfortunately for Chris it’s not as innocuous as “Elementary, my dear Watson”, or “Beam me up Scotty”.


  8. Jim Ketcham says:

    Ted Harlen down in Louisville does a Roubo Workbench Class – I took his intro class a long time ago to move into handtools and he is a great teacher.


  9. Sam Cody says:

    I take my hat off to anyone who can deal with the general public on a daily basis!

    Sam Cody
    Knoxville, Tennessee


  10. Nick says:

    Jeff Miller in Chicago offers a class on Roubo benches as well, great setup and shop, and a good teacher.


  11. Cory Rohlin says:

    The Wyatt Childs FORP class lists you as attending on Benchcrafted blog. I would assume that this is where it is coming from.


  12. I feel lucky that I’ve taken a week long workbench class from you, Mr Schwarz. It was fun and informative. But that was long ago in a galaxy (Berea) far, far away.


  13. jimarrington says:

    I way be stupid. But your involvement with the French Roubo project Might lead to this.


  14. tsstahl says:

    I’m Someone. I travel the intertubes and the country sowing bench rumors and stealing single socks from dryers. I speculate in lumber futures; the socks are for saplings in Northern climes. It is truly a masterful plan.


    • jpbturbo says:

      I need the green and blue size medium smart wool hiking socks back ASAP if at all possible.



  15. Miikka says:

    Richard Maguire is going to launch a French Roubo online series this week. If you cannot attend classes, be sure to check it out:


  16. jbakerrower says:

    What I want to know is whether you have the French Connection to acquire some of the unburnt ends of the 1200 year old beams from the Notre Dame fire?


  17. Pablo says:

    I think the misunderstanding of the
    Came from at one time made the comment was from a post you took part in, but you weren’t there as teacher.
    It’s a pleasure to be allowed to pick you r brain.


  18. Brad says:

    I think some of your posts on PW may have been misinterpreted with people think you are teaching the classes you are visiting. Here is an example:

    There is also this class listing, which makes it sound as if you are the instructor:


Comments are closed.